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IARI Celebrates Prof. M S Swaminathan's Bharat Ratna Award Conferment

In honouring Prof. Swaminathan's legacy, the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) reaffirmed its commitment to advancing agricultural innovation and sustainability for the betterment of society.

Saurabh Shukla
IARI Celebrates the Bharat Ratna Award Conferred Upon Prof. M S Swaminathan (Photo Source: @iaripusa1)
IARI Celebrates the Bharat Ratna Award Conferred Upon Prof. M S Swaminathan (Photo Source: @iaripusa1)

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi hosted a momentous celebration to honor Professor M S Swaminathan, the esteemed agricultural scientist and pioneer of the Green Revolution in India, on being awarded the prestigious Bharat Ratna. The event, attended by eminent dignitaries and scholars, commemorated Prof. Swaminathan's outstanding contributions to agricultural research and sustainable development.

The ceremony commenced with the lighting of the lamp, symbolizing the illumination of knowledge and progress. Dr. A K Singh, Director of ICAR-IARI and Secretary of NAAS, delivered a warm welcome address, expressing the nation's pride in Prof. Swaminathan's achievements. Highlighting the significance of the Bharat Ratna conferred upon Prof. Swaminathan by the Government of India on February 9, 2024, Dr. Singh underscored the profound impact of his visionary leadership on agricultural innovation and food security.

Reflections on Prof. Swaminathan's Contributions

Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Secretary of DARE and DG of ICAR, shared touching stories from his association with Prof. Swaminathan, reminiscing about their collaboration at CRRI, Cuttack. Other dignitaries, including Dr. T Mohapatra, Dr. R B Singh, and Dr. R S Paroda, echoed Dr. Pathak's sentiments, highlighting Prof. Swaminathan's unparalleled dedication to agricultural advancement.

The Legacy of the Green Revolution Pioneer

Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, often referred to as the Father of India's Green Revolution, revolutionized agricultural practices, thereby saving millions from famine. His pioneering work in enhancing wheat and rice productivity during the 1960s-70s laid the foundation for food security in India. Moreover, his advocacy for an "Evergreen Revolution" emphasized sustainable agricultural practices for long-term prosperity.

Throughout his illustrious career, Prof. Swaminathan held various esteemed positions, including Director of IARI, Director General of ICAR, and Chair of the National Commission on Farmers. His leadership extended beyond India, as he became the first Indian Director General of the International Rice Research Institute, Philippines. Notably, his efforts were recognized with the inaugural World Food Prize in 1987.

A Visionary for Agricultural Development

Despite his advanced age, Prof. Swaminathan remained actively engaged in research and advocacy, advocating for rural development and food security. His daughters, Dr. Nithya, Dr. Madhura, and Dr. Soumya, representing the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, reflected on their father's enduring legacy during the celebration.

The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Wazir Singh Lakra, Secretary of NAAS, expressing gratitude to all participants for their contributions to honoring Prof. M S Swaminathan. As his vision continues to inspire generations of researchers and policymakers worldwide, the celebration served as a testament to his lasting impact on agriculture and rural development.

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