Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is a renowned Indian geneticist and administrator, who made a stellar contribution to the success of India’s Green Revolution programme was born on August 7, 1925. The Green Revolution went a long way in making India self-sufficient in wheat and rice production.
Swaminathan has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century and one of the only three from India, the other two being Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.
He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as “the Father of Economic Ecology” because of his leadership of the ever-green revolution movement in agriculture and by Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations, as “a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction”.
Well known as the Father of Green Revolution, the Indian government awarded M S Swaminathan with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in 1967 and 1972 respectively.
On MS Swaminathan’s birthday, let’s take a look at his major contributions to agricultural renaissance of India:
- In the 1960s, India was on the verge of a mass famine. MMS Swaminathan along with Norman Borlaug and other scientists, developed HYV seeds of wheat.
- This development led to the Green Revolution in India and Indian geneticist, Swaminathan was known as ‘The Father of Green Revolution’.
- Swaminathan made his decision of entering the field of Agriculture after experiencing the 1943 Bengal famine and the shortage of food in the country.
- He served as the Director-General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (from 1972-1979) and International Rice Research Institute (1982-88).
- In 1988, MS Swaminathan became the President of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources.
- The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting the knowledge, skill, and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for his pioneering role in mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development.
- During 2013, Prof Swaminathan received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration and Greatest Global Living Legend Award of NDTV. He was also elected at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition held at Granada, Spain, “as Living Legend of International Union of Nutrition Sciences”.