regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 December 2023

Renowned agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan passes away at 98

Swaminathan was the driving force behind the nation's 'Green Revolution'

PTI Chennai Published 28.09.23, 01:33 PM
M S Swaminathan

M S Swaminathan File picture

M S Swaminathan, renowned agricultural scientist and the driving force behind the nation's 'Green Revolution, passed away here on Thursday.

He was 98 and is survived by three daughters including Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the former chief scientist of the World Health Organisation.


The celebrated agriculture icon, who was being treated for age-related illness for quite some time passed away today at 11.15 AM at his residence here.

Condolences poured in with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailing Swaminathan saying his groundbreaking work transformed lives of millions, ensured India's food security.

Indian Agricultural Research Institute Director A K Singh said an era of agricultural research, education and extension marked by disruptive innovations has come to an end with the death of Swaminathan.

Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi, Chief Minister M K Stalin, leaders of farmers' bodies including P R Pandian condoled Swaminathan's death.

The Congress party described him as the key scientific architect of the Green Revolution and hailed his contribution to the agriculture sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Modi said on X: "Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr MS Swaminathan Ji. At a very critical period in our nation’s history, his groundbreaking work in agriculture transformed the lives of millions and ensured food security for our nation." Beyond his revolutionary contributions to agriculture, Dr Swaminathan was a powerhouse of innovation and a nurturing mentor to many. His unwavering commitment to research and mentorship has left an indelible mark on countless scientists and innovators.

"I will always cherish my conversations with Dr Swaminathan. His passion to see India progress was exemplary. His life and work will inspire generations to come. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," he said.

H D Deve Gowda

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda expressed grief over the demise of Swaminathan and said he was greatly benefited from his advice on many occasions.

Swaminathan who founded the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation here has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as "the Father of Economic Ecology” acknowledging his leadership of green revolution movement.

A K Singh

Singh said: "In passing away of Prof. Swaminathan, ends an era of agricultural research, education and extension that was full of disruptive innovation. If God appears to poor and hungry in form of bread as said by Mahatma Gandhi, that God is Dr. Swaminathan who should be worshipped by every citizen while taking daily meals." Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said Swaminathan made India self-sufficient in rice and wheat by the mid-70s.

He has received 84 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. He is a Fellow of many of the leading scientific academies including the Royal Society of London and the U S National Academy of Sciences.

K C Venugopal

AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said he was deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Swaminathan.

"His contribution to Indian agriculture transformed the lives of millions. We are committed to take his vision forward every opportunity we get," he said.


Karanataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed grief and said his contribution to India's agricultural progress and economy is immense.

Rakesh Tikait

Farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said India will always remember the positive changes that Swaminathan brought to the country's agriculture and farmers, and his contribution to food security.

Swaminathan was a part of every key initiative connected to food security and agriculture and his stellar contributions are pioneering including the focus on millets for nutrition security as well.

He was a former Rajya Sabha member (2007-13).

Javier Perez de Cuellar

Javier Perez de Cuellar, former Secretary General of the United Nations, said as "a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction”.

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condoled the death and said his "insurmountable" work in agriculture made India self-sufficient and "saved millions from food insecurity".

"Heartfelt condolences on the demise of Dr MS Swaminathan ji, the revered father and pioneer of India's Green Revolution," the AAP chief said in a post on X.

"His insurmountable works in the field of agriculture made India self-sufficient and saved millions from food insecurity, leaving an indelible mark on our nation. May his legacy continue to inspire generations," he added.

M K Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin, in his condolence message said, "Deeply saddened to hear the passing away of eminent agro scientist Thiru M S Swaminathan. His pioneering work in the field of sustainable food security has had a profound impact worldwide." "I will always cherish the moments I spent with him. My thoughts are with his family and global science community during this difficult time," the Chief Minister said.

Piyush Goyal

In his condolence message posted on X, Union food minister Piyush Goyal said, "Deeply saddened by the demise of Dr MS Swaminathan ji, the father of India's Green Revolution." Goyal, who is also the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Textiles, said Swaminathan's relentless efforts in the field of agriculture guided the nation towards achieving food security.

"My sincere condolences to his family & friends in this hour of grief. Om Shanti," he said.

Parshottam Rupala

Similarly, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala said, "Saddened to hear about the passing of Padma Vibhushan Dr. MS Swaminathan Ji. He was a visionary agricultural scientist and the driving force behind India's Green Revolution. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this hour of grief. Om Shanti!".

Mansukh Mandaviya

Union Health and Chemicals & Fertilisers Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "Deeply saddened by the passing away of eminent agriculture scientist & father of the green revolution in India, MS Swaminathan Ji. His great contribution towards ensuring food security for the country will be remembered forever. My condolences to his family. Om Shanti " Swaminathan, born on August 7, 1925 in Tamil Nadu was recipient of Padma Shri in 1967, Padma Bhushan (1972) and Padma Vibushan (1989).

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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