Born in a farmer’s family in village Barahat, Ghazipur, U.P., Dr Ashok Kumar Singh did his graduation and post-graduation in Genetics & Plant Breeding from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Ph.D. in Genetics from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. Dr. Singh joined as Director, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi on 18th January, 2020. Earlier he worked as Joint Director (Research) – Incharge and Head, Division of Genetics, ICAR- IARI, New Delhi. Dr. Singh has been actively involved in Basmati rice improvement for the last two and half decades. He is associated with development of 13 rice varieties including five MAS derived Basmati varieties. These improved Basmati varieties occupy about 1.8 mha area bringing prosperity to millions of Basmati farmers, while earning `25,000 crores of foreign exchange annually.He has been associated with teaching of three post graduate courses in Genetics for last 20 yearsand guided 15 Ph.D. and 5 M.Sc. students with three of them winning the prestigious ICAR-Jawahar Lal Nehru Award and 7 of them awarded with IARI merit medals.

Dr. Singh has published 120 peer-reviewed research publications in rice genetics, molecular breeding and grain quality. He co-authored a book entitled “Marker Assisted Plant Breeding: Principles and Practices” published by Springer. Dr. Singh pioneered the public private partnership (PPP) model for commercialization first super fine grain aromatic rice hybrid, Pusa RH 10, and several Basmati rice varietiesgenerating revenue of Rs. 2.0 crores. He has served as an expert member in DBT (Task Forces, STAG), APEDA, RAC (ICAR-NRRI, ICAR-NBPGR, ICAR-IIRR)and SAC (NIPGR, NABI). He has been awarded with prestigious ICAR-Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Award and ICAR-Bharat Ratna Dr. C. Subramanian Award during 2013.He has also been recognized with IARI – Best teacher award (2002), IARI- B.P. Pal Award (2007), ICAR – Special Recognition Certificate (2009), Agriculture Leadership award (2011), Borlaug Award (2012), Dr AS Cheema Award (2012) and Sh Om Prakash Bhasin Award (2017).

He is fellow of Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi and Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Singh

E-mail: director[at]iari[dot]res[dot]in

M.Sc. (Genetics and Plant Breeding) from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
Ph.D. from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi


Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Award (2013), Bharat Ratna Dr. C. Subramanian Outstanding Teachers Award (2013), Certificate of Appreciation, NAIP (2012), Special Recognition Award (2009), Borlaug Award (2012); Sh. O.P. Bhasin Award (2017)


National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (2011), Indian National Science Academy (2018), Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding (2014)


Basmati rice improvement, molecular breeding in rice, hybrid rice breeding, rice genetics