Essay on Dr MS Swaminathan: Sometime back on July 14, 2014, MS Swaminathan , an agricultural scientist of Indian origin was organized in Hyderabad.
The ‘Ambassador of Goodwill Award’ was awarded at the ceremony. Shri William D Dar, Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) honored Swaminathan with the award at a function organized by Hyderabad Agricultural Institute.
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MS Swaminathan , the father of Green Revolution and making India self-sufficient in agriculture, was born on 7 August 1925 in Kumbakonam district of Tamil Nadu state. His father was Dr. and the family was middle class. When Swaminathan was only 10 years old, his father died. Despite this setback, Swaminathan continued his studies. B.Sc. from Travancore University in 1944. Got the degree. From the very beginning his interest was in agriculture. In 1947, he also obtained a B.Sc degree in agriculture from Coimbatore Agricultural College. In 1949, Swaminathan got an associateship in the Department of Genetics and Plant Reading of the Indian Agricultural Research. He impressed everyone with his excellent work and in 1952 he got his PhD in Agricultural School in Cambridge, his research subject was potato.
The brilliant and hardworking Swaminathan continued to work along with studies. He also served as a UNESCO Fellow of the Department of Genetics at the University of the Netherlands from 1949 to 1950. From 1952 to 1953, he worked as a research associate at the Department of Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, USA. Swaminathan was troubled after doing small jobs in different places. Now he wanted such a job, while doing which he could devote his full attention to research work.
At that time there was no need for those doing research work on potatoes. So Swaminathan did research on rice at the International Institute. He did research on Japanese and Indian varieties of rice. In 1965, Swaminathan’s luck turned and he got a job in an institute located in Kosha. Here he was entrusted with the responsibility of research work on wheat. Simultaneously, his research on rice also continued. The botanical department here started testing with the help of irradiation of rays and they developed many varieties of wheat. Many scientists were earlier expressing apprehension that research work on wheat could not be done with the help of atomic rays, but Swaminathan proved them wrong.
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In 1970, Sardar Patel University awarded him the degree of DSC. In 1969, Dr. Swaminathan was made the secretary of the Indian National Science Academy. He also became its fellow member. Prior to this, he was also made the vice-president of the International Conference held in The Hague in 1963. From 1954 to 1972, Dr. Swaminathan did unique work in reputed agricultural institutes at Cuttack and Pusa. During this time he also did research work and teaching. Along with this, the administrative responsibilities were also performed very well. He impressed everyone with his actions and the Government of India appointed him the Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1972. Along with, he was also appointed as Secretary to the Government of India.
In those days, despite being an agricultural country, our country was not so developed in the field of agriculture. The people mainly needed rice and wheat. Our scientists failed to increase the yield of wheat. In 1962, for the first time, a dwarf variety of wheat was introduced from the Pusa Agricultural Institute from the Rao Flair Foundation, as well as Dr. NI Vorlong, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1968 for developing a dwarf variety of wheat. He was also guided. Dr. Vorlaug came to India and educated Swaminathan and his companions with his knowledge. Swaminathan was successful in increasing the yield of wheat by using Vorlaug’s knowledge and his prudence and hard work quite successfully in the cultivation of wheat.
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Vorlag returned to India in 1971 after hearing about Swaminathan’s success and was very pleased to see his progress. From 1965 to 1971, Dr. Swaminathan Pusa was the Director of the Institute. During this, excellent work was done in the field of wheat. He also wrote many articles on this subject. Due to which the reputation of him and the institute became the worthy of praise all over the world. Seeds of dwarf varieties of wheat were distributed to the farmers of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi. Due to which there was good production of wheat in India. From 1967 to 1968, it was emphasized that the scope of the scheme should not be limited to only one crop. Rather, the yield should be increased further by growing more and more crops in the same field one after the other i.e. simultaneously in a year. For this, the use of high yielding seeds was increased on the one hand, while on the other hand, new methods were used for cultivation and good arrangements for irrigation were also made.
Swaminathan developed new breeds of double millet, double corn, jowar, rice, wheat. Crops of moong, cowpea were prepared for summer. Many villages were developed in Delhi under Swaminathan’s leadership, where farmers only grew seeds. These farmers were given special training. Dr. Swaminathan promoted research on all types of cereals. She gave birth to Aruna, a new variety of linseed. This variety matures in four months and gets ready. In the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, only one crop of linseed was grown, now two crops are grown. He developed double crop of jowar and Sujata variety of cotton. Under his leadership a new variety of barley was developed from which syrup is made. Apart from this, he also contributed in developing two varieties of jute.
Swaminathan often went from village to village for the development of crops and also discussed with the farmers. Facility of seeds, fertilizers and water was provided to the farmers of some selected areas. Other scientists also used to go from village to village to solve the problems of the farmers. A new enthusiasm spread among the farmers. The effect of Swaminathan’s efforts was starting to show. Farmers were also informed about new inventions through radio and newspaper. On the other hand, school children were also made aware of new varieties of crops and modern agriculture, which would increase the pace of progress in the coming times. He made successful efforts to publicize India’s progress outside India by holding a session of the Indian National Science Academy in Chandigarh and in other ways. Science Academy Dr. Swaminathan with Silver Jubilee Award. On this occasion 15,000 scientists and scholars from across the country and abroad participated. The ceremony was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi did it. The revolutionary research in the field of agriculture under the leadership of Dr. Swaminathan made India self-sufficient in the field of food grains. This revolution was called the Green Revolution. Indira Gandhi also issued a postage stamp on it.
Dr. Swaminathan was made a member of the Planning Commission in April 1979. On his advice, progress was completed by the commission. He was in the Planning Commission till 1982. His work was appreciated everywhere. Due to the success of his works, Dr. Swaminathan also got international fame. In 1983, he was made the Director General of the International Institute of Manila and he worked here till 1988. During this, he did unprecedented research on rice and was successful in developing an improved variety of rice.
Dr. Swaminathan is a hard working scientist. Getting up at five in the morning and working till late at night is included in his routine. They are skilled teachers, scholars and experienced administrators. His determination towards work is visible in every field. The musical darling Swaminathan has a profound effect on the South’s musician Tyaraj. His songs give him inspiration for life and he made special experiments in his works by linking the songs of Tyagaraja to science. He never resorted to shortcuts. Very few people would know that Swaminathan appeared in UPSC exam and also qualified for IPS, but due to his focus on genetics, he decided to work in agriculture.
Dr. Swaminathan was also fond of writing since childhood. At a very young age, he wrote an article in Rural India magazine, which went on continuously. Innumerable articles of his have been published in Indian and foreign magazines. He exposed almost every aspect of Indian agriculture. In 1971, he was appointed as the National Spokesperson of the UGC and gave speeches at international functions from time to time. He is also a skilled speaker. Swaminathan received great respect for his scientific work. In 1969, he was awarded the Dr. Shantiswaroop Award. Apart from this, he was decorated with Birbal Sahni Award and Padma Shri award in 1971. He also received international level Raman Mages Award for solving the food problem of the society.
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He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1972 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1989. Dr. Swaminathan not only represented India on the agricultural stage in many countries but also increased the prestige and pride of India. Swaminathan was the technical advisor to International Agriculture. He also served as a consultant to the Protein Calorie Group created by the United Nations. With the contribution of great hardworking and determined scientists like Dr. Swaminathan, today our country is moving day by day towards self-reliance in the food department. All Indians respect Dr. MS Swaminathan’s efforts and contributions. In future also we wish that India should develop with the new research done by Dr. Swaminathan.