Professor Bishwanath Chakraborty was born in Laheriasarai, Bihar on 12 July 1955 and obtained his B.Sc. (Hons.) in Botany from Mithila University in 1974 and M.Sc. in Botany specializing Mycology and Plant Pathology from the University of Calcutta in 1976, both in the First Class and subsequently obtained Ph.D. degree under the supervision of (Late) Professor R.P. Purkayastha from the University of Calcutta in 1982 and same year joined as Lecturer in Botany at St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling. In 1984, he joined the Department of Botany, University of North Bengal as Lecturer, became Professor in the year 1998 and holding this position to date. Having 32 years of Post Graduate teaching and 36 years of research experience in the field of Molecular Plant Pathology and Fungal Biotechnology, he has successfully completed several research projects funded by UGC, CSIR, ICAR, DST, DBT, DNES, Govt. of India as well as Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), London and contributed substantially to our knowledge in tackling various plant disease problems through novel technology. Published 141 research papers in International and reputed Indian journals, 23 chapters in books, 5 manuals and edited 7 book volumes. Guided students, 79 to M.Sc. and 30 to Ph.D. degrees in the area of Molecular Plant Pathology and Fungal Biotechnology. His leadership is responsible for developing a very active research group in the area of plant immunity in the University of North Bengal. He has been instrumental in establishing Immuno-Phytopathology Laboratory (www.iplnbu.ac.in), Tea Germplasm Bank, Antisera Reserves for Plant Pathogens, Disease Forecasting Unit, Mushroom Production Unit and Rural Bioresource Complex in North Bengal with financial support of DBT, Govt. of India.
He has been elected as Fellows of Indian Phytopathological Society (FPSI, 1993), West Bengal Academy of Science & Technology (FAScT, 2003); Indian Society of Mycology and Plant Pathology (FISMPP, 2004); International Society for Conservation of Natural Resources (FNRS, 2005); Royal Society of Chemistry, London (FRSC, 2006); Indian Society of Plantation Crops (FISPC, 2012): Mycological Society of India (FMSI, 2015); Indian Mycological Society (FIMS, 2016) and National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (FNAAS, 2016) in crop protection.
Professor Chakraborty has served as Zonal President (Eastern Chapter) of Indian Phytopathological Society during 1996; elected as Member in the Editorial Board for the Journal “Indian Phytopathology” during 2005 – 2007 and organized 38th Annual Conference of IPS at the University of North Bengal in 2006. He has also served as Zonal Councillor (East Zone) in 2009; Vice President in 2010 and elected as President of Indian Society of Mycology and Plant Pathology in 2012 and also served as Vice President of Crop Protection Federation. He has served as members in Agricultural Biotechnology Committee as well as Biodiversity Conservation and Environment Committee, West Bengal State Council of Biotechnology; West Bengal Biodiversity Board, Department of Environment, Govt. of West Bengal; State Micro-irrigation Committee, Department of Food Processing Industries & Horticulture, Govt. of West Bengal and Advisory Committee, UGC-Special Assistance Programme, Tezpur University, Assam. Presently he is the Councillor, International Society of Plant Pathology (2013-18) and Chairman, Regional Research Advisory Committee, Regional Sericultural Research Station, Kalimpong, Central Silk Board, Govt. of India (2013-18).
Professor Chakraborty was the recipient of DBT Long term Overseas Biotechnology Award,1989-1991; Dr. R.L. Narasimha Swamy Memorial Award, 1998; Prof. K.P.V. Menon award, 2003; Researcher Award, 2004; Ram Sakhi Devi Award, 2005; P.P. Singhal Memorial Pesticides India Award, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2014; Prof. K.S. Bilgrami Award, 2007, 2010, 2014; Prof. K. Natarajan Endowment Lecture Award, 2010; Prof. M.J. Narasimhan Medal, 2011; Dastur Memorial Lecture Award, 2011; P.R. Verma Award, 2013; Prof. R.P. Purkayastha Memorial Lecture Award, 2014; N. Prasad Memorial Lecture Award, 2014; Prof. A.K. Sinha Memorial Lecture Award, 2016; Prof. S.N. Banerjee Memorial Lecture Award, 2016.
In an administrative capacity, he has served as Professor and Head of the Department of Botany (1998-2000, 2014-15), Deputy Coordinator (2002-2007) and Programme Coordinator (2007-2012) for Special Assistance Programme of UGC in the thrust areas of Microbiology including Mycology and Plant Pathology in the Department. Dean, Faculty of Science, NBU two terms (2005-07, 2007-09); Director, Centre for Development Studies as well as Vice Chairman, Centre for Floriculture and Agrobusiness Management, NBU (2005-2009) in this University.
He has visited several countries viz, Japan (1988, 2004), Canada (1989-91), USA (1990), Australia (1995), New Zealand (2003), Russia (2007), UK (2007, 2008, 2009), Germany (2009), Italy (2009), Singapore (2012), Malaysia (2012) and China (2013) for attending International Congress of Plant Pathology and established research collaboration with International Institutions in the area of Metabolomics and Fungal Biotechnology.