Mrinal Kumar Dasgupta, who specialized in radio astronomy and solar-terrestrial Physics and electronics, obtained his PhD in 1954, from the University of Manchester. He was the Course Director, Postgraduate Diploma in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, Birla Planetarium, Kolkata. He was Professor (1968-88) and Head (1976-80), at the Centre of Advanced Study in Radio Physics and Electronics, University of Calcutta. He served as Senior Scientist of INSA from 1988 to 1991.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dasgupta’s early pioneering contributions (with Jennison) were to the design, fabrication and successful operation of the first, long base-line post detector correlation radio interferometer using a radio link, now popularly known as an ‘intensity-interferometer’ first conceived by R. Hanbury Brown. Using this interferometer, he (with Jennison) measured the apparent angular structures of two strong radio sources – CYGNUS A and CASS A for the first time. Resolution of the double structure of CYG A played a basic role in subsequent developments in radio astronomy.
Other Contributions: Dasgupta served on the editorial boards of various journals, Pramana, Indian Journal Physics, Science and Culture, Indian Journal of Radio Space Physics, Mahaviswa, Mausam and Jnan-O-Bijnan. He was a regular broadcaster of science programmes on radio and television, and wrote more than 50 popular science articles both in English and Bengali. He was elected the Chairman of the Indian National Commission for Solar-Terrestrial Physics (1978-80) and was a Member of the Advisory Committee on Space from 1979 to 1983 in the Research Councils of National Physical Laboratory and Raman Research Institute.
Awards and Honours: Mrinal Kumar Dasgupta was a recipient of the SK Mitra Memorial Lecture Award of INSA (1990). He was elected President, Engineering Sciences Section of the Indian Science Congress. He was a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers (India), and presided over the Indian Astronomical Society in 1990.