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Father of India's Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan, dies at 98; PM Modi mourns
MS Swaminathan
Image Credit: twitter.com/msswaminathan

Father of India's Green Revolution, MS Swaminathan, dies at 98; PM Modi mourns

| @indiablooms | 28 Sep 2023, 04:34 pm

New Delhi: Eminent Indian agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan, who played a pivotal role in India's Green Revolution, passed away on Thursday at the age of 98.

Hailed as the "Father of Economic Ecology" by the United Nations Environment Programme, Swaminathan's trailblazing contributions in the 1960s and 1970s brought about a revolution in Indian agriculture.

This transformation averted widespread famine and led India to attain self-sufficiency in food production.

A commemorative postage stamp India released on 17 July 1968 marking the A commemorative postage stamp India released on 17 July 1968 marking the 'Wheat Revolution'

Swaminathan's pioneering initiatives included the development and introduction of high-yield varieties of wheat and rice, leading to a substantial increase in food grain production throughout India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sorrow at his demise. While mourning his passing, Modi acknowledged that during a crucial juncture in the nation’s history, Swaminathan's groundbreaking work in agriculture positively impacted the lives of millions and guaranteed food security for our nation.

On social media platform X, Modi wrote: "Beyond his revolutionary contributions to agriculture, Dr. Swaminathan was a powerhouse of innovation and a nurturing mentor to many. His unwavering commitment to research and mentorship has left an indelible mark on countless scientists and innovators."

His innovative approach to agriculture, which fused modern scientific techniques with a profound understanding of local conditions and requirements, not only uplifted the lives of numerous low-income farmers but also played a significant role in the nation's economic advancement.

In recognition of his monumental contributions, Swaminathan was honoured with the inaugural World Food Prize in 1987.

Swaminathan (right) with A. K. Sharma (left), considered as the father of Indian cytology, in 2013 at the 100th Indian Science Congress.Swaminathan (right) with A. K. Sharma (left), considered as the father of Indian cytology, in 2013 at the 100th Indian Science Congress.

He used the prize funds to establish the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, underscoring his dedication to sustainable and inclusive agricultural practices.

Swaminathan was also awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1971 and the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986.

Beyond his significant contributions in India, Swaminathan wielded influence on the global stage, playing a crucial role in various international agricultural and environmental initiatives.

Time magazine acknowledged him as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century, underscoring his extensive influence.

Swaminathan is survived by his wife, Mina, and their three daughters: Soumya, Madhura, and Nitya.

With his passing, India bids farewell to a defining figure in its agricultural legacy, marking the end of an extraordinary era.

(Inside image courtesy: wikipedia.org)

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