Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the anti-malarial drug touted by some as a potential weapon against Covid-19, has put the spotlight on Kolkata-based Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited founded by PC Ray, the only public sector unit that manufactures this anti-malarial drug in India
- Prafulla Chandra Ray (1861 – 1944) was an eminent Indian Bengali chemist who is regarded as the father of chemical science in India.
- He was the founder of Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, India’s first pharmaceutical company.
- Scientific Research:
- In 1896, he published a paper on preparation of a new stable chemical compound: mercurous nitrite.
- He also proved that the pure ammonium nitrite is indeed stable by bring to pass a lot of experiments and explained thet it can be sublimed even at 60 °C without decomposition.
- Literary works:
- He authored the ‘History of Hindu Chemistry – From the Earliest Times to the Middle of the Sixteenth Century AD’, a book that documented India’s indigenous chemical practices starting from the Vedic era.
- He published his autobiography ‘Life and Experience of a Bengali Chemist’ in 1932.
- Awards constituted:
- In 1922, he donated money to establish Nagarjuna Prize to be awarded for the best work in chemistry.
- In 1937, another award, named after Ashutosh Mukherjee, to be awarded for the best work in zoology or botany, was established from his donation.
- The Royal Society of Chemistry dedicated its coveted Chemical Landmark plaque to Ray, the first non-European to be conferred the honour, in 2011 on his 150th birth anniversary.
Hence Hydroxychloroquine drug was produced from kolkata.
Source : Hindustan Times (Science & Technology)