Nalini Ranjan Sarkar
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Nalini Ranjan Sarker (Bengali: নলিনী রঞ্জন সরকার) (1882–25 January 1953) was an Indian businessman, industrialist, economist, public leader, and was greatly involved in the political and economic regeneration of Bengal. He was Finance Minister of West Bengal in 1948. The Sarkar Committee Report was instrumental in the subsequent establishment of establish the five Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) by the Government of India.
Early life and education
He was born in a middle class Kayastha family from Kendua of greater Mymensingh district (now Netrokona District, Bangladesh), British India. After passing the Entrance Examination in 1902 from the Pogose School, Dhaka, he joined the Jagannath College in Dhaka. Subsequently, he joined the City College, Calcutta, of the University of Calcutta but could not continue his studies for financial reasons.
Sarker had close contacts with Surendranath Banerjee, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Motilal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Chittaranjan Das, which developed his ideas related to nationalism and economic freedom. He joined the movement against the partition of Bengal in 1905. In later years, influenced by Gandhi's ideas of non-violence, he participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920.
In the early 1920s, when C. R. Das and Motilal Nehru founded the Swarajya Party, he joined it and soon became one of its leaders. He was, at the same time, involved with the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee. He was also a member of the Bengal Legislative Council from 1923 to 1930 and again from 1937 to 1946 as well as Chief Whip of the parliamentary Swarajya Party in Bengal. In the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress in 1928, he acted as the Secretary of the Exhibition organised for the occasion. Following the death of CR Das, he with Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy, Nirmal Chandra Chunder, Sarat Chandra Bose and Tulsi Chandra Goswami dominated the Congress movement in Bengal and constituted what was known as the "Big Five" of the Bengal Congress. He was elected a Councillor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation in 1932 and became its Mayor in 1935. His cousin Dr.Dhirendra Nath Sarker also involved with his activities.
From 1935 to 1953
In 1936, he with A. K. Fazlul Huq organised the Krishak Praja Party and in 1937 joined the first Huq ministry as the Finance Minister. In 1938, he resigned, but later joined the reconstituted ministry. In 1939, he resigned again, expressing his disappointment with the change in the outlook of the cabinet. He joined the Viceroy's Executive Council (1941–42) first as Member in charge of Education, Health and Lands and then as the person in charge of Commerce, Industry and Food. In 1943, he resigned protesting the detention of Gandhi. He was Finance Minister of West Bengal in 1948 and retired from politics in 1952 after officiating as Chief Minister of West Bengal for a few months in 1949.
In 1911, he entered the Hindusthan Cooperative Insurance Society and from a humble position rose to the high position of its general manager and ultimately became its President, a position he held till his death. He was also the President of both the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in 1933 & the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and member of Consultation Committee for revision of Company Law, Central Banking Enquiry Committee, Board of Income Tax Referees, Railway Retrenchment Committee, Separation Council and Board of Economic Enquiry, Research Utilisation Committee and Central Jute Committee. He was a delegate to the Indo-Japanese Trade Conference in 1923. He was also a Commissioner of the Calcutta port and a trustee of the Chittaranjan Seva Sadan.
He also acted as the Vice-President of National Council of Education, Bengal, and contributed to the spread of education in India. He was made a Fellow of the Calcutta University Senate in 1934, a Member of the Court of the University of Dacca in 1940–41 and the President of Presidency College Governing Body in 1942. He was the Pro-Chancellor of Delhi University during the period 1941–42 as well as Banaras Hindu University. He also served as the Chairman of the All India Council of Technical Education during 1946 – 1952. It was the Nalini Ranjan Sarkar committee that recommended the set up of IIT's, along the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
He died on 25 January 1953 of a heart attack at his home in Kolkata (then Calcutta), at the age of 70
- "Dreaming up the IITs". Business Line. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- S.N. Das (2002). The Bengalis: the people, their history, and culture. Bengali renaissance. Cosmo Publications. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "Calcutta Mayor's advice to our City Fathers". The Indian Express. 27 August 1934. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- (http://books.google.co.in/books?id=vKsVPua_E6sC&pg=PR3&lpg=PR3&dq=Arabinda+Biswas+and+S+P+Agarwal,+Development+of+Education+in+India+a,+s+historial+survey+of&source=bl&ots=EbtzAELnoO&sig=SSlghafXumyyuiyrXKGdTTARK3M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PqNuT6yuPMjHrQfRwtCgDg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false, pp 319 – 321)
- History Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur.
- "Nalini R. Sarker, 70, Economist in India". New York Times. 26 January 1953. Retrieved 4 June 2013.