Short Essay on Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee


Ashutosh was born in Calcutta on 29 June, 1864. His father’s name was Gangaprasad Mookherjee. Ashutosh had his early education in Calcutta. From his childhood, he was fond of reading books on various subjects.

After passing all his school and college examinations very successfully, and receiving scholarships, Ashutosh obtained his M.A. degree, both in Mathematics and Physical Science (Physics).

As Ashutosh wanted to be financially independent, he studied law, and took his B.L. degree from the City College, Calcutta, and won the ‘Tagore Law Gold Medal’ for three successive years: 1884, 1885 and 1886.


In 1894, Ashutosh was the recipient of the ‘Doctor of Law’ and was appointed the Tagore Law Professor in 1897 in the Calcutta University. He had then published a book, The Law of Perpetuities in British India.

In 1888, Ashutosh Mookherjee started practicing as a Vakil (Advocate) at the Calcutta High Court. And later, he was appointed a judge in the Calcutta High Court in 1904. |

In 1906, Ashutosh was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University, and he continued to hold the post for eight years (1906-1914). Again in 1921, the Government appointed him the Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University.

As the Vice-Chancellor, Ashutosh picked up the brilliant scholars from all over India to decorate the universi­ty with perfect jewels, who were none but C.V. Raman, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Sir P. C. Ray, Brojendranath Seal and many other similar talents. No other Vice-Chancellor made any such attempt so sincerely and so energetically for the benefit of the students and the educational institutions as he did.


It is Ashutosh who first introduced teaching classes in various subjects in the university, which was previously nothing but an organ for conducting examinations and con­trolling the schools and colleges affiliated under it. His examples were, in later days, followed by other universities of India.

Ashutosh Mookherjee was honored by the British Crown with the title of ‘Sir’; he was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, a fellow of the Edinburgh Royal Society, and that of Royal Astronomical Society, Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Member of the Mathematical Societies of London, Edinburgh, Paris, Palermo and New York. Besides, he founded the Calcutta Mathematical Society in 1908, and continued to be its President from the beginning until his death on 25 May, 1924.

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