Prasanna Kumar Roy

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Prasanna Kumar Roy
Native name প্রসন্ন কুমার রায়
Born 1849
Died 1932 (aged -18–-17)
Alma mater University of London
University of Edinburgh
Occupation academic
Spouse(s) Sarala Roy
Children Charulata Mukherjee
  • Shyam Sundar Ray (father)

Prasanna Kumar Roy (1849 – 1932; better known as Dr. PK Roy) was an educationist and the first Indian to be the principal of Presidency College, Kolkata.

Early life[edit]

The son of Shyam Sundar Ray, he belonged to a family originated from Subhaddya in Keraniganj, Dhaka (now in Bangladesh). He was a student of Pogose School in Dhaka. As he was attracted towards the Brahmo Samaj early in life he was turned out of his home. However, he won the Gilchrist Scholarship to go to England. He graduated from the University of London in 1873. He was awarded the D.Sc. degree in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh and the University of London in 1876. He and Ananda Mohan Bose got together to establish a Brahmo Samaj, Indian Association and a library in the United Kingdom.

Teaching career[edit]

On return to the country, he taught at Patna College, Dhaka College and Presidency College, Kolkata. He was the first Indian to serve as principal of Presidency College from 1902 to 1905. Thereafter, he became Registrar of the University of Calcutta and on retirement served as Inspector of Colleges under the University. He was posted to England for two years as education assistant to the Secretary for India.


Roy was married to Sarala, daughter of Durga Mohan Das. His daughter was Charulata Mukherjee, wife of Satish Chandra Mukherjee. Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee, central government minister Renuka Ray and Prasanta Mukherjee, a General Manager of the Bengal Nagpur Railways were his grandchildren. His other grandchildren, from his daughter Swarnalata, include three daughters, Kamala (married to B.C. Dutt, Accountant General of Bombay), Manorama and Anila (married to Satish Ranjan Khastgir, Khaira Professor of Physics, Calcutta University), and two sons, Akshay Kumar Bose and Jagat Kishore Bose. Manorama Bose was Chief Inspectress of Women's Education with the Government of West Bengal, and long-time principal of Rani Birla College for Girls, Calcutta.

He was active in the affairs of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. He was secretary of the Dhaka Brahmo Samaj, and secretary and president of Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, Kolkata, for some time. He and his wife used to stay or visit regularly Hazaribagh, which had a small Brahmo community.


  • Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) in Bengali edited by Subodh Chandra Sengupta and Anjali Bose.