Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Knowing Father Of Chemical Science In India, Prafulla Chandra Ray

Wondering how Prafulla Chandra Ray became the father of Chemical Science in India? On his birthday today (2nd August), let’s know more about the scientific contributions of this eminent chemist, who was also the founder of India’s first pharmaceutical company.

Crux of the Matter

Acharya Prafulla 
Born in Bengal Presidency of British India in 1861, he went on to become the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharmaceutical company.

Literary Works
In 1902, he published the first volume of A History of Hindu Chemistry from the Earliest Times to the Middle of Sixteenth Century. The book contained research done in works of orientalists and ancient manuscripts.

Some Major Recognitions

Research Work
He conducted research on platinum, iridium and sulphides of organic substances and published over a hundred papers on Chemistry, many of which were published in the Journal of Indian Chemical Society.

Discovery Of Mercurous Nitrite
In 1896, Prafulla published a paper on preparation of a new stable chemical compound: mercurous nitrite, which is used in mercuration.

He also proved that the pure ammonium nitrite is stable. This compound is useful as an agricultural pesticide and in making nitrous oxide. 

Presence in Academia

  • Prafulla Chandra retired from the Presidency College in 1916.
  • He started a new Indian School of Chemistry in 1924.
  • He joined the Calcutta University College of Science as its first “Palit Professor of Chemistry”.
  • In 1936, at the age of 75, he retired from active service and became Professor Emeritus.

His Philanthropic Side
In 1923, Bengal suffered a flood which made many people homeless. Prafulla organised Bengal Relief Committee, which collected ₹2.5+ million as relief fund. In 1922, he donated money to establish the Nagarjuna Prize to be awarded for the best work in chemistry.

  • Dr C V Raman was the first Asian to be awarded a Nobel Prize in any branch of science. In 1930, Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of an unknown type of scattering of light which was subsequently called Raman scattering.

What Is E-RUPI? A Digital Payments Solutions To Directly Deliver Govt Benefits

What Is E-RUPI? A Digital Payments Solutions To Directly Deliver Govt Benefits

Launched on 2nd August, 2021, e-RUPI is India’s newest addition to the digital payment saga. Known for its small ticket size benefit transfer, e-RUPI is set to make the delivery of government welfare services efficient. Read the story to know more about the mechanism.

Crux of the Matter

What Is E-Rupi
It is a cashless and contactless digital payments solution, developed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI platform.

It delivers a QR code or message based digital voucher to beneficiary’s linked mobile number. The beneficiaries will then be able to redeem this voucher at the service provider’s end without any intermediary.

Voucher’s Pre-Conditions
The voucher is non transferable and can be used for a single transaction only. The maximum issue value size is fixed at ₹10,000.

Simplifying How It Works
3 categories of vouchers will be enlisted on e-RUPI: Banks, Payment Service Providers, amd Entities holding licences for pre-paid instruments.

A private firm or a government agency approaches a bank for issuing vouchers to beneficiaries. Upon payment of voucher amount, the beneficiaries are sent a digital voucher to a linked mobile number.

An application to scan the e-voucher will be required at the end of service provider. Finally, beneficiaries can scan the voucher and redeem it with OTP authentication.

Where Will It Be Used?
It will be used for Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) for multiple government welfare schemes and subsidies. I t will also be used for Covid vaccination process in which a company can issue vouchers to their employees.


  1. National Payments Corporation Of India governs systems like Rupay and Aadhar enabled payment systems. Founded in 2008, NPCI is currently governed by the Reserve Bank of India and the Ministry of Finance.

India Joins UNESCO Club 40

India Joins UNESCO Club 40

With Dholavira and Ramappa Temple recently being declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, let’s take a little journey across the country and go over all the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

Crux of the Matter

World Heritage Sites In India

  • The slogan of UNESCO is “Building peace in the minds of men and women”. The organisation is headquartered in Paris, France.

What Is UAPA Law?

What Is UAPA Law?

UAPA, one of India’s home-brewed Preventative Detention Law to curb unlawful activities, has been widely cited as a tool to silence dissent. In that light, let’s look at the origins of this law, various amendments in it and some unexpected numbers associated with it.

Crux of the Matter

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)
It was enacted on 30th Dec 1967.
The political climate around it:

  • Indian army’s defeat in the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
  • DMK‘s secession promises in Tamil Nadu.
  • Emergence of Separatist elements in Nagaland.

2004 Amendment
After Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) law was scrapped in 2004, its controversial provisions were inculcated in UAPA. The amendment included introduction of clauses related to terrorist activities and their broadened definition.

2008 Amendment
After 26/11 Terrorist attacks, stricter bail and detention provisions for those under suspicion of terrorist activities were added.
It expanded already ambiguous definition of terrorism and authorized warrantless, wide authority search and seizure.

2019 Amendment
This amendment authorized Govt to designate individuals as terrorists. It further established a Review Committee for appeals, where Review Board had no time-limit to decide and no compulsion to reveal its reasoning.

NIA, UPA Enforcer
Operating under the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is responsible for investigating all cases under UAPA. They have designation of Special Courts for NIA trial. The law also enables NIA agents to arrest and seize properties circumventing Police.

Popular Case-Bhima Koregoan
In 2018, NIA arrested late Fr Stan Swamy, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bhardwaj, etc. on accusation of inciting violence at a rally in Koregaon. By 2020, multiple charge sheets have been filed but no trial has started and those arrested continue to be detained.

Human Rights Violation
The vague framing of the act leaves scope for possible misuse and its time consuming judicial proceedings leads to long periods of detention.

In UAPA cases, the process itself is the punishment.

Justice Aftab Alam, former Supreme Court Judge

UAPA Cases & Conviction Rate

  • Indian Constitution is the largest constitution in the World. Every year, 26th November is celebrated as Constitution Day in India to commemorate its adoption in 1949.

Einstein Was Right! Light Detected Behind Black Hole

Einstein Was Right! Light Detected Behind Black Hole

Fulfilling one of the predictions made by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, researchers detected the first-ever recordings of X-ray emissions from behind a black hole. If light that goes into the hole doesn’t come out, how is this possible? Let’s find out.

Crux of the Matter

What Did The Researchers See?
Stanford’s Dan Wilkins recently observed a series of bright flares of X-rays and additional flashes of smaller sized and different coloured rays, from behind a supermassive black hole.

How Can We See Behind The Hole?

‘Relativity: The Special and General Theory’
Einstein talks about general relativity in this book, stating that a massive object can warp space-time around it, creating gravity. General relativity has been proven most famously during a solar eclipse in 1919, when astronomer Arthur Eddington confirmed that the Sun’s gravity bent the light from stars.

Gravitational Lensing At Its Extreme
Astronomers have ever since used the gravity of distant galaxies to see around them, and observe even more distant objects. This phenomenon is called Gravitational Lensing.

It’s not just light being reflected a little bit. It’s coming from all the way behind the black hole, being bent all the way around into our line of sigh

Dan Wilkins, Stanford

What’s More?
Most objects in space are too distant to photographed. However, as per Wilkins, measurements of X-ray echoes can be used as a sonar “to reconstruct that picture, of that map, of the extreme environment outside a black hole.”

New X-ray telescopes, like ESA’s Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA) slated for a 2031 release, can help in the image reconstruction of space objects.

  • In 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go to Space. He flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 with the Soviet Interkosmos programme.