The Google Doodle today remembered India’s renowned scientist and founder of Indian Statistical Institute, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis on his 125th birthday. Fondly remembered for his theory of Mahalanobis distance, he was one of the leading members of the first Planning Commission of India. Reportedly, Mahalanobis was born into a family of intellectuals and reformists. His grandfather identified as Gurucharan use to run a chemist shop and also served as the treasurer and president of the Brahmo Samaj. The noted scientist went to West Bengal’s Calcutta to pursue his education at Brahmo Boys School. He then went to Presidency College located in the same state.
Indian scientist Mahalanobis was also an applied statistician. Several of his colleagues were also interested in the statistics and was willing to do research on the subject. Reportedly, an informal group was established in the Statistics Laboratory, located in its Presidential College in Calcutta, West Bengal.
On December 17, 1931, Mahalanobis conducted a meeting with Pramatha Nath Banerji who was the Professor of Economics at Minto, Nikhil Ranjan Sen, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Khaira and Sir R. N. Mukherji. Together, they established the Indian Statistics Institute and officially registered it on April 28, 1932, as a nonprofit academic distribution corporation under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.
Interestingly, Mahalanobis was taught by scores of famous scientists such as Jagadish Chandra Bose, and Prafulla Chandra Ray in Brahmo Boys School. He also received the degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics in the year 1912 and then went to the United Kingdom for obtaining higher education from the University of London in 1913.
If one looks back at the history, Mahalanobis also served as secretary to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Not only that, he also worked at Visva Bharati University as a professor for a couple of years. This scientist also bagged prestigious Padma Vibhushan from the governmentt in 1968 for his contribution to science and services to India.