Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

About the Department

The Universe began with the ‘Big Bang’ and particles were in a state of very very high temperature 107 – 109 K ! Then Chemistry came along at milder temperature .......... particles formed atoms...... atoms united to give more and more complex molecules which, in turn, associated into aggregates, and membranes defining primitive cells out of which Life emerged.

Chemistry is the Science of matter and its transformation. And in the sustenance and development of life as well as in the rise and fall of civilizations, chemistry reigns as the deciding factor. We depend on chemical sciences to provide us everything from toothpaste to life-saving drugs, from food to shelter, from clothes to cosmetics, from fuels to materials for making supercomputers.
The Department of Chemistry (S.A.J.C.) constitutes of people teaching and learning chemistry with lifelong love and curiosity for the subject even within limited resources. Through the years, competent former teachers and dedicated laboratory staff helped the students to reach their goals which is evident in the achievement of our alumni now working as teachers, researchers, scientists, chemical engineers, administrators – in reputed colleges, universities, national / international laboratories, chemical / pharmaceutical / IT industries, IITs, IISERs and also in WBCS and IAS. Majority of our immediate ex-students are now pursuing post-graduate, doctoral, post-doctoral studies in India and aboard.

Here, the students are encouraged to take up chemistry not as a subject, but as a passion and to join the global chemistry community to taste the thrill of watching and understanding the real molecular happenings within this colourful world!

70 Glorious Years of Teaching Chemistry

Teaching of chemistry started at SAJC in 1952 at the intermediate level. In 1960, chemistry was introduced in the B.Sc. course as a general subject. The first batch of students in the B.Sc. honours course was admitted in 1966. Although at that time, some of our neighbouring colleges had longer innings of chemistry teaching, our department had gradually built up a solid foundation of ‘tradition’ in teaching chemistry at both honours and general level. Throughout these 56 years of honours teaching, our department gradually excelled in forming a system where mostly medium level students strive hard to draw the best of their capabilities. Teachers and students make full utilization of our four well-equipped and well-ventilated ideal laboratories. It is to be noted here that for the safety and security of the students, as well as, the whole college, chemistry laboratories must have enough space and best ventilation.
During eighties and nineties, the department was ably run by 13 to 15 full-time teachers and 14 laboratory staff. From nineties onwards, the number of teachers and laboratory staff dwindles down. At one time, only 4 teachers have to carry out the responsibilities. Presently the department has 7 fulltime teachers and 3 laboratory staff to run the department for both core and generic courses in chemistry for honours and general students following semester system (CBCS).

The department gladly accepts the admitted students as they are and earnestly tries best to help the students to achieve their goal by raising them to their utmost capabilities. We are extremely satisfied that our students, in return, have always shining with satisfactory careers and some of them earned rare laurels for their ‘alma mater’.
The department has a well-stocked seminar library which started with some books donated by our former colleague Late Prof. B. Chatterjee. The department remains extremely grateful to Prof. R. Mukherjee, our ex-colleague, for his donation of Rs. 50,000/- for buying an LCD-Projector with which the department started audio-visual teaching from 2009 as the first department in the college. We also have a very good collection of e-books as CD’s available to students.

We continuously review and update our study materials and laboratory manuals keeping in mind the ultimate aim of developing basic concepts and practical training of the students to do well in any chemical field. We provide study material / laboratory manual to both honours and general students which cover 25% to 37% of the course. We are delighted to state that many of our alumni are placed in different research / industrial laboratories in India and abroad, which prove the efficiency of their training here.

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdown period, the most valuable part of chemistry teaching has been jeopardised as the students could not perform the experimental part of the syllabus properly. But as soon as the college reopens in phases, we do our best to catch up with the practical part of the ongoing semesters of the CBCS syllabus for both honours and general courses. However in the lockdown phases, all the teachers took online classes and prepared digital study materials for a good part of the syllabus in theory and provided the materials to the students in PDF form.

Most of the years, our department recorded almost 100% success rate in the final honours examination with quite a number of students securing first class in honours. For example, in the last old syllabus (non CBCS) final year examination, 28 students appeared and 27 got 1st Class with only one student getting below 60%. In the last year the fist CBCS batch students recorded 100% success rate with very high CGPA. Many of our recent alumni secured good ranks in IIT-JAM and other post graduate entrance examination and got admission in IITs, IISERs, NITs etc. and others were admitted in post-B.Sc., B.Tech. courses.

Our Faculty in Research and Publication

Besides regular work, our faculty are also engaged in both Govt. Research Projects and in guiding dissertation work of CBCS final semester students. Dr. Nilasish Pal has successfully completed one SERB-DST (under fast track scheme for young scientists) project @ Rs. 22.40 lakh and one UGC-Minor Research Project @ Rs. 5.00 lakh in this department. Dr. Sudeshna Sawoo has completed one SERB-DST (under FTSYS) project @ Rs. 25.30 lakh. Dr. Monirul Islam has completed one UGC-MRP @ Rs. 4.20 lakh. In both the SERB projects, two research fellows have worked in the department up to the tenure of the projects. Dr. Pal, Dr. Sawoo, and Dr. Islam also guided project works for post-graduate students of other colleges in our laboratories. All of them had submitted their dissertations and got their degrees.

The first CBCS batch of honours students (2021) also took up review work under Dr. Pal and Dr. Sawoo as part of their final semester course work out of which three papers are published in Int. J. Exp. Res. Rev. and one in Asian J. of Chem. It is to be noted here that these publications by our undergraduate students would add a great value to their future career.

The most celebratory moment of the department is the attainment of doctoral degree from J.U. by Dr. D.C. Ghosh on December 2021 with three consecutive papers. in 2019, 2020 and 2021 in reputed chemistry journals. Dr. Islam also published two papers in 2019 and 2021. Dr. N. Pal published both research papers and review papers in 2021 and 2022, totalling six publications.
We may add here that our ex-colleagues Dr. Satyaranjan Ghosh and Dr. D.K. Khamrui published two much acclaimed books ‘Advanced Organic Chemistry’ and ‘Concepts of Physical Chemistry through Problems’ respectively. Our ex-colleague Prof. R. Mukherjee and Dr. D.C. Ghosh co-authored a much-needed valuable book ‘Organic Chemistry: Structure: Volume-1’

Career In Chemistry: Opening Up Into A Wide Choice

It is a matter of great satisfaction that almost all of our students are getting their career according to their own sharpened ability and availability of a wide variety of choices. Around 50% of students enter Post-B.Sc., B.Tech. in Chemical engineering / Chemical technology / Polymer sciences / Oil and paint / Pharmaceutical etc. After doing B.Tech., some are opting for jobs in industries and some are opting for M. Tech., then jobs either in industries or in academia as faculty in Engineering Colleges. Many of our alumni with B.Tech. / M.Tech. are employed in Barger Paints / Asian Paints / Nestle India / Birla Cement / Steel Plants / GSI / Tata Reformatories / J.K. Tyres, ITC, Akzonobel, Bisleri, Linde India, GRASIM, Trlkrosakʹi etc.

Students who got M.Sc. in Chemistry / Bio-chemistry / Agricultural chemistry / Marine Science many opt for Ph.D. and subsequent research career or opt for school service / civil services /other govt. services in either state or central level. After B.Sc. / M.Sc. in Chemistry, students are also getting recruited in various private / govt. sectors as chemist in industrial quality controlled / drug / pharmaceuticals / homeolaboratories etc. A sizable number of our alumni are also employed in banking / insurance and central government concerns like BARC / GSI / ONGC etc. Some students pursue postgraduate courses in environment & ecology or computer applications (through JEST). Many of our students are employed as environmental chemists and also in IT sector. Some of our students are in WBCS and IAS clearing the most competitive selection process. Many of our students are teaching in colleges and universities both in India and abroad.

Several Jewels In The Crown: A Glimpse into our alumni

All of our alumni are established and happy in their career and they are all very dear to us. We are family. Here we want to mention some of them as inspiration to our existing students and to those who want to share three years of their undergraduate course with this department.
  • Dr. Santanu Chaudhuri, Prof. of Material Engg., University of Illinois at Chicago (USA) after Ph.D. from State University of New York.
  • Dr. Arkaprabha Konar, Assistant Prof., Kent State University (USA) after Ph.D. at Michigan State University
  • Dr. Debanjana Ghosh, Asst. Prof. Georgia Southern University, (USA) after Ph.D. at JU, Post Doc. at USA
  • Dr. Benazir Alam, Research Officer, National Research Council (Canada) after Ph.D. at University of British Columbia.
  • Dr. Samit Guha, Asst. Prof. Jadavpur University, after Post doc at USA, Germany.
  • Dr. Koena Ghosh, Asst. Prof. Presidency University, after Ph.D. at IIT-K, Post doc. at University of Purdue (USA) and University of Nottingham (UK)
  • Dr. Munmun Ghosh, Asst. Prof. Ashoka University, after Ph.D. at NCL-Pune and Post doc. at University of Gottingen.
  • Dr. Prolok Kumar Samanta, Asst. Prof. GITAM University, after Ph.D. at JNCASR and Post doc. at KAUSTA and Dublin.
  • Dr. Sayantan Bose, Scientist at Glaxosmithkline (USA), after Ph.D. at Iown and post-doc. at Columbia University.
  • Dr. Soumit Chatterjee, Asst. Prof. IIT ISM-Dhanbad, after Ph.D. at Macquarie University, Post doc. at Weizmann Institute.
  • Dr. Sharmila Sur, Research Scientist, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Australia, after Ph.D. at IIT-M Pune.
  • Dr. Sudipta Das, Senior Physicist, Breathe Biomedical (Canada) after Ph.D. from Max Planck Institute, Germany
  • Dr. Sutapa Sarkar, Research Scientist, Machaon diagnostic Californian (USA), after Ph.D. from University of South Caroline and post doc. from Stanford University School of Medicine.
  • Ms Ajita Chakraborty, Manager R & D (TRL Krosaki Refractories Ltd., former Manager (R & D), Tata Refractories Ltd., after doing B.Tech. in ceramic engineering.
  • Mr. Somnath Mondal, SE-Production (ONGC) after B.Tech. CU, M.Tech. IIT-G in chemical engineering.
Many of our alumni are currently doing Ph.D. / Post-doctoral research in reputed national institutes or universities like IITs, IISER, IISC, NCL, IACS, SINP, IICB, Bose Institute, CU, JU, KU etc. in India and also aboard like University of Chicago, University of Nottingham(UK), Florida State University, University of Gent(Belgium), KAUST(Saudi Arabia), JAIST(Japan), University of Tokyo(Japan), Ecole Normal(France), Ohio University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology(Germany), Brandeis University(USA) etc. with full scholarship / TA ship / RA ship.
Some of our alumni won highly prestigious scholarships too, for example, Swarnava Nandy got MEXT scholarship for doing Ph.D. at University of Tokyo, Munmun Ghosh got Humbolt Scholarship for doing post-doctoral research at University of Gottingen, Abhishek Mondal bagged highly competitive Prime Minister’s Research fellowship (PMRF) @ Rs. 11.92 Lakh per year for 4 years for pursuing Ph.D. at IISER-Pune.

It is our great limitation that we cannot reach to many of our alumni this time but we are always here, in the department, to be happy in their happiness and also to be with them if they need our help. So, let us join hands to make the department an active and happy abode for teaching and learning of chemistry................ a passion for lifetime.