Prof T.K. Ghose Endowment
IIT Delhi has established “Prof T.K. Ghose Endowment Fund” to honor his legacy by awarding “Prof. T. K. Ghose Memorial Award for Best PhD Thesis in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology” to a
graduating PhD student of the institute. The first award ceremony was held on Nov 22, 2021.
Prof. Dr Tarun Kumar Ghose (born Sept. 1, 1924) was the driving force to initiate and nurture the discipline of Biochemical Engineering in India beginning at Jadavpur University and H.B.T.I. Kanpur, as early as 1964. Subsequently, after joining Chemical Engineering Department, IIT Delhi in 1969 as a Senior Professor, he initiated intense research in the discipline and set up the Biochemical Engineering Research Centre (BERC, now DBEB) at IIT Delhi in 1974 with active collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (the institute from where he did his PhD). As Head of BERC, he steered its activities for about 10 years and inspired a large number of graduate students to pursue biotechnology research.
Prof Ghose made outstanding contributions towards the advancement of Biochemical Engineering education and research. His outstanding scientific contributions have been widely recognized in the area of bioconversion of renewable resources, incorporating elucidation of the mode of formation and action of the cellulase enzyme complex, delignification of lignocellulosic residues, saccharification of cellulose, and production of value-added bioproducts. During his tenure at IIT Delhi, BERC was recognised globally as an excellent research laboratory in biochemical engineering.
Prof. Ghose was a visionary who in the early 1980s recognised the importance biotechnology was going to play in solving the problems concerning energy, health care, food, feed and biomaterials, and the need to develop biotechnologies based on renewable resources. During that time, he also advocated the idea of equipping our undergraduate students with fundamental knowledge of modern biology by offering a compulsory course to all UG students of IIT Delhi, as he foresaw that the inputs of biological sciences will be immensely beneficial for the advancement of biotechnology.
As one of its editors, Prof. Ghose was directly associated with initiating the well-known series “Advances in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology” published by Springer. He authored more than 165 scientific research papers and was granted 28 patents in the area of chemical and biochemical engineering. He undertook several research assignments at many foreign institutes; notable amongst them was his work on cellulose hydrolysis at Natick Research and Development Laboratories, Natick, Massachusetts, USA, which also won him the award for outstanding research. He was a member of several national and international scientific organizations. The erstwhile National Biotechnology Board was given the full-fledged status of the present-day Department of Biotechnology (DBT, established in 1986) through his active participation and persuasion with Central Government authorities. Prof. Ghose was a member of New York Academy of Sciences; a Foreign Member, Academic d”Agriculture de France; a Fellow, National Academy of Sciences, India; a recipient of J. C. Bose Award and a Fellow of Biological Engineering Society, India for outstanding contributions in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology. He was also bestowed with the prestigious Life Time Contribution Award in Engineering by the Indian National Academy of Engineering.
Prof. Ghose after a stellar life breathed his last on September 24, 2019, at the ripe age of 95. His legacy of carrying out high-quality research in the field of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology lives at DBEB.
The “Prof T.K. Ghose Endowment Fund” aims to honour his legacy. The fund will award the “Prof. T. K. Ghose Memorial Award for Best PhD Thesis in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology” at IIT Delhi and organise an annual “Prof. T. K. Ghose Memorial Lecture”.
The following students of Prof Ghose have proposed the setup of this Endowment fund: Prof Dr Amrendra Nath Pathak, Dr Chandrika Prasad Dwivedi, Dr Gopal Chotani, Dr Kannan Vembu, Dr Perdeep Mehta, Dr Prabodh Shankar Vishnoi, Prof Purnendu Ghosh, Dr Raj Kumar Sachdev, Prof Rajeshwar Dayal Tyagi, Dr Rakesh Ratnakar Banka, Dr Sanjay Narayan Nene, Prof Satya Narayan Mukhopadhyay, Prof Subhash Chand, Prof Sudip Kumar Rakshit, Prof Tapobrata Panda, Dr Vikram Sahai, Prof Vinod Bihari and Prof Virendra Swarup Bisaria.