India’s First Female Scientist- Woman of Science

Since days of yore, India is acclaimed for its rich contribution to the field of science and arithmetic. The concept of ‘Zero’ as a number was the creation of a distinguished mathematician of ancient India. India’s rich history is packed with examples of a few extraordinary researchers who have carried enormous pride to the country.

There are a few researchers who have contributed fundamentally to different orders of Science. However, in this article, we will talk about someone whose life is a good example for all young women who try to make an imprint in the field of science and innovation.

We are talking about India’s first female scientist ‘Asima Chatterjee’, the absolute greatest researcher ever.

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Early life

Born on 23 September 1917 in Bengal, Asmi Chatterjee was an Indian chemist regarded for her contributions in the fields of organic chemistry and phytomedicine.  She grew up in Calcutta, attended school and subsequently enrolled at the Scottish Church College, of the University of Calcutta, and graduated with honours in chemistry in 1936.

Her several well-known works involve research on vinca alkaloids, and the development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs.

Asima’s original last name was Mookerjee. She experienced childhood in a middle-class family in Calcutta and was the oldest amongst the children of Dr. Indra Narayan Mookerjee and his wife Kamala Devi.

Her younger sibling, Sarashi Ranjan Mookerjee, additionally came to know as a requisite specialist and teamed up with Asima in her research on therapeutic plants. It was her dad’s love for phytology that moved Asima’s passion for their medicinal properties.

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Her parents never stopped her from pursuing education. She finished her graduation with honours in chemistry from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta in 1936. She proceeded onward to got a graduate degree in organic chemistry in 1938 from the University of Calcutta.

Professional Achievements

She became the second lady after Janaki Ammal to win a Doctorate of Science by an Indian University, i.e the the University of Calcutta in 1944. She researched natural products chemistry created a driving anti-convulsive, anti-malarial, and chemotherapy drugs.

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One of her successful anti-epileptic drug ‘Ayush-56’ was created from Marsilia minuta, while her anti-malarial drug was created from Alstonia scholaris, Swrrtia chirata, Picrorphiza kurroa and Ceasalpinna crista.

She spent 40 years studying a class of compounds called alkaloids. A portion of these alkaloids is proficiently used during chemotherapy to counteract the addition of cells in cancer patients. These licensed medications have been generally promoted by a few organizations.

An Inspiration to Many

Asima Chatterjee was recognized by colleges everywhere in the world. Her sensational devotions have won her different honors. One of the best was India’s most prestige award Padma Bhushan.

In 1975 she became the first lady to be chosen the general president of the Indian Science Congress.

She won a few esteemed awards, for example, the S.S. Bhatnagar Award, the C.V. Raman grant, and the P.C. Beam grant. She was additionally selected to the upper house of Parliament.


She was and still is an inspiration to many young girls out there who want to achieve great heights, not just in the field of science but in the profession they love. May we have more woman like her to encourage us every day. 


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