About The Department

Vision:The Department of Chemistry at the Presidency University is dedicated to enhance its reputation as a centre of excellence in teaching, research and innovation. The Department aims to provide a nice intellectual environment for the curious and inventive youngsters to pursue their career in academics and industries.


● To develop scientific attitude for addressing various socio-economic problems

● To provide skill based and value added education for generating human resource

● To translate the scientific knowledge towards revenue generation

● To promote multi/inter disciplinary curriculum through choice based learning

● To inspire the students for innovative, fundamental and application oriented research

● To collaborate with renowned scientific institutes across the world, such as IITs, IISERs, SNBNCBS, RIKEN, Tangji University for conducting research in frontier areas of chemical sciences

History:The history of the Department of Chemistry at Presidency University (erstwhile Presidency College) dates back to 1874. In 1873, Sir George Cambell, administrator of Bengal, took steps to disseminate scientific learning in Bengal and consequently, Alexander Pedler was appointed as professor of Chemistry at Presidency College in 1874. The pre-eminence of the chemistry Department in Presidency College is due to Alexander Pedler. He arranged various chemical apparatus and started practical classes in 1875. It was from that time, chemistry, as understood in the west, came to be taught and studied in India. An exclusive degree in science with full recognition began as a result of the persistent pressure given by Sir Pedlar and Sir J. Eliot to the Senate. When Sir Pedler joined his duties, the premises occupied by the Presidency College were under construction and the classes were held in the rented rooms of the Albert Hall. After the relocation of the Presidency College to the new building in 1874, the chemistry Department was located at the ground floor of the one-storied house (main building, inaugurated in the month of March, 1874) in the north-eastern end of the present campus. Then the chemical laboratory at that place slowly grew up to meet the requirements of the time. In 1889 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray too joined Presidency College at the age of 28. Within a few years of joining Presidency, Acharya P. C. Ray realised that scientific research was a powerful tool for combatting colonial bondage. Sadly, colonial administrators of the time did not realize that research cannot be carried out without a properly equipped laboratory. For a long time he worked without a basic facility, like fume hood. In spite of such infrastructural drawbacks, he succeeded in creating a new and novel method of teaching and systematic and sustainable research in Chemistry. Actually, Sir Alexander Pedler and Sir P.C. Ray played a pivotal role in shaping early traditions of research and teaching at Presidency College, the foundations of which continue till the present day.

Innovative research and quality teaching are the key directions of the Department of Chemistry at Presidency University, Kolkata from her maiden day of establishment. To fly the flag of heritage, this Department is preserving her golden history, and simultaneously, would like to be associated with the community of modern science and technology. Over the years, a number of renowned and illustrious figures have been associated with the Department as faculty and as students including Upendranath Brahmachari, Priyada Ranjan Ray, Pulin Behari Sarkar, Jogendra Chandra Bardhan, Suresh Chandra Sengupta, Jnanendra Nath Mukherjee. The Department has, to its credit, a long list of prestigious Bhatnagar awardees which includes more than 10 scienctists.

The department offers three-year undergraduate courses in Chemistry (intake capacity: Chemistry – 53), two-year postgraduate courses in Chemistry (intake capacity: 38) and Ph.D. programme. The diverse qualifications of the faculty ensure expertise in all the traditional subdisciplines of chemistry as well as in various interdisciplinary areas. Recently, we are going through a paradigm-shift in the national education policy. The newly introduced National Education Policy – 2020 (NEP-2020) aims to provide a more holistic, flexible, and multidisciplinary curriculum to the students to bring out the unique capabilities of each student. The NEP-2020 has put a great emphasis on the research, skill enhancement courses and courses which promotes employability.

The vibrant and enthusiastic faculty members (17) of this Department have great proficiency in contemporary research fields from fundamental insights to industrial applications. A large number of students are now working for their Ph.D degree under the supervision of faculty members of the department. The research programs currently pursued mainly belong to the following areas: synthetic organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, photoluminescence spectroscopy, electronic structure theory, polymer chemistry, polyelectrolyte chemistry, surface active ionic liquids, nanomaterials and nanocomposites, spectroscopy of biomolecules, synthetic inorganic chemistry, energy storage device, analytical and environmental chemistry. Therefore, the Department of Chemistry is going to channelize their intellectual resources into different thrust research angles that are scientifically challenging and technologically innovative, those address the real-life social issues (such as, water remediation towards sustainable environment; development of high-performance energy storage/harvesting systems using green and cost-effective approaches, catalyst designing through computational and synthetic approaches, synthesis, functionalization and spectroscopic studies of luminescent magnetic grapheme based nanomaterials for label free detection of biomarker, drug design and delivery etc.) along with the development of scientific insights on those problems.

Due to the support of the University and the departmental faculty's continued success in attracting external research funding from various agencies including the Department of Science & Technology, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, University Grants’ Commission, the Department possesses a wide variety of modern instrumentation (Steady State Spectrofluorimeter, UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometer, Cyclic Voltameter, HPLC Systems, Chromatography System) and specialized softwares. It is currently a DST-FIST sponsored department. DST-FIST funded NMR (400 MHZ, Model: Bruker Avance 400) has been installed in 2018 for the benefit of the ongoing research. The instrument is running well and the facility is currently utilized by research scholars working within Presidency University. Recently the NMR facility has been extended to others on a payment basis as mentioned in the chart.

There is an excellent friendly atmosphere in the department. Faculty members are available as academic advisers and hold office hours for consultation about their courses; they are also willing to discuss chemistry, science, career opportunities.

How to Find Us

Presidency University
(Main Campus)

86/1 College Street
Kolkata 700073

Presidency University
(2nd Campus)

Plot No. DG/02/02,
Premises No. 14-0358, Action Area-ID
New Town
(Near Biswa Bangla Convention Centre)
Contact details Presidency University Students Corner