Bharat Ratna: Who is MS Swaminathan, father of India's green revolution? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Bharat Ratna: Who is MS Swaminathan, father of India's green revolution?

Feb 09, 2024 02:06 PM IST

MS Swaminathan, who is known as the father of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, announced PM Modi.

Late legendary agriculture scientist Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (MS Swaminathan), who is known as the father of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India, will be honoured with the Bharat Ratna, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday. In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, PM Modi shared a picture with MS Swaminathan and said that he was someone he knew closely, adding that he always valued the late scientist's values and inputs.

Scientist MS Swaminathan (HT File Photo)
Scientist MS Swaminathan (HT File Photo)

“It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students. Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity,” PM Modi wrote on X.

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Who was MS Swaminathan?

  1. Born on August 7, 1925, MS Swaminathan was an agronomist, agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, administrator, and humanitarian. He was known as the ‘father of the Green Revolution’ in India.
  2. Swaminathan began his career in 1949 researching the genetics of potatoes, wheat, rice, and jute. He played a crucial role in developing high-yielding varieties of paddy that helped ensure India’s low-income farmers produced more yield.
  3. Also known as the ‘father of economic ecology’ by the United Nations Environment Programme, he worked with agriculture ministers including C Subramaniam and Jagjivan Ram during the 1960s and 70s for the success of the ‘Green Revolution’ in India - an initiative that paved the way for an exponential rise in productivity of wheat and rice through adaptation of chemical-biological technology.
  4. Swaminathan also held administration positions in various agricultural research laboratories. He served as the director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and International Rice Research Institute. He also worked as the principal secretary of the ministry of agriculture in 1979. Later, he also served as the President of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. In 2004, Swaminathan was appointed as chair of the National Commission on Farmers.
  5. The late scientist was awarded with Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1971 and the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986. He was awarded the first World Food Prize in 1987, following which he set up the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai. Swaminathan has also been conferred with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan - the three most prestigious awards. Apart from these, he was also given the H K Firodia Award, the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award, and the Indira Gandhi Prize.
  6. Swaminathan also contributed to various agricultural and environmental initiatives globally. He was named one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century by Time magazine.
  7. MS Swaminathan passed away in September last year at the age of 98. He is survived by his three daughters Soumya, Madhura, and Nitya, while his wife Mina passed away in 2022.

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