Mokarram Hussain Khundkar


Professor Dr. Mukarram Hussain Khundkar  (c. 1922 – 30 November 1972) was an eminent scientist and educationist. He was born in Faridpur district in 1922. He did his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from the University of Dhaka. He earned his PhD in chemistry from the University of Durham. Dr. Khundkar joined as a lecturer the Department of Chemistry, Dhaka University in 1944. He became the Reader of Chemistry in 1949 and was awarded professorship in 1960. From 1954‒1972, he headed the Department of Chemistry as well as acted as the Dean of Science Faculty.

Dr. Khundkar was a 'Raja Kali Narayan' scholar and was the recipient of the University gold medal of Dhaka University; Pakistan Academy of Sciences gold medal for his supreme contribution in research in Physical Sciences; Independence Day Award of the Government of Bangladesh (posthumous, 1973). He was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (FRIC) of Great Britain, Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), London, and Pakistan Academy of Sciences. He was one of the founding fellows of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences. Following the Independence of Bangladesh in 1972, Bangladesh Chemical Society was founded by faculty members of the University of Dhaka of which Dr. Khundkar played pioneering role.

The year 1948 was critical for Dhaka University because most of its teachers had migrated from the country. The university made frantic efforts to get teachers from abroad to meet the shortages in many departments including chemistry. The then Head of the Department of Chemistry, Professor J. Zernike from Holland, was new and not acquainted with the local conditions. Consequently, young Dr. Khundkar had to take up the task of rebuilding the Department and devoted all his energy to it, working with sincerity, zeal, and seriousness.

Dr. Khundkar was a dedicated researcher. To propagate his contributions in the field of chemistry, Dhaka University established the 'Professor Khundkar Chair' at the Department of Chemistry and built a science building named as 'Mukarram Hussain Khundkar Biggyan Bhaban'. One of the main buildings of the BCSIR is named as Khundkar Smriti Bhaban.

Dr. Khundkar was the member of sub-committee for Science and Technology of the Bangla Academy and the chairman of the Paribhasa Committee for Chemistry of the Central Board for the development of Bengali. He was one of the founding fellows of Bangladesh Academy of Sciences

Khundkar Memorial Lectures: The Department of Chemistry has been holding a Memorial Lecture every year since 1981, named the “Khundkar Memorial Lecture”, which was instituted by the syndicate of the University of Dhaka to perpetuate the memory of the Late Professor Mukarram Hussain Khundkar.Many distinguished Professors from Asia, Europe,USA, Canada, Australia, U.K., Germany, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and India have so far been invited by the University of Dhaka to come to the Department of Chemistry and deliver Memorial Lectures in their fields of specialization. In 2018, Gan Zhang delivered the Khundkar Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Fate of POPs in Asia and the Nexus” in the Department of Chemistry of Dhaka University. This was its 31st lecture.