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The Department of Chemistry is the largest department of the Institute and has lion's share in all-round academic and research activities. The training in the chemistry department at the Institute over more than 75 years has moulded the scientific careers of many scientists, senior chemists, technologists and entrepreneurs who are occupying high positions today in different walks of life. The first principal of the Institute Dr. C. J. J. Fox was a Professor of Chemistry. Since then, the Institute has been very fortunate to have a number of brilliant teachers and researchers such as Dr. A. N. Meldrum, Dr. T. S. Wheeler, Dr. R. C. Shah, Dr. G. V. Jadhav, Dr. A. B. Kulkarni, Dr. J. R. Merchant, Dr. R. N. Usgaonkar, Prof. Mata Prasad, Prof. S. M. Mehta, Prof. M. B. Kabadi, Prof. K. M. Joshi, Prof. B. C. Haldar, Prof. R. N. Merchant, Prof. V. S. Darshane and others.
The name of late Prof. B. C. Haldar, the former Head of the Chemistry Department and Ex-Director of the Institute of Science, requires a special mention. From the date of his appointment in 1960 to almost 20 years thereafter, he excelled in the entire department and gave it sound footing and shape in research. During his tenure, especially between 1971 and 1981, i.e. the period between the golden jubilee and the diamond jubilee of the Institute, the department attained glorious achievements, which were further continued during the post-diamond jubilee period.
Over the years, the Chemistry Department has hosted a number of conferences, symposia, seminars, workshops and lectures by eminent scientists on various frontier themes. The department has also been the venue for the UGC sponsored refresher course for college teachers in chemistry.