The father of India’s Green Revolution, Dr Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan passed away at the age of 98 in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai on Thursday.
According to reports, the last rites of Swaminathan, who was instrumental in developing high-yielding varieties of paddy that helped ensure India’s low-income farmers produce more yield, will be performed on Sunday.
Condoling the death of the scientist, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X, “Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. At a very critical period in our nation’s history, his groundbreaking wok in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation.”
“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. Om Shanti,” he added.
Swaminathan served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute from 1961-72; Director General of ICAR and Secretary to the Government of India, 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, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines (1982-88).
Later in 2004, a commission was set up to look into farmer distress amid alarming suicide cases and Swaminathan was appointed as chair of the National Commission on Farmers.
Swaminathan is a recipient of several prestigious awards including Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan including international awards such as Ramon Magsaysay Award (1971) and the Albert Einstein World Science Award (1986).
He is survived by his three daughters Soumya Swaminathan, Madhura Swaminathan and Nitya Swaminathan.