Food Security Pioneer MS Swaminathan Awarded Bharat Ratna

Agriculture scientist and researcher, MS Swaminathan joins the prestigious list of awardees for the Bharat Ratna, which was conferred upon him yesterday. Recognised for his invaluable contributions to the field of agriculture as well as working towards uplifting the farmers within the country, the scientist was posthumously given the award – helping set an example for the future generations who wish to work in the space of research and the impact it can have on society. Soumya Swaminathan, the daughter of the scientist and chairperson of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, expressed her gratitude for the honour.

The innovator, who promoted the use of hybrid crop varieties and chemical fertilisers in the 1960’s to make India a self-reliant nation with regards to food supply, was also the brainchild behind bringing the dwarf wheat variety for high-yields and meet the country’s increasing demand for grains. Also known as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution in India,’ Swaminathan was amongst the illustrious list of awardees like PV Narsimha Rao, Charan Singh, LK Advani and Karpoori Thakur. Swaminathan, who was also the first laureate of the World Food Prize in 1987, passed away in September last year, having 84 honorary doctorates to his name.

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PM Narendra Modi also took to social media to share the exciting news and stated that, “It is a matter of immense joy that the Government of India is conferring the Bharat Ratna on Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji, in recognition of his monumental contributions to our nation in agriculture and farmers’ welfare. He played a pivotal role in helping India achieve self-reliance in agriculture during challenging times and made outstanding efforts towards modernizing Indian agriculture. We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students. Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs.”