After receiving Master's degree in Geology from Patna University, Arabinda Mitra started his career in 1985 as a research scholar in the Dept. of Geology, Delhi University. In 1987 he joined the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India as a Scientific Officer and was involved in survey and exploration geology of the Himalayas.
In 1988 he was awarded the Cambridge Nehru Fellowship to pursue PhD in Earth Sciences at University of Cambridge, UK. The project work was carried out jointly with MIT, USA in REE geochemistry of mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. His research work has been published in international journals like Nature, Marine Chemistry, Geo-chimica Cosmo-chimica Acta, and Journal of Remote Sensing etc.
In 1993, Dr. Mitra was appointed as Senior Scientific Officer in the Indian Antarctic Program of the Department of Ocean Development. He has to his credit the planning and launching of several multi-disciplinary experiments in Antarctica and inducting a strong element of international cooperation in the program. He was nominated as Indian representative to international Antarctic Treaty bodies like SCAR & COMNAP.
In 1998, Dr. Mitra moved to the National Centre for Polar & Ocean Research at Goa, in the capacity of Program Manager, Science. He played a seminal role in formulating the long-term science strategy of the Indian Antarctic mission and also established the low temperature ice core study laboratory.
In the course of the above assignments, he has won several academic awards like the ORS Award of UK; Bursary Award of St. Edmund’s College UK; JSPS Award of Japan and was also elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society, London. He has been a member of the Indian expedition to Antarctica and has undertaken scientific cruises to the Indian, Atlantic & Southern Oceans and the East Sea.
In 2001, he joined as Scientist-F in the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. He proficiently enriched the scope and contents of the DST-NSF cooperation. In Nov 2004, he was confirmed as the first Executive Director of the bi-national Indo-US Science and Technology Forum. He was able to bring a paradigm shift in the Indo-American cooperation in science, technology and innovation by bridging academic, research and industrial enterprises of both countries.
In Aug 2011, Arabinda Mitra took over the responsibilities of Adviser & Head of International Bilateral Cooperation Division of the Department of Science & Technology. This job portfolio involved overseeing India's international science, technology and innovation engagements with 44 countries across the globe.
In June 2018, Dr. Mitra was appointed as the Scientific Secretary in the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.