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Editorial

"Will always cherish conversations with him": PM Modi condoles death of MS Swaminathan

September 28, 2023 04:21 PM

Chennai : India has lost a visionary leader in the field of agriculture, as MS Swaminathan, renowned for his pioneering role in India's "Green Revolution," passed away in Chennai on September 28, at the age of 98.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of MS Swaminathan recalling his interactions with the agirculture scientist.
"Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. 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" the Prime Minister said in a post on X.


"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" the Prime Minister added.
"I will always cherish my conversations with Dr. Swaminathan. His passion to see India progress was exemplary.


His life and work will inspire generations to come. Condolences to his family and admirers" the Prime Minister further said.

Born on August 7, 1925, in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, fondly known as MS Swaminathan, leaves behind a legacy that has forever altered the landscape of Indian agriculture and global food security.


Swaminathan's lifelong journey into the world of agriculture and genetics was profoundly influenced by a pivotal moment during the Bengal famine of 1943, which witnessed the loss of countless lives due to the acute shortage of rice.


This humanitarian crisis deeply moved the young Swaminathan, igniting his passion for agricultural research and his commitment to ending hunger.
His personal motivation led him to pursue education at prestigious institutions such as the Madras Agricultural College and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
Armed with knowledge and unwavering dedication, Swaminathan embarked on a mission to develop high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, capable of thriving in India's diverse agricultural conditions.


His ground-breaking work paved the way for what would become the "Green Revolution" in India—an agricultural transformation that significantly increased crop yields and ensured food security for millions.


Swaminathan's leadership and vision played a pivotal role in making India self-sufficient in wheat and rice production.


Swaminathan's impact extended far beyond India's borders. He served as the Director General of the International Rice Research Institute and later as the President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.


His tireless commitment to addressing global agricultural and environmental challenges earned him a place among the "Time 20," Time magazine's list of the most influential Asians of the 20th century.

A passionate advocate for sustainable agriculture, Swaminathan championed eco-friendly farming practices and emphasized the responsible use of resources. He envisioned an "evergreen revolution," which focused on preserving biodiversity while ensuring food security.


His forward-thinking approach continues to inspire contemporary efforts aimed at protecting our planet and fostering a prosperous future.
In his pursuit of eradicating hunger and poverty, Swaminathan established the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation—an institution dedicated to empowering farmers with knowledge and innovative farming techniques.


This foundation stands as a beacon of hope, carrying forward his noble mission.
Swaminathan's contributions earned him numerous awards and honours, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the Albert Einstein World Science Award, and the prestigious First World Food Prize.


He was also the recipient of Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan, among many other accolades. His vast knowledge and leadership earned him fellowships in prestigious scientific academies around the world, including the Royal Society of London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
In collaboration with Dr Norman Borlaug, MS Swaminathan was instrumental in averting famine conditions in India and Pakistan in the 1960s.


Their innovative work in genetic research and plant breeding revolutionized agriculture and improved food security on a global scale. Their dedication to addressing food insecurity and poverty has left an indelible mark on history. MS Swaminathan's passing is a profound loss, but his contributions to humanity will endure as a source of inspiration and hope.

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