Dr. Rabindra Kumar Nanda was the first faculty member of the Department who joined as a lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry on 18 August 1967 and took the lead to start this Department. Prior to that, he served the Odisha Education Department as a lecturer in Chemistry at Ravenshaw College, Cuttack for a period of 15 years (1952–1967). He was Reader in Chemistry in this department in 1968 and became professor and Head in the year 1981 and superannuated in the same position on 31.08.1990. Prof. Nanda was involved in the academic activities of the Utkal and other universities of the state in different capacities. As a Commonwealth Scholar, he carried out research at the University of Sheffield, and University College London, UK during 1963–1965 and also was an Indo-US Fulbright Fellow in 1980 at Texas A & M University, USA. During his tenure as Professor and Head of the Department, he took a keen interest in developing excellent infrastructure for research through funding from DST, UGC, CSIR. More than 100 publications in International and National Peer-reviewed journals are to his credit and 12 scholars have been awarded Ph.D. under his direct supervision. He is a life member of the Indian Chemical Society and Odisha Bigyan Academy and was honoured for his contributions to Chemistry by the Academy. The Indian Chemical Society has honoured him with Sir J. C. Bose Memorial Award for his contributions to Chemistry. He was also the president of Orissa Chemical Society. He is a frequent visitor to this department which he could build up and nurture with care. Prof. Nanda left for his heavenly abode on April 6, 2018.