From 1941 to 1952 he taught English Literature at Allahabad University and then spent two years at Cambridge University, at St Catharines College. There he studied with the famous English literature don, Thomas Rice Henn, and received a doctorate in English Literature for his work on the Irish poet W.B. Yeats and Occultism. It was there that he used Bachchan as his last name instead of Srivastava. He was the second Indian to get his doctorate in English literature from Cambridge University.After returning to India, he taught briefly and then worked as a producer for All India Radio, Mumbai. In 1955, he moved to Delhi to join the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India and there he was closely involved with the evolution of Hindi as the official language of India.