New Delhi, Sep 28, 2023: M.S. Swaminathan, the renowned Indian agricultural scientist and the driving force behind India’s Green Revolution, passed away on Thursday, at the age of 98.
Known as the "Father of Economic Ecology" by the United Nations Environment Programme, Swaminathan’s groundbreaking work in the 1960s and 1970s revolutionised Indian agriculture, helping the country to stave off widespread famine and achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
Swaminathan’s pioneering efforts involved the development and introduction of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, which significantly increased food grain production across India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, mourning his demise, said that at a very critical period in our nation’s history, his groundbreaking work in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation. Using the social networking platform X, previously known as Twitter, the prime minister added "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, combining modern scientific techniques with a deep understanding of local conditions and needs, transformed the lives of countless low-income farmers and contributed to the nation’s economic growth.
In recognition of his monumental contributions, Swaminathan was awarded the first World Food Prize in 1987. He used the prize money to establish the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, further cementing his commitment to sustainable and inclusive agricultural practices.
His other notable accolades include the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1971 and the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986.
Beyond his work in India, Swaminathan was an influential figure on the global stage, contributing to various international agricultural and environmental initiatives. He was named one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century by Time magazine, reflecting his far-reaching impact.
Swaminathan is survived by his wife, Mina, and their three daughters, Soumya, Madhura, and Nitya.
His passing marks the end of an era in Indian agriculture.
Courtesy: India Today