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Dr. Atmaram Bhairav Joshi

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Born on 17 November 1916,  A. B. Joshi graduated (BSc Honours) from Nagpur University in 1937. After securing a post graduate diploma from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi (IARI) in 1939, he passed his MSc in 1945 and PhD in 1950 from the University of Cambridge.  His career started in 1940 as a research assistant at his alma mater, IARI, where he rose in ranks to become a professor, the dean of post graduate studies (1958–65) and the director of the institution (1965–66).  In 1966, he was posted at the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) as the deputy director general, a post he held till 1972 when he returned to IARI as its director. After superannuation in 1977, he was appointed as the vice-chancellor of the Mahatama Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri and worked there till his retirement in 1980. He was also associated with Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute in 1980s as an advisor and Principal Investigator of couple of projects. Dr. Joshi was a member of the Task Force on Agricultural Education of the Kothari Commission (1964–66) set up by the Government of India to advise on general principles and policies for the development of education in India. He was the co-ordinator of the ICAR sponsored Wheat Research Project (1960–66). During his tenure as the vice-chancellor of the MPKV university, he also served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the prime minister of India (1972–76). Joshi died on 3 July 2010 at the age of 93, at Pune, in Maharashtra.  Joshi is known to have conducted cytogenetic research on a number of crops such as sesamechickpea, tobacco, and Capsicum and research on the evolutionary origin of Okra (Bhindi) and Panicum maximum (fodder grass). He introduced crop improvement of wheat and cotton through quantitative genic exploitation and is known to have contributed for the success of the Green Revolution in India in the 1960s and 1970s. His researches were published by way of over 300 articles which included many monographs on sesame and cotton. He also guided 45 post graduate and doctoral students in their researches. Several Indian universities such as G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantanagar, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, and Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University, Parbhani (Maharashtra) awarded him DSc (honoris causa). In 1976, the Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of Padma Shri and he received the Norman Borlaug Award from Coromandel International the same year. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute instituted the AB Joshi Memorial Award in 2002, in his honour and organises an annual lecture under the name, AB Joshi Memorial award lecture.