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DR.M. S. SWAMINATHAN

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Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, born on 7 August 1925, is popularly known as the Father of Green Revolution in India. He is the Founder Chairman, Emeritus Chairman and Chief Mentor of the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) at Chennai, which he founded in 1988. Dr. Swaminathan obtained a B.Sc. degree in Zoology from the Maharajas College in Thiruvananthapuram, and also in Agricultural Sciences from the Coimbatore Agricultural College. Subsequently, he received M.Sc. degree in Agricultural Sciences (specializing in genetics and plant breeding) from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in 1949 and Ph.D. degree from Cambridge University, UK in 1952. Dr. Swaminathan joined the faculty of IARI, New Delhi, in 1954. He became the Director of IARI (1961-72), Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (1972-79), Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture (1979-80), Acting Deputy Chairman and later Member (Science and Agriculture), Planning Commission (1980-82), and Director General, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines (1982-88). A plant geneticist by training, Dr. Swaminathan has made a stellar contribution to the agricultural renaissance of India, and is widely regarded as the scientific leader of India’s green revolution movement. His advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an evergreen revolution makes him an acknowledged world leader in the field of sustainable food security. 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. Dr. Swaminathan has received numerous awards and honours, including the S.S. Bhatnagar Award for his contribution to biological sciences (1961), Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, the first World Food Prize in 1987, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal and the Mahatma Gandhi Prize of UNESCO in 2000, and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award in 2007. Dr. Swaminathan is a proud recipient of some of India’s highest honours including Padma Shri (1967), Padma Bhushan (1972) and Padma Vibhushan (1989). He is a Fellow of many of the leading scientific academies of India and the world, including the Royal Society of London and the US National Academy of Sciences. He has received 81 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. He was a Member of the Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha) for the period 2007-13. He also chairs the Task Force set up by the Ministry of External Affairs to oversee the projects undertaken in Afghanistan and Myanmar in the field of agriculture and was elected the “Living Legend of International Union of Nutrition Sciences” at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition held at Granada, Spain.