At the age of 98, M. S. Swaminathan passed away at his Chennai home on September 28, 2023. Future generations will remember his contributions to Indian agriculture and his dedication to enhancing farmers’ quality of life.
- In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, S. Swaminathan was born in 1925. After completing his studies in agricultural science, he obtained a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Madras.
- A lot of people refer to Swaminathan as the “Father of India’s Green Revolution” because of his revolutionary contributions to agricultural growth and research. He was instrumental in the creation of high-yielding rice and wheat varieties that helped India go from being a food-deficit country to one that is self-sufficient.
- Agricultural Research: During his career, Swaminathan held a number of noteworthy roles in agricultural research and policy-making, including Secretary to the Government of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
- Scientific Achievements: Swaminathan made important advances in the field of potato genetics and the creation of frost-resistant potato cultivars.
- In order to help create high-yielding wheat varieties, he studied the cytogenetics of hexaploid wheat.His contribution to the endeavor was to cultivate rice with the ability to fix carbon-4, which would enhance photosynthesis and reduce water consumption.
- Swaminathan studied mutagens and how radiation affected plants’ ability to respond to fertilizers as part of his work on radiation botany.
- National Commission on Farmers: In 2004, he was named chair of the commission, whose objective was to alleviate farmer hardship and enhance the agricultural industry. Indian agriculture was greatly impacted by the commission’s recommendations, which included the suggestion for a Minimum Support Price (MSP) that was at least 50% greater than production costs.
- Honors and Awards: Swaminathan was recognized for his contributions to science and agriculture with a number of honors and awards. Among other honors, he was bestowed with the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan in 1987, and he was also the recipient of the inaugural World Food Prize.
- MS Swaminathan Research Foundation: In order to carry out his work in agricultural research and sustainable development, Swaminathan founded the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Taramani, Chennai, after winning the World Food Prize.