Dr M S Swaminathan, founder & chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Founation, Chennai.
Known better as father of Indian green revolution, Professor M S Swaminathan, also the founder president of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India delivered a Special Silver Jubilee Lecture during the 25th Year celebration of the Academy at New Delhi. More than 300 Fellowship and full house listened to the doyen of Indian Agricultural Sciences of India who, as brilliantly as ever, took the agricultural scientists through a journey over the last six decades of adventurous foray into research to solve the agrarian problems in worsening ecological and environmental situations in India.
Delving into the innovative and yet strategically applicable research priorities set up by the Agricultural Research Communities led ably by Indian Agricultural Research Institute in the early decades of the last century and the reconstituted Indian Council of Agricultural Research into which IARI and other national agri-research institutes were pooled together in direct working links with the upcoming Agricultural Universities in the different States of India.
Professor Swaminathan was critical about the ecological dangers the production oriented agriculture as well as uncontrolled markets leaving farmers to face uncertainties almost all the time. The adventure therefore lay in developing technologies led by varieties with value addition and resource management options which enable the farmers to continue to keep the production levels up. He also exhorted the younger group to adopt the exceptionally practical scientific tools from biotechnology, nano-sciences, bio-resource conservation, etc., to quickly deliver with high predictable effects.
Each of these options was explained with appropriate examples and case-studies. The audience gave Professor Swaminathan a standing ovation for the energising and technically highly informative lecture. The current President of the Society and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director General of ICAR, along with several research leaders and past presidents was among the audience.