Google today is honouring Prashant Chandra Mahalanobis by celebrating the 125th birth anniversary with Google Doodle.
He was an Indian scientist and applied statistician. He was known as the father of Indian Statistical Research but he is remembered the most for his Mahalanobis Distance theory.
Prashant was born on 29th June 1893. He did his early schooling at Brahmo Boys School at Calcutta and graduated in 1908. Then he joined the Presidency College of Calcutta where he was taught by Teachers like Jagdish Chandra Bose and Prafulla Chandra Ray. Whereas his juniors included Founder of Ionisation Equation Mr Meghnad Saha and Legendary Subhas Chandra Bose. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1912 and in 1913 he left for England to join the University of London.
After missing a train he stayed with a friend at Kings College Cambridge. He was so much impressed by his friend and Kings College chapel that he joined Kings College only. He did well in his studies at kings. Prashant also took interest in cross–country programs. He was fortunate enough to meet and interact with mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan during the latter’s time at Cambridge.
Days of Success
After his Tripos in physics Mahalanobis worked with C. T. R. Wilson at the Cavendish Laboratory. He took a break and came back to India where he taught for a while in Presidency College. Many of his colleagues took an interest in statistics. An informal group developed in the Statistical Laboratory, which was located in his room at the Presidency College. He further enhanced that foundation and established it as Indian Statistical Institute and formally registered it on 28th April 1932. Now ISI is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions focused on statistics in India. In later life, he also contributed to the First planning commission of free India. Prashant was also Statistical Advisor to the Cabinet of the Government of India.
He was honoured with Padma Vibhushan in 1968 he died on 28th June 1972 a day before his 79th Birthday. He was so dedicated that at this age also he was still working and continued his research work. The government of India decided in 2006 to celebrate his birthday, 29 June, as National Statistical Day