Development of inorganic chemistry in India during 1900-1980
Modern research in inorganic chemistry was initiated in 1896 with the publication ``Uber Mercuonitrit'' by Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray. Calcutta remained the only active school of inorganic chemistry research in India for the next seven decades. From the twenties to forties of this century, Professor Priyadaranjan Ray and his coworkers made outstanding contributions on many topics, including Biguanide Complexes. In the early thirties, he developed two new analytical reagents, quinaldinic and rubeanic acids; work on these two reagents was taken up in many chemical laboratories throughout the world.
With the renaissance of inorganic chemistry on the world scene, the last three decades have witnessed considerable change in the direction of inorganic chemistry research in India. A number of active research groups are engaged in investigating various aspects in specialised areas of inorganic chemistry even with the meagre resource at their disposal. The favourite problem of research has been generally related to coordination chemistry and the study of metal complexes in solution and in solid state. Unfortunately, however, the gap between Indian and international standards of research in inorganic chemistry has widened further during recent years. This may partly be attributed to the lack of sophisticated instrumental facilities, which have started to improve only in the last few years.
A review of progress in inorganic chemistry in the country is attempted in this paper, dividing the topic into three sections:
(i) Area of considerable activity.
(ii) Area of weak activity, and
(iii) Emerging areas in which there is very little activity sa far.
This is followed by an analysis of the contributions of the Indian chemists to the world literature in inorganic chemistry during the last few years.
Indian Journal of History of Science, Vol. 27, no. 4 (1992).