Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 22 May 2024 7.46 AM IST

Bharat Ratna for former PMs P V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and agriculturalist M S Swaminathan


NEW DELHI: Three more have been conferred with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Former Prime Ministers Chaudhary Charan Singh, P V Narasimha Rao and eminent agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan have been awarded the Bharat Ratna. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the award through X.

The Prime Minister announced the award highlighting the contributions of the three. L K Advani and former Bihar Chief Minister Karpuri Thakur were awarded the Bharat Ratna.

A scholar and statesman, Narasimha Rao also served as chief minister, union minister, Member of Parliament and Assembly of Andhra Pradesh. Modi penned on X that his visionary leadership played a crucial role in India's economic progress and laid a strong foundation for the country's prosperity and growth.

‘It is our government's fortune to honour Chaudhary Charan Singh with Bharat Ratna. This honor is in recognition of his contributions to the nation. He dedicated his life for the rights and welfare of farmers. As the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and even more so as an MLA, he always gave energy to build the nation. He also stood firm against emergency. His dedication to our farmers and his commitment towards democracy during emergency is an inspiration to the entire nation,' the Prime Minister penned in his post.

M S Swaminathan is a Malayali to win the Bharat Ratna after MGR. M S Swaminathan, the father of Indian agricultural revolution, passed away last September. M S Swaminathan was born on August 7, 1925 at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu. His ancestral home is at Pulinkunnu Mankombu in Kuttanad of Alappuzha.

M S Swaminathan, who graduated in Zoology from Maharaja's College (now University College) in Thiruvananthapuram, went on to study genetics and plant breeding and became a world-renowned agronomist. The genius who led India to agricultural self-sufficiency has been honored by the country with Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards. Along with this, he has received many awards such as the Ramon Magsaysay Award, the First World Food Prize, the Borlaug Award, etc. These include 84 honorary doctorates.

High yielding seeds adapted to the country's environment were developed and widely propagated among farmers. This was a major step towards the Green Revolution. After studying abroad, he returned to India in early 1954. He then joined the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi in October 1954 as an Assistant Cytogeneticist.
He was the Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research from 1972 to 1979 and held important positions like principal secretary of Indian Ministry of Agriculture, Director General of International Rice Research Center and Chairman of National Farmers Commission. A severe food shortage in Bengal in 1943 prompted him to devote his life to the work of making the country hunger-free. Daughter Soumya responded that she is proud of the award.

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