Celebrating legacy : Honoring, Bharat Ratna Prof. M S Swaminathan’s Impact on Agriculture at IARI


On February 13, 2024, a significant program took place at IARI (Indian Agricultural Research Institute) in New Delhi to commemorate the Bharat Ratna Award conferred upon Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, widely recognized as the father of the green revolution. The event was meticulously organized under the guidance of IARI Director, Dr. A. K. Singh. Among the distinguished guests were former Directors General of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) including Dr. R. S. Paroda, Dr. T. Mohapatra, and the current DG, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, alongside other notable figures such as Dr. T. R. Sharma (DDG), Dr. U. C. Gautam (DDG), Dr. D. K. Yadava (ADG, Seeds), Dr. R. B. Singh, Dr. V. P. Singh.

Notably, the program transcended physical boundaries as it was also attended online by Dr. Swaminathan’s daughters, Dr. Soumya and Dr. Madhura Swaminathan. Additionally, the virtual audience included esteemed personalities like the former chairperson of PPVFRA (Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority), Dr. K. V. Prabhu, former Director of IARI, Dr. H. S. Gupta, and former DG of ICAR, Dr. Panjab Singh. The virtual gathering further extended to scientists, professors from various ICAR institutes, and representatives from state agricultural universities, making it a comprehensive and inclusive celebration of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan’s invaluable contributions.

If agriculture fails, everything else will fail

M S Swaminathan

Contribution of Prof. Swaminathan

The program began with Director IARI, Dr. A.K. Singh, welcoming all guests and briefly introducing Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the father of the green revolution. DG ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, then lectured on Prof. Swaminathan’s contributions to agriculture. Dr. H. Pathak presented a timeline of Prof. Swaminathan’s life, highlighting his milestone achievements and remarkable career journey.”

He remembered Prof. Swaminathan’s contributions to building the National Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension System (NAREES) and shaping India’s agricultural future. These contributions were made through key positions such as:

  • Director, IARI (1961-72)
  • Director-General, ICAR, and Secretary of the newly formed DARE (1972-79)
  • Agriculture Secretary, Govt. of India (1979)
  • Acting Deputy Chairman and Member, Planning Commission (1980-82)

Furthermore, he was the first Indian to become Director-General of the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines (1982-88).

Also read our other articles

Awards and Recognition of Dr. M S Swaminathan

Dr. Pathak highlighted the vast recognition received by Prof. Swaminathan. This includes distinguished fellowships in over 30 global academies, notably the Royal Society and as a Founder Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences. He holds an extraordinary 85 honorary doctoral degrees from institutions worldwide. Prof. Swaminathan’s work has been celebrated with awards like the Mendel Memorial Medal (1965), the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1971), the Albert Einstein World Science Award (1986), the inaugural World Food Prize (1987), the Tyler Prize (1991), the Four Freedoms Award (2000), and the Planet and Humanity Medal (2000). Internationally, he’s been honored with the Order of the Golden Heart of the Philippines, the Order of Agricultural Merit of France, and others.

The United Nations Environment Programme named him the ‘Father of Economic Ecology’. TIME magazine placed him among the 20th century’s most influential Asians, alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. His outstanding service to India brought prestigious national awards: the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award (1961), Padma Shri (1967), Padma Bhushan (1972), Padma Vibhushan (1989), Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award (1999), Indira Gandhi Prize (2001), and ultimately, the Bharat Ratna (2024), India’s highest civilian honor.

“The future belongs to nations with grains and not guns”

M S Swaminathan

During the program, notable dignitaries in Indian agriculture highlighted the extensive research contributions of Prof. Swaminathan. They shared their own experiences working with him and urged young scientists to follow his vision, contributing to India’s agricultural growth through innovative research and unwavering dedication.

The daughters of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan – Dr. Madhura, and Dr. Soumya of MSSRF, Chennai – joined the program virtually and offered reflections on his life.

M. S. Swaminathan wikipedia page

Also Visit: M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Celebration of the conferment of Bharat Ratna to Prof. M. S. Swaminathan on IARI You tube channel

Press Release about programme by IARI New Delhi

Some Photographs of programme

Some remarkable milestones of Prof. M S Swaminathan, presented by DG ICAR Dr. Himanshu Pathak During his presentation.
Lightening of lamp by DG ICAR Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Dr R S PAroda, Dr T Mohaptra and Dr R B Singh during the program
Dignitaries present during the programmes
Chairman PPVFRA and former DG ICAR, Dr. T. Mohapatra, presented flowers in front of Professor Swaminathan’s photograph
Former chairperson PPVFRA Dr K V Prabhu sharing his memories with Dr. Swaminathan through online mode

Former Director IARI Dr H S Gupta sharing his memories with Dr. Swaminathan through online mode
Dr. Madhura Swaminathan, Daughter of Prof. Swaminathan sharing his views on this occasion
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Daughter of Prof. Swaminathan sharing his views on this occasion
Renowned Agricultural scientists, students and ICAR officials attended the programme
Tribute to Prof. M S Swaminathan, Father of Green Revolution
Bharat Ratna Prof. MS Swaminathan

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