Hon D Sc degree for architect of India''s first test baby

Written by: Pti
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Kolkata, Jan 15 (PTI) Premier research organisationIndian Statistical Institute today decided to confer anhonorary DSc degree posthumously on Dr Subhas Mukhopadhyay,who pioneered the country''s first and the world''s second testtube baby in 1978.

Unfortunately the path-breaking achievement ofMukhopadhyay was not recognised by the medical fraternity,which saddened the scientist so much that he committed suicidethree years later.

The Council, the highest policy-making body of the ISI,of which Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is thechairman, today decided at a meeting to confer the degree tothe scientist posthumously, sources in the ISI said.

The pioneer of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) technique,Mukhopadhyay created Durga (Kanupriya Agarwal) on October 3,1978, barely 67 days after British scientist Robert G Edwardswas able to bring to the world its first test tube baby.

Edwards was awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for 2010,while Mukhopadhyay died unsung on June 19, 1981 after hisfailure to convince the state government, which had set upan enquiry committee in the wake of the controversygenerated by his feat.

However, 15 years after his death, another Indian IVFspecialist delved into the notes Mukhopadhyay had left andgave him his due recognition in 1996 acknowledging that Durgawas indeed the country''s first test tube baby.

After October 4, 2010, when Edwards''s name was announcedfor the Nobel prize, a professor proposed to ISI''s academiccouncil to consider conferring the honorary degree toMukhopadhyay for his contribution to medical sciences, thesources said.

A committee which was formed to look into the feasibilityof the proposal recommended in its favour.

The recommendation was placed today before the Councilmeeting which okayed the proposal. Pranab Mukherjee and ISIDirector Prof Bimal K Roy were present at the meeting, thesources said.

Inspired by Mukhopadhyay''s life and death, filmmakerTapan Sinha had made a film, Ek Doctor Ki Maut (Death of adoctor) in 1991.

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