Showing posts from April, 2015

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Became Rice Research Institute Director : 2.

Swaminathan's research during this period would change the world.

The core of his investigation focused on a collection of wheat plants at the IARI; he experimented with cross-breeding native Indian varieties with Japanese strains and with a dwarf wheat plant developed in Mexico by U.S. agricultural researcher Norman Borlaug.
He also helped assemble a stock of 7,000 rice strains from northeast India that became something of a genetic gold mine and eventually grew to include 75,000 different varieties.

Swaminathan saw no need for modesty about his accomplishments during this period.

"Our history," he told Time International, "changed from that time."

Indeed, agricultural statistics bear out Swaminathan's contention.

When he began his agricultural work, Indian farmers, and those across much of Asia, practiced their craft much as they had centuries before, and the returns the soil yielded were either remain…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Became Rice Research Institute Director : 1.

In India Swaminathan married Mina Bhoothalingam, the daughter of a prominent economist and an educator and lecturer herself.

The couple raised three daughters; one became a pediatrician, one an economist specializing in the problems of landless families, and one a sociologist of rural life.

Taking a post as assistant botanist at the Central Rice Research Institute in the Indian state of Orissa, Swaminathan experimented with crossing rice varieties in order to create a new strain with increased yields.

Within six months he had moved to the Indian capital of New Delhi and to the IARI, where he had done research as a graduate student.

He ascended a professional ladder there, starting as assistant cytogeneticist, and becoming chief cytogeneticist in 1956, head of the botany division in 1961, and director of the division in July of 1966.

To be continued  ...

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Prof. Swaminathan has chaired several scientific and agricultural bodies, including:

the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 to take follow-up action on the Vienna Plan of Action;

the FAO Council (1981-85),

the National Commission on Farmers (2004-06),

and the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) for the World Committee on Food Security.

He currently chairs the Task Force set up by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to oversee the projects undertaken in Afghanistan and Myanmar in the field of agriculture, and is the UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai (Madras), India.

To be continued  ...

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Prof. Swaminathan boasts a long and distinguished career.

He served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (1961-72),

Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research,

Secretary to the Government of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education (1972-79),

Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture (1979-80),

Acting Deputy Chairman and later Member (Science and Agriculture),

Planning Commission (1980-82),

and Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (1982-88).

He was President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1984-90),

President of the World Wide Fund for Nature (India) from 1989-96,

President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (2002-07),

President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1991-96 and 2005-07),

and a trustee of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in its formative years.

To be continued  ...

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner, Swaminathan worked from 1952 to 1954 at a new Inter-Regional Potato Introduction Station in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

During this period Swaminathan gained practical knowledge of plant hybridization : combining different varieties of the same plant species in order to create a new plant better adapted to the soil and climate conditions of a particular region.

He published nine papers about his experiments, beginning a publishing history that would grow to include an eventual 250 papers and several books.

Offered a professorship at the University of Wisconsin after his stint in Sturgeon Bay, Swaminathan instead chose to return to India instead and work toward making that country a better place to live.

To be continued  ...

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Professor M. S. Swaminathan has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century, alongside only two other Indians - Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.

A plant geneticist by training, Prof. Swaminathan's contributions to the agricultural renaissance of India have earned him widespread recognition as the scientific leader of the green revolution movement, and he has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as “the Father of Economic Ecology”.

His advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an ever-green revolution makes him an acknowledged world leader in the field of sustainable food security.

The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting the knowledge, skill, and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for his pioneering role in mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography


Because Swaminathan's family had planned a government career for him, he dutifully took and passed the Indian government's civil service examinations.

He was offered a management job in India's national police force, but at the same time, in 1949, he got word that he had won a U.N. Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) fellowship to continue his education overseas.

He spent a year studying plant genetics at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and then moved on to Cambridge University in England, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1952.

His doctoral thesis dealt with the genetic structures of certain potato species.

To be continued  ....

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography

Part -2.

Swaminathan was born 1925, in Kumabakonom, located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

His parents were both prominent citizens : his mother was a member of an influential south Indian family, and his father, a surgeon, was a follower of Gandhi.

The young Swaminathan grew up exposed to the possibility of society-wide change in India as he observed Gandhi's successful series of protests against British rule and his exhortations for Indians to seize control of their own economic destiny by, for example, boycotting foreign textiles.

Grimmer events also shaped Swaminathan's developing world view during his youth : a deadly famine that struck India's Bengal region in 1942 and 1943 made him resolve to work to end hunger in his homeland.

Famine Inspired Switch to Agriculture :

Swaminathan attended the Roman Catholic Little Flower High School in Kumbakonom, and he was admitted to Travancore (now Kerala) University after graduating at age 15.

At first he studied z…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan : Biography

Part -1.

When the international edition of Time magazine named Indian agricultural scientist M. S. Swaminathan (born 1925) as one of the 100 most influential Asians of the twentieth century, many readers wondered who Swaminathan was.

While less well known than the other Indians on Time 's list, such as poet Rabindranath Tagore and nonviolence advocate Mohandas K. Gandhi, Swaminathan may have touched the lives of impoverished Indians more directly than those other historical figures.

As the originator of the so-called Green Revolution, Swaminathan set in motion fundamental changes in agricultural production in India that have put an end to India's age-old status as a nation on the brink of starvation.

Since first implemented by Swaminathan in the 1960s, the Green Revolution has rippled across Asia, setting the economies of country after country on a firm footing and laying the foundation for the spectacular economic growth in much of the region by the end of the twentieth cent…

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan :

Profile of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan

Swaminathan, Monkombu Sambasivam
Honorary Fellow – 2005
Agricultural Sciences & Forestry – Biodiversity-Ecodevelopment
DATE of BIRTH : 07-08-1925
Birth place :
Born in Kumbakonam, India

Educated in Madras and Cambridge Universities

Positions held :
Member Rajya Sabha, Govt. of India, UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology and Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, 1961-72; Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, 1972-79; Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Govt. of India, 1979-80; Member, Planning Commission and Chairman, Scientific Adv. Committee to Cabinet, Govt. of India, 1980-82; Chairman, UN Science Advisory Committee, 1980; Independent Chairman, FAO Council, 1981-85; Director General, IRRI, Los Banos, Philippines, 1982-88; President, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (India…

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography


Sardar Patel Statue of Unity :

In order to honour the pivotal contribution of Sardar Patel in integrating India,after independence, by uniting 562 princely states, Government of India is planning to build a 182 metres (597 ft) tall statue of Sardar Patel. It will be the world's tallest statue and will be built directly facing the Narmada Dam, 3.2 km away on the river island called Sadhu Bet near Vadodara in Gujarat. The total cost of the whole project will be Rs 2,979 crore.

Trivia :

He is popularly known by two names, the ‘Iron Man of India’ and ‘Bismarck of India’.

For his leadership activities and the ability to lead thousands of people, he was given the forename ‘Sardar’.

He was instrumental in the founding the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service and is therefore known as the ‘Patron Saint’ of India's services.

He successfully completed the uphill task of unifying the princely states of India to join the Indian union. He persuaded the princes of…

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Biography :

Personal Life & Legacy :

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel tied the knot at the age of 18, to Jhaverba, who was twelve years of age then. Following the traditional Hindu customs, which allowed the bride to stay with her parents until her husband had a decent income and an established household, the two stayed apart for a few years until Sardar Patel had definite income to fall back on.

Along with Jhaverba, he set up a house in Godhra. The couple was blessed with a daughter, Manibehn, in 1904, and a son, Dahyabhai, two years later.

In 1909, Jhaverba, who was suffering from cancer, underwent a major surgical operation. Though the operation was successful, Jhaverba’s health continued to decline. She passed away the same year. Patel was against remarrying and instead raised his children with the help of his family.

Patel’s health started declining in the summer of 1950. Though he was taken care of intensely, his health worsened. To recuperate, he was flown to Mumbai, where he lodged at the Bi…