After scoring top rank in the Financial Civil Service competitive exam, he was appointed as a Deputy Accountant general in Calcutta. At the time of his graduation, there were few opportunities for scientists in India. This forced him to accept a position with the Indian Civil Services as an Assistant Accountant General in Calcutta. While there, he was able to sustain his interest in science by working, in his remaining time, in the laboratories of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. He studied the physics of stringed instruments and Indian drums.
In 1917, he was offered the professor of Physics at the Calcutta University, and he decided to accept this opportunity. After 15 years of service at the Calcutta University, he left that job and shifted to Bangalore and became the director of the Indian Institute of Science, where two years later he continued as a professor of physics.
In 1947, the new government of independent India appointed him as the first 'National Professor'. He also worked in the field of magnetic attraction and theory of musical instruments. He worked out the theory of transverse vibration of bowed strings, because of superposition velocities. This does a better job in explaining bowed string vibration over Helmholtzs approach.