2nd HGK Lecture by World Food Laureate Professor G.S. Khush

The second HGK Lecture was delivered by World Food Laureate Padma Shri, Prof. G.S. Khush, FRS, the renowned plant breeder and geneticist on 27th March, 2017 at Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Knowledge City, Mohali. Prof. G.S. Khush, also known as a father of green revolution in rice, delivered his talk titled "Food Security Challenges in India and Opportunities". He highlighted the agriculture and food related issues/concerns being faced by country especially Punjab which included ground water depletion, excessive use of farm chemicals and unscientific storage of food grains. He further stated that about 21% children of the country are suffering from malnutrition, while 400 million people are at risk of vitamin A deficiency. He suggested the viable solutions and urged the State Govt to take up remedial measures. More than 600 science students & teachers from Punjab & adjoining states participated and interacted with him.

About G.S.Khush

Dr. Khush was born at Roorkee, Punjab, India. He received B.Sc. degree from Punjab Agricultural University in 1955 & Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of California, Davis. After serving as a faculty member of the University of California for 7 years, he joined International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines as Plant Breeder and was appointed a Head of Plant Breeding Department in 1972.

He retired in April 2002 as Principal Plant Breeder and Head of Division of Plant Breeding Genetics and Biochemistry. During his 35 year career at IRRI he spearheaded the program for developing high yielding and disease & insect resistant varieties of rice which ushered in green revolution in rice farming. More than 300 rice varieties developed under his leadership have been released in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Rice production increased from 257 million tons in 1966 to 718 million tons in 2016. Most of the major rice growing countries became self- sufficient in rice production and several have exportable surplus. Thus he is known as a father of green revolution in rice.

Dr. Cantrell, Director General of IRRI summed up Dr. Khush's contributions by saying, "while his name may have passed the lips of many, his life's work has passed the lips of almost half the mankind".

Dr Khush has written 3 books, edited 6 books and has published 250 papers in scientific journals. For his contributions to world food security, Dr. Khush received Japan Prize in 1987, World Food Prize in 1996, Rank Prize in 1998, Wolf Prize in Agriculture in 2000, Padma Shri Award in 2000 from President of India, Golden Sickle Award in 2007 from Thailand and Mahathir Science Award in 2009 from Malaysian Government. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from fifteen universities. Dr. Khush was elected to the Indian National Science Academy, Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Academy of Sciences for Developing World, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society of London.

Glimpses of 2nd HGK Lecture by Prof. G.S.Khush

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