Announcement of Keynote Address by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan aligns with 19th IUFoST Congress in India, the theme being:
“25 Billion Meals A Day By 2025 with Healthy, Nutritious, Safe & Diverse FOODS”
Title of Keynote Address: “Who will feed India By 2025?”
[10 May 2018] – The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) has announced the 2018 Keynote Address in World Congress for Food Science and Technology to be held in Mumbai, India, 23 – 27 October 2018 to be delivered by Prof. M.S. Swaminathan
Professor Dr. M.S. Swaminathan
M.S. Swaminathan, in full Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan is an Indian geneticist and international administrator, renowned for his leading role in India’s “Green Revolution,” a program under which high-yield varieties of wheat and rice seedlings were planted in the fields of poor farmers.
Professor M. S. Swaminathan has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century and one of only three from India, the other two being Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as ‘the Father of Economic Ecology’ because of his leadership of the ever-green revolution movement in agriculture. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary General of the United Nations, described him as “a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction”. He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 to take follow-up action on the Vienna Plan of Action. He also served as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council (1981-85) and President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (1984-90). He was President of the World Wide Fund for Nature (India) from 1989-96. He also served as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (2002-07), President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1991-96 and 2005-07) and Chairman, National Commission on Farmers (2004-06). He was a trustee of Bibliotheca Alexandrina in its formative years.
Prof. Swaminathan is the Founder Chairman of M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Chennai, he has served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (1961-72), Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research and Education (1972-79), Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture (1979-80), Acting Deputy Chairman and later Member (Science and Agriculture), Planning Commission (1980-82) and Director General, International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines (1982-88).
He is a son of a surgeon who is married to Mina Swaminathan, whom he met in 1951 while they were both studying at Cambridge. They have three daughters and five grandchildren. Their daughters are Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the Deputy Director General of World Health Organization, Dr. Madhura Swaminathan, who is a Professor of Economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore and Nitya Rao, a Professor of Gender and Development at the University of East Anglia.
Professor M.S. Swaminathan was educated in India and at the University of Cambridge (Ph.D., 1952) as a geneticist. He has held a number of research and administrative positions. While working in those positions, he helped introduce Mexican semi-dwarf wheat plants to Indian fields and helped to bring about greater acceptance of modern farming methods.
He has been a proud recipient of Padma Shri (1967), Padma Bhushan (1972) and Padma Vibhushan (1989). He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, and Volvo, Tyler and UNEP Sasakawa Prize for Environment, the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development in 2000 and the Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal, the Mahatma Gandhi Prize of UNESCO in 2000 and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award (2007). During 2013, Prof Swaminathan received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration and Greatest Global Living Legend Award of NDTV. He was also elected at the 20th International Congress of Nutrition held at Granada, Spain, “as Living Legend of International Union of Nutrition Sciences”. The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting knowledge, skill and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for his pioneering role in mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development. He has received the first World Food Prize in 1987.
A Fellow of many leading scientific academies of India and the world, including the Royal Society of London and the U S National Academy of Sciences, Prof Swaminathan has received 73 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. The most recent honorary DSc Degree is from the University of Faislabad, Pakistan, which is one of the oldest Agricultural Universities in the sub-continent. He currently holds the UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai (Madras), India. He was a Member of the Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha), during 2007-13. During 2010-13, he chaired the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) for the World Committee on Food Security (CFS). He also Chairs the Task Force set up by the Ministry of External Affairs to oversee the projects undertaken in Afghanistan and Myanmar in the field of agriculture. He received the Life Time Achievement Award at the 9th Nutra Summit in Bangalore.
IUFoST congratulates Professor M.S. Swaminathan on his outstanding achievements and is pleased to have his gracious presence as he delivers the Keynote Address at IUFoST 2018 World Food Congress, Mumbai, India.