Dr. Moti Lal Dhar
well renowned scientist of the country
by Dr. B.N. Sharga)
Dr. Moti Lal Dhar was born on 22nd October
1914 in his ancestral house situated in Gund-andar locality near Nai Sarak
in Srinagar district of the Kashmir valley in a middle class Kashmiri Pandit
family. He passed his Intermediate examination from Sri Pratap College
in Ist Division and got the scholarship of the J&K government fro further
studies. As there was no provision for higher studies in Science in the
Kashmir valley at that time, he went to Lahore in Punjab province, to pursue
his higher studies in Science.
Dr. Dhar, after completing his post graduation course in Organic
Chemistry from the Punjab University, obtaining first position, went to
England in 1938 for his doctorate. He completed his Ph.D. thesis in Chemistry
in a record time of 15 months. He was the first Kashmiri Pandit from
the Kashmir valley who obtained a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the London
University in 1940. He was then selected as the Chief Chemist and
Works Manager of the newly established Drug Research Laboratory at Jammu.
In 1950, Dr. Dhar came from Jammu to Lucknow and was made Head
of the Medicinal Chemistry Department of the Central Drug Research Institute
(CSIR). In 1963, Dr. Dhar became the Director of Central Drug Research
Dr. Dhar, after his retirement as the Director of C.D.R.I. of
Lucknow, became the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute
of Technology, Kanpur in 1975. He was made the Vice Chancellor of Banaras
Hindu University, Varanasi on 2nd February 1977. He resigned from this
post on 15th December 1977 being fed up with too much of politicking connected
with this post, which was quite contrary to his nature.
The government of India honoured Dr. M.L.Dhar with the coveted
civilian title Padma Shree in 1971 for his epoch making research in the
field of Medicinal Chemistry, especially Chemotherapy. Dr. Dhar passed
away after a protracted illness on 20th January 2002 at the ripe age of
88 years in New Delhi.