New Delhi, Sep 28 (EFE).- Indian agronomist Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, known for developing techniques that ended the famine in India six decades ago and helped turn the nation into a wheat powerhouse, died Thursday at age 98 due to age-related conditions.
The eminent scientist and humanist passed away at his residence in the southern Indian city of Chennai, his daughter Soumya Swaminathan told the media.
Swaminathan gained global recognition for its role in applying scientific techniques to cross varieties of plant species in order to improve their genetic characteristics and thus achieve abundant harvests.
The effort helped bring an end to the recurrent episodes of famine in the 1970s and which had plagued the subcontinent for centuries.
Swaminathan, recognized with the first World Food Prize in 1987, has also been hailed by TIME magazine as one of the three most influential figures in India during the 20th century, the other two being pacifist Mahatma Gandhi and Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore.
In the book “Scientist and Humanist” on Swaminathan’s career, author RD Iyer describes him as a compassionate person, whose soft appearance hid a man of determination and indomitable spirit.
“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,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on social media platform X.
“His unwavering commitment to research and mentorship has left an indelible mark on countless scientists and innovators,” Modi added. EFE