Terming the death of agricultural scientist and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug as the end of an era, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday described him as one with a "towering intellect" who "helped millions of people escape from a life of hunger and deprivation".
"With the passing away of Norman Borlaug an era has ended, in which he spearheaded a scientific revolution in agriculture," the prime minister said in a message.
"At a time in the '60s when the country was facing the spectre of severe food shortages, the introduction of Borlaug's high yielding varieties of seeds set in motion a technological revolution in Indian agriculture that led eventually to the country achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrain," he said.
Borlaug developed a type of wheat that helped feed the world, engendering a movement that is credited with saving up to one billion people from starvation.
He was known as the father of the Green Revolution, which transformed agriculture through high-yield crop varieties and other innovations.
"The Green Revolution lifted the spirits of the Indian people and gave them new hope and confidence in their ability to tackle the country's daunting economic challenges. Borlaug's impact on India's science and economy went much beyond the Green Revolution," the statement said.
Manmohan Singh said, "Borlaug's life and achievements are testimony to the far-reaching contribution that one man's towering intellect, persistence and scientific vision can make to human peace and progress."
"One of Borlaug's favourite quotations was to 'reach for the stars'. In doing so, Borlaug helped millions of people escape from a life of hunger and deprivation."
Borlaug, 95, died Saturday from complications of cancer in Dallas, US.