NEWS-DO is for its incisive and in-depth coverage of current affairs, politics, culture, and socio-economic issues.

MS Swaminathan, Biography, Discovery, Contribution, Death

MS Swaminathan

MS Swaminathan, Renowned Scientist Behind India’s Green Revolution, Passes Away at 98. He was known as the pioneer of India’s Green Revolution, he held positions on numerous global agencies and boards, and pioneered an ecologically sustainable approach to food production. M. S. Swaminathan’s research, coupled with his innovative training programs that educated farmers on cultivating higher-yielding strains of wheat and rice, prevented widespread famine for hundreds of millions of people.

MS Swaminathan Biography

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (7 August 1925 – 28 September 2023) was an Indian agronomist, agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, administrator, and humanitarian. Swaminathan stood at the forefront of the global green revolution, earning recognition as the chief architect of India’s green revolution. His leadership and contributions in the introduction and advancement of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice were pivotal.

MS Swaminathan

Collaborating closely with Norman Borlaug, he spearheaded a large-scale movement involving farmers and fellow scientists, complemented by supportive public policies, ultimately averting potential famine-like conditions in India and Pakistan during the 1960s. Check his biography highlight below in the table.

Particulars Details
MS Swaminathan Full Name Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan
Birth Date 7 August 1925
Birth Place Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
MS Swaminathan Age 98 years (1925 – 2023)
Awards Padma Shri (1967)
Ramon Magsaysay Award (1971)
Padma Bhushan (1972)
World Food Prize (1987)
Padma Vibhushan (1989)
Death At the age of 98 on 28th September 2023


Contribution of MS Swaminathan

MS Swaminathan made significant contributions to fundamental research on crops like potato, wheat, and rice, particularly in the fields of cytogenetics, ionizing radiation, and radiosensitivity. In 2004, he chaired the National Commission on Farmers, presenting extensive recommendations for enhancing India’s agricultural system. In 1990, he coined the term ‘Evergreen Revolution’ to encapsulate his vision of achieving perpetual productivity without causing ecological harm. His other important contribution has been mentioned below:

  • He played a pioneering role in the creation of semi-dwarf wheat strains, which minimized lodging and increased yields.
  • Through collaboration with Norman Borlaug, they integrated dwarfing genes into wheat varieties, sparking what became known as the “Wheat Revolution.”
  • Swaminathan was astute in recognizing the complexities of the Green Revolution, including concerns about the displacement of indigenous crop varieties, the need for soil fertility conservation, and the indiscriminate use of pesticides.
  • He also underscored the potential risks associated with overexploiting groundwater resources.

Contribution of MS Swaminathan in Green Revolution

The Green Revolution encompasses a series of measures and technological advancements in the agricultural sector that led to a significant surge in farm productivity. These efforts included the development of high-yield varieties of crops, the implementation of fertilizers and pesticides, the creation of pest-resistant plants, and the use of hybrid seeds with enhanced genetic traits.

While the Green Revolution had global reach and was implemented in numerous developing nations, its greatest success was observed in India. Norman Borlaug, an American agronomist, is widely recognized as the global figurehead of the Green Revolution. In India, however, M.S. Swaminathan is hailed for his pioneering contributions in this domain.

Due to MS Swaminathan Green Revolution and his monumental efforts in this field, India, a country that frequently experienced famines during the colonial era, has not suffered a single famine since the implementation of the ‘Green Revolution’.

Green Revolution in India

Prior to the Green Revolution, India encountered numerous challenges in food production:

  1. Frequent Famines: India grappled with two severe droughts in 1964–65 and 1965–66, resulting in food shortages.
  2. Lack of Institutional Finance: Marginal farmers struggled to obtain affordable finance and credit from government institutions and banks.
  3. Low Productivity: Traditional agricultural methods in India resulted in insufficient food production.

M.S. Swaminathan, acclaimed as the Father of the Green Revolution in India, played a pivotal role in the advancement of high-yielding variety seeds, particularly in wheat and rice. This contribution significantly contributed to India’s attainment of food security.

His main objective was to revolutionize Indian agriculture. He introduced high-yielding crop varieties, enhanced irrigation infrastructure, and advocated for increased fertilizer usage. This led to a significant rise in wheat production, increasing from 6 million tones in 1947 to 17 million tones between 1964 and 1968. The Green Revolution not only strengthened India’s food security but also diminished its reliance on imports.

MS Swaminathan Discovery

M.S. Swaminathan was awarded the inaugural World Food Prize for his groundbreaking work in the 1960s. He led the development and introduction of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice in India, at a time when the nation was threatened by the potential of widespread famine. This achievement resulted in a doubling of wheat production within a short span of time, ensuring India’s self-sufficiency and rescuing millions from severe food scarcity.

MS Swaminathan Award

Swaminathan received the inaugural World Food Prize Laureate in 1987 for his significant contributions to wheat and rice production in India. Additionally, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, two of the highest civilian awards bestowed in India. In 1971, he was honored with the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership. Additionally, he was awarded the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Gold Medal in 1999.

MS Swaminathan Death

M.S. Swaminathan, the distinguished crop geneticist who blended expertise in plant breeding with astute administrative abilities, leading to abundant harvests that eradicated famine and propelled India into a global leader in wheat and rice production, passed away on Thursday in Chennai, India. He was 98.

MS Swaminathan UPSC

As we pay tribute to the visionary behind the Green Revolution, we must also contemplate the ongoing challenges in Indian agriculture and strive for a future that is both sustainable and just. Swaminathan’s legacy and commitment will serve as a beacon of inspiration for generations of agricultural scientists and policymakers as they endeavor to secure a food-sufficient India.

To counter the adverse effects mentioned above, Swaminathan championed an “evergreen revolution” that emphasizes environmentally sustainable agriculture, ensuring food security in a sustainable manner, and preserving natural resources. In order to rectify the skewed cropping pattern, the Indian Government has put forth the concept of a Rainbow Revolution, which promotes integrated farming practices, among other initiatives.


  • Who gave the call for Evergreen Revolution?

In 1990, M.S. Swaminathan coined the term ‘Evergreen Revolution’ to encapsulate his vision of achieving perpetual productivity without causing ecological harm.

  • What is Evergreen Revolution?

The concept of an “evergreen revolution” entails achieving enduring productivity gains without adverse effects on the environment or society.

  • What is MS Swaminathan full name?

Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is his full name.

Related Articles