Mahalanobis belonged to a family of Bengali landed gentry who lived in Bikrampur (now in Bangladesh). His grandfather Gurucharan (1833-1916) moved to Calcutta in 1854 and built up a business, starting a chemist shop in 1860. Gurucharan was influenced by Debendranath Tagore (1817-1905), father of the Nobel poet, Rabindranath Tagore. Gurucharan was actively involved in social movements such as the Brahmo Samaj, acting as its Treasurer and President. His house on 210 Cornwallis Street was the center of the Brahmo Samaj. Gurucharan married a widow against social traditions. His elder son Subodhchandra (1867-1954) was the father of P. C. Mahalanobis. He was a distinguished educationist who studied physiology at Edinburgh University and later became a Professor at the Presidency College became head of the department of Physiology. Subodhchandra also became a member of the Senate of the Calcutta University. Born in the house at 210 Cornwallis Street, P. C. Mahalanobis, grew up in a socially active family surrounded by intellectuals and reformers.
Mahalanobis received his early schooling at the Brahmo Boys School in Calcutta graduating in 1908. He then joined the Presidency College, Calcutta and received a B.Sc. degree with honours in physics in 1912. He left for England in 1913 to join Cambridge. He however missed a train and stayed with a friend at King's College, Cambridge. He was impressed by the Chapel there and his host's friend M. A. Candeth suggested that he could try joining there, which he did. He did well in his studies, but also took an interest in cross-country walking and punting on the river. He interacted with the mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan during the latter's time at Cambridge. After his Tripos in physics, Mahalanobis worked with C. T. R. Wilson at the Cavendish Laboratory. He took a short break and went to India and here he was introduced to the Principal of Presidency College and was invited to take classes in physics.
He went back to England and was introduced to the journal Biometrika. This interested him so much that he bought a complete set and took them to India. He discovered the utility of statistics to problems in meteorology, anthropology and began working on it on his journey back to India.
In Calcutta, Mahalanobis met Nirmalkumari, daughter of Herambhachandra Maitra, a leading educationist and member of the Brahmo Samaj. They married on 27 February 1923 although her father did not completely approve of it. The contention was partly due to Mahalanobis' opposition of various clauses in the membership of the student wing of the Brahmo Samaj, including restraining members from drinking and smoking. Sir Nilratan Sircar, P. C. Mahalanobis' uncle took part in the wedding ceremony in place of the father of the bride.
Mahanalobis Birth Day Celebrations - 2006
On account of 75th anniversary of ISI, this event was organized to highlight the contributions of P.C. Mahalanobis, who is the founder of ISI. Both the guests enlightened the students and shared their experiences by linking the academic curriculum with research and IT. Prof. Raghavender rao given ppt on Statistical model on Rocket launching process and Mr. Chandra shekar spoke on 6 sigma limits and quality assurance. Quiz and Paper presentations conducted prior to this. There was a healthy interaction between students and dignitaries.
Mahanalobis Birth Day Celebrations - 2007
Statistics day was observed on birth anniversary of P. C. Mahalanobis to highlight his contributions in the field of Statistics. Govt of India declared June 29 as Statistics day. Aurora is the only under graduate college conducted this event. Prof. A. L. N. Murthy delivered a lecture on life history of P. C. Mahanobis. IN connection to this the department conducted poster presentation to bring out the inner talents, in turn to help the students to develop and document their Statisical thinking.
Mahanalobis Birth Day Celebrations - 2008
Statistics day was observed on the birth anniversary day of P. C. Mahalanobis. Students have highlighted the crucial phases of P.C. Mahalanobis and his significant contributions in the field of Statistics by enacting a role play.
Mahanalobis Birth Day Celebrations - 2009
Statistics Day was celebrated by the Department of Statistics on 29th July at 10 a.m in Aurora’s Auditoriam in honour of Prof.P.C.Mahalanobis Birthday. Prior to this event the students have been educated on the life & contributions of P.C.Mahalanobis, through mails & talks in individual classrooms. Poster presentation competition was conducted on the application of statistics to data relating to real life problems. Only three teams were participated as they do not have enough time to collect the data. To encourage the participants only first prize was given, through evaluation made by the chief guest.