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Dr. M.S. Swaminathan is a renowned Indian geneticist and administrator, who made a stellar contribution in the success of India's Green Revolution program; the program went a long way in making India self-sufficient in wheat and rice production. He was deeply influenced by his father who was a surgeon and social reformer. After graduating in zoology, he enrolled in Madras Agricultural College and graduated with a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science. His choice of career as a geneticist was influenced by the great Bengal famine of 1943 during which scarcity of food resulted in many deaths. Philanthropic by nature, he wanted to help poor farmers increase their food production. He began his career by joining the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi and eventually played the lead role in India’s ‘Green Revolution’, an agenda under which high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice saplings were distributed to poor farmers. In the decades that followed, he held research and administrative positions in various offices of Government of India and introduced the Mexican semi dwarf wheat plants as well as modern farming methods in India. He has been acclaimed by the TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the twentieth century. He has also been honoured with several national and international awards for his contribution to the field of agriculture and biodiversity.
Agriculture, Food, Food security, crop yield