Chennai: Padma Vibhushan M.S. Swaminathan, the father of India’s Green Revolution, passed away here on Thursday. He was 98.
Swaminathan was instrumental in developing high-yielding varieties of paddy that helped ensure India’s low-income farmers produce more yield.
While in office, Swaminathan served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (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 Member (Science and Agriculture), Planning Commission (1980-82) and Director General, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines (1982-88).
In the year 2004, Swaminathan was appointed as Chair of the National Commission on Farmers, a Commission set up to look into farmer distress amid alarming suicide cases. The Commission submitted its report in 2006 and suggested that the Minimum Selling Price (MSP) should be at least 50 percent more than the weighted average cost of production.
Swaminathan is a recipient of many awards including Padma Shri (1967), Ramon Magsaysay Award (1971), Padma Bhushan (1972), World Food Prize (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (1989) among other awards.
Swaminathan’s wife Mina Swaminathan passed away in 2022. He is survived by daughters Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Madhura Swaminathan and Nitya Rao.