Born in Kumbakonam, India on 7 August 1925. Educated at Madras and Cambridge Universities.
Former Member of Rajya Sabha, Govt. of India; UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology, and Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai.
Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, 1966-72; Director General, Indian Council of Agri. Res, 1972-79; Principal Secretary, Min. of Agri. and Irrigation, Govt. of India; 1979-80; Member, Planning Commission and Chairman, Scientific Adv. Committee to Cabinet, Govt. of India 1980-82; Chairman, UN Science Advisory Committee, 1980; Independent Chairman, FAO Council, 1981-85; Dir. Gen. International Rice Res. Institute (IRRI), Los Banos, Philippines, 1982-88; President, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1984-90; President, World Wide Fund for Nature (India), 1989-96; Chairman, National Commission on Farmers of India, 2004-06; President, Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs, 2002-07; Chairman, High Level Panel of Experts to the World Committee on Food Security (2010 onwards).
Awards/Honours: Several awards, including Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, 1961; Padma Shri, 1967; Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, 1971; Padma Bhushan, 1972; Albert Einstein World Science Award, 1986; First World Food Prize, 1987; Padma Vibhushan, 1989; UNESCO Gandhi Gold Medal, France, 1999; Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal, Netherlands, 2000; Volvo and Tyler Prize for Environment; Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development, 2000; Sahametrei Medal of Royal Govt. of Cambodia, 2007; Life time Achievement Award of All India Management Association, 2007; Golden Peacock Life Time Achievement Award, 2007; Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award, 2007; Shining World Leadership Award, Singapore, 2007; ISCA Award 2007-08; First World Agriculture Prize, 2018; Recipient of 84 honorary doctorates from universities around the world; Post-graduate guide for 77 Ph.D. Scholars.
Fellow: Indian Academy of Sciences, 1957; Indian National Science Academy, 1962; National Academy of Sciences, India, 1976; Royal Society, London, 1973; National Academy of Sciences, USA, 1977; Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 1978; Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, 1983; National Academy of Arts and Sciences, USA, 1984; Accad. Naz. Delle Sciencz detta del XL, Italy, 1985; European Academy of Arts, Science and Humanities, 1988; Am. Assn. For the Advancement of Science, Founder Fellow, TWAS, 1983.
Research Areas: Cytogenetics, plant breeding, agriculture, biodiversity & eco-development
Address: Founder Chairman, MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, 3rd Cross Street, Taramani Institutional Area, Chennai 600113, Tamil Nadu; "Dharini", 21 Rathna Nagar, Teynampet, , Chennai 600018, Tamil Nadu; ; [Tel: Off. (044) 22541229, 22542790; Res. (044) 24345312; Fax: (044) 22541319; Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org]
Founder Member Executive Council 5 Jun, 1990 to 30 Dec, 1991; President 1 Jan, 1992 to 31 Dec, 1996; Member Executive Council 1 Jan, 1997 to 31 Dec, 2000; President 1 Jan, 2005 to 31 Dec, 2007; Member Executive Council 1 Jan, 2008 to 31 Dec, 2010; Dr. B.P. Pal Memorial Award 1995-1996