Father of India’s ‘Green Revolution,’ Dr Swaminathan, passes away
London – Dr MS Swaminathan, an eminent plant geneticist popularly referred to as ‘Father of the Green Revolution in India’, died at the age of 98 on Thursday in Chennai, India, media reports said. He was also the founder of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).
Born in Kumbakonam, in Tamilnadu state of India, he earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences at the Madras Agricultural College and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in genetics and plant breeding from the University of Cambridge, England.
He was a key figure in the Green Revolution, which was launched by the Indian government in 1965. This initiative played a big part in India becoming from food-deficient nation to one of the world’s leading agricultural nations.
Swaminathan was 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.
In a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that (he was) deeply saddened by the demise of Dr Swaminathan. “At a very critical period of our nation’s history, his groundbreaking work in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation,” he said.
Dr Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, the First World Food Prize in 1987, the Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal, and the Mahatma Gandhi Prize of UNESCO in 2000, among others.