Active Stocks
Fri Apr 12 2024 15:57:45
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 163.50 -1.00%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 362.00 -0.32%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 430.10 -1.56%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,518.90 -1.10%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 766.75 -1.57%
Business News/ News / MS Swaminathan, father of Green Revolution, to be awarded Bharat Ratna: All about the agronomist
BackBack

MS Swaminathan, father of Green Revolution, to be awarded Bharat Ratna: All about the agronomist

Swaminathan, who played an instrumental role in ushering in the Green Revolution, was conferred the highest civilian award in the country posthumously, along with former prime ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao.

MS Swaminathan. Handout Image/filePremium
MS Swaminathan. Handout Image/file

Eminent agronomist and agricultural scientist Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan will be conferred the prestigious Bharat Ratna award for his unparalleled contributions to Indian agriculture and farmers' welfare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on February 9.

Swaminathan, who played an instrumental role in ushering in the Green Revolution, will be conferred the highest civilian award in the country posthumously, along with former prime ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh and PV Narasimha Rao.

The globally recognised agricultural scientist steered India towards self-sufficiency in food production.

Early Life

Born in Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency, on August 7, 1925, Swaminathan was the second son of general surgeon MK Sambasivan and Parvati Thangammal Sambasivan.

Swaminathan, after witnessing the impacts of the Bengal famine of 1943 during the Second World War, decided to devote his life to ensuring India had enough food. He chose agriculture, despite his family background belonging to medicine and engineering.

In 1944, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Madras and then moved to the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi to study genetics and plant breeding. He obtained a post-graduate degree with high distinction in cytogenetics in 1949. Then in 1950, he moved to study at the Plant Breeding Institute of the University of Cambridge School of Agriculture and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1952.

ALSO READ: Former PM, Cong leader PV Narasimha Rao to be awarded Bharat Ratna; PM Modi, 'he opened India to global markets'

Professional life

After doing his post-doctoral research associateship at the University of Wisconsin's Laboratory of Genetics in the US, Swaminathan returned to India in 1954.

With being critical of India importing food grains when 70 per cent of India was dependent on agriculture, Swaminathan along with Nobel Prize winner American agronomist toured India and developed new crop varieties.

Thanks to the efforts of the duo, the government declared India self-sufficient in food production in 1971.

After this, Swaminathan was appointed as the director-general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and a secretary to the Government of India.

He was made the first Asian director general of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines in 1982, where he stayed till 1988. In 1984, he became the president and vice-president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and World Wildlife Fund.

Awards, contributions, and achievements

He was awarded the first World Food Prize in 1987 and the prize money was used to set up the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation.

He established the Nuclear Research Laboratory at the IARI and played a role in promoting the setting up of the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India, the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (now known as Bioversity International) in Italy, and the International Council for Research in Agro-Forestry in Kenya.

Swaminathan co-chaired the United Nations Millennium Project on hunger from 2002 to 2005 and was head of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs between 2002 and 2007.

He was the chair of the National Commission on Farmers constituted in 2004. Was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by former (Late) President APJ Abdul Kalam, where he served from 2007 to 2013.

Recognitions

1961: Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award

1965: Mendel Memorial Medal from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences

1971: Ramon Magsaysay Award

1986: Albert Einstein World Science Award

1987: The first World Food Prize

1991: Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement

2000: Four Freedoms Award

2000: Planet and Humanity Medal of the International Geographical Union

Apart from this, he was awarded the Order of the Golden Heart of the Philippines, the Order of Agricultural Merit of France, the Order of the Golden Ark of the Netherlands, and the Royal Order of Sahametrei of Cambodia.

Before being conferred the Bharat Ratna, he was awarded the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan awards, as well as the H K Firodia Award, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award, and the Indira Gandhi Prize too.

Swaminathan died on September 28, 2023, at the age of 98 years in Chennai.

(With agency inputs)

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 09 Feb 2024, 04:58 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App