Foundation Day Celebration
On 14th August 1950 our Association was established by Late Prof. B. M. Das and on the 14th August of each year, we celebrate our Foundation Day when the prestigious B. M. Das Memorial Lecture is delivered by a distinguished person since 1970.
Biography of Prof. B. M. Das
Prof. Biraj Mohan Das, father of modern tanning industry in India was born in Faridpur in undivided Bengal in 1885. He had a brilliant academic career and stood first class first in M.A. degree in Chemistry from Presidency College, Calcutta, in 1907. His sincerity, talent and intelligence attracted Acharya P.C. Roy, Head of the Department of Chemistry, Presidency College and Acharya P.C. Roy provided an opening for Mr. Das in Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceutical works, the premier chemical factory in India founded a few years back by him.
Young Das under the guidance of Acharya P.C. Roy evolved an easy process for the manufacture of commercial sulphuric acid. Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, great architect of modern Bengal awarded Mr. Das the Guru Prasanna Ghosh Scholarship to study Leather Chemistry and Technology in Leeds University in 1909. He took M. Sc. Degree in 1911 with great credit.
He was not only a scholar but a firm believer of translating his theoretical knowledge in to practice in the field of leather manufacture to establish Leather Industry in India in a scientific line. With this idea in mind he proceeded to Germany after completing his studies in the University of Leeds and worked with Fredric Bayer and went to Italy to get thorough idea in leather technology and processing of leather. In the process he learnt German and Italian. He returned to India in early 1914 before world war started.
He joined National Tannery, the first chrome tannery in this part of India. He was instrumental in putting this tannery on a sound footing. Professor Das a great visionary realized that the Indian Tanning Industry should be expanded and brought to a scientific line through application of modern technology.
He was one of the founders of Bengal Tanning Institute, now known as Govt. College of Engineering and Leather Technology. The idea was mooted out by Dr. Nil Ratan Sarkar, a nationalist who founded Calcutta Research Tannery in 1914 to start with and later named it Bengal Tanning Institute. He was instrumental in taking the lead in attracting educated young men to this demeaning profession and later on, his pupils were the experts and pioneers in setting leather industry in whole of India, and in education and research abroad also. The pioneering work of the institute in leather research conducted under his guidance solved many problems and brought out improvement of the quality of leather in various disciplines in Indian Leather Industry.
He was a scientist and a practical tanner, loved, admired and respected by stalwarts of leather field all over the world. Prof. Das was appointed first Director of Central Leather Research Institute in 1953 and set the ball rolling for its success in having various facets of leather technology for research. It has become one of the biggest in the world. Another pioneering activity of Prof. Das was organization of the first symposium ever held in the history of leather industry in India.
Realizing the importance of establishing an Indian Association of Leather Technologists’, Prof. Das gave a clarion call. As a result, with the initiative of some prominent leather technologists’, Indian Leather Technologists’ Association was born in May 1950. Prof. B. M. Das was the founder President of this Association to spread technology awareness education and fraternity amongst the technologists’.
The life of this legendary man, dedicated to the service of leather industry, came to an end in September 6, 1956 in harness.
Renowned Personalities who delivered B. M. Das Memorial Lecture
1970 Dr. A. Nordwig of the Max Planck Institute
1972 Prof. J. J. Ghosh of the Calcutta University
1973 Mr. George Donath of Stahl Chemicals (G.B) Ltd.
1975 Prof. M. M. Chakraborty of the Deptt. Of Applied Chemistry, University College of Science & Technology, Calcutta.
1976 Mr. A.Z. M.O. Gani of Savera & Co. Ltd.
1977 Dr. Z. Kotasek
1978 Dr. S. N. Bhattacharjee, Director Bose Institute.
1979 Prof. N. K. Bose, Head of the Department of Applied Chemistry of Calcutta University.
1980 Dr. S. K. Mukherjee a former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.
1981 Dr. R. K. Poddar, Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.
1982 Prof. Dr. B. D. Nag Chaudhuri former Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
1983 B. C. Mazumder, Vice-President, ILTA.
1984 T. S. Krishnan, Acting Director, CLRI.
1985 Dr. G. Thyagarajan, Director, CLRI
1986 Dr. Z. Kotasek
1987 A. Sahasranaman
1988 Dr. R. B. Mitra, Director, CLRI,
1989 Dr. K. V. Raghavan, Dy. Director, CLRI.
1994 Dr. T. Ramasami, Dy. Director, CLRI.
1996 Mr. Dilip Banerjee
1997 G. Roy Chowdhury
1998 Dr. B. Sen
1999 Debabrata Mukherjee
2000 Prof. A. N. Basu, Vice-Chancellor, Jadavpur University.
2001 Sri Buddhadeb Chattopadhyay
2002 Dr. Soumitra Sengupta, Deptt. of Theoritical Physic; Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science.
2003 Dr. J. Raghava Rao, CLRI.
2004 Dr. S. N. Kaul, Director Grade Scientist, Neeri, Nagpur
2005 Dr. Dileep Wakankar, General Manager, R & D and Product Safety, Clariant (India) Ltd. Mumbai
2006 Dr. C. Rajkhowa, Director, National Research Centre on Mithun, Jharnapani, Medziphema, Nagaland.
2007 Dr. A. . Mondal, Acting Director, CLRI.
2008 Dr. H. S. Maity, Director, Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute, Jadavpur.
2009 Mr. O.K. Kaul, Executive Director of Tata International Ltd, Mumbai.
2010 Padmasree Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
2011 Dr. B.U.Nair, Director, Grade Scientist of CLRI, Chennai.
2012 Md. Sadiq, CSIR-CLRI
2013 Prof. Shyamal Chakraborti, Department of Chemistry, Calcutta University
2014 Dr. C. Muralidharan, Chief Scientist of CSIR-CLRI
2015 Dr. Buddhadeb Chatopadhyay, Principal, GCELT
2016 Dr. B. Chandrasekaran, Director, CSIR – CLRI