Sisir Kumar Mitra obtained his DSc (1923) from University of Calcutta specializing in radio physics, wireless, industrial research. He served as Khaira Professor (1923), Sir Rashbehary Ghose Professor and Head, Department of Physics, University of Calcutta, Kolkata. He was later National Research Professor at University of Calcutta.
Academic and Research Achievements: Side by side with developing teaching and research facilites, Mitra took interest in the development of broadcasting in India in its early stages. Constructed a radio transmitter and installed it in his laboratory. Strengthened his research school by installing a field station for ionospheric work at Haringhata, the first ionosphere field station of its kind in India. In the early forties, Mitra tackled the problem of active nitrogen and explained the luminescence of the night sky. Although his main interest was in fundamental research, he recognized the need for industrial research. His laboratory manufactured radio sets, microphones, loudspeakers and electron tubes using indigenous raw materials.
Other Contributions: Mitra founded the Institute of Radio Physics and Electronics (1949) at University of Calcutta. He introduced wireless as a special subject in MSc course of the University. Mitra was the Chairman, Radio Research Committee (CSIR); Member, Indian National Committee for International Geophysical Year.
Awards and Honours: Mitra received the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935); Joy Kissen Mukherjee Gold Medal (Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science) (1943); Indian Science Congress Medal (Asiatic Society) (1956); Sir Deva Prasad Surbadhikary Gold Medal (University of Calcutta) (1961); Padma Bhushan (1962). He was a Fellow, Royal Society of London; President, Asiatic Society (1951-52); President, INSA (1959-60).
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted the ‘Sisir Kumar Mitra Memorial Lecture Award’ in his honour.