The prestigious 7th Dr. MS Swaminathan Award for the period 2017-2019 was awarded to Dr. V Praveen Rao, the Vice Chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University. This biennial national award jointly constituted by Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) and Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL) carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 Lakhs, a Gold Medal and a citation. The Award Selection Committee met on 07.03.2020 which was chaired by Dr. R S Paroda (Former Director General, ICAR) selected Dr. Praveen Rao from among a panel of 13 top national scientists from the fields of agriculture, horticulture and veterinary sciences who were considered for the award. The selection committee stated that the outstanding and innovative contributions of Dr. Praveen Rao in the areas of agricultural research, teaching, extension and administration clinched the award for him in a very closely contested selection.
Dr. Praveen Rao who currently is the first Vice Chancellor of Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University has, to his credit, outstanding contribution in the area of micro irrigation. He has handled 13 research and 6 consultancy projects of micro irrigation in India, Israel and South Africa. He was a technical advisor and was instrumental in the formulation and commissioning world’s largest micro irrigation project covering an area of 0.9 million hectares and this project is considered as a milestone in Indian agriculture. He is also currently a member of Telangana State Council of CII.
The Retired Indian Council of Agricultural Research Employees’ Association (RICAREA) was formed in 1997 to serve the cause of agriculture based on the ideals and objectives of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), by collaborating with Governmental Agencies, NGOs, Public & Private enterprises, and farming communities with the aid of the rich experience of its Members viz., retired personnel of the ICAR. The Association is also serving as a pool of resource persons for scientific and extension bodies, besides bringing awareness of developments in science and technology among the farming community and general public. At present, the Association has a membership of 500.
Nuziveedu Seeds Limited (NSL) is one of the largest Indian seed companies in India operating for more than 40 years in our country. NSL is undertaking crop improvement projects in more than 30 crops in breeding stations located across the country in almost all agro climatic conditions. The varieties/hybrids developed by NSL’s breeding programs are well tested all over the country in hundreds of trial locations for ascertaining their superiority and suitability. NSL supplies quality seeds to more than 15 million farmers. NSL is the sponsor of this prestigious award.
The first M.S. Swaminathan award for the biennium 2004-2005 was presented to the leading Poultry Scientist Dr Genda Lal Jain on 27th October 2005. The Awards of the subsequent biennia are presented as indicated below:
- 2006-2007 – Dr. B. Prakash, Scientist, NDRI
- 2008-2009 – Dr S. Nagarajan, Eminent Plant Pathologist & Former Director IARI
- 2010-2011 – Dr S.R. SaiKumar, Maize Breeder & Ex Project Coordinator, ICAR & Dr N. Shobha Rani Principal Scientist in Rice Breeding IIRR
- 2012 – 2013 – Dr Surender Lal Goswami Eminent Animal Geneticist -Breeder & Former Director NAARM
- 2015 – 2016 – Dr R.R. Hanchinal Eminent Plant Breeder and Seed Production Specialist, Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers’ Rights Authority, GOI, New Delhi
The Award Presentation function was held on 8th December 2021 at 5.30 PM in Dr. MCRHRD Institute, Jubilee Hills. Shri M Venkaiah Naidu Garu, Hon’ble Vice President of India was the Chief Guest for this function and Shri S Niranjan Reddy Garu, Hon’ble Agriculture Minister, Govt. of Telangana was Guest of Honour.