golden jubilee lecture
H. C. Grover
The Fertiliser Association of India, New Delhi
Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Mr. Madhukar Gupta, Secretary, Department of Fertilizers, Mr. P. S. Grewal, Vice-Chairman, FAI, Mr. B. K. Saha, Director General - FAI, distinguished invitees and delegates.
I welcome you all to the FAI Golden Jubilee Celebration. On this happy occasion, we are honoured and privileged to have with us Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, the world renowned scientist who needs no introduction to anyone present here or anywhere in the world. Before I invite him to deliver the Golden Jubilee Lecture, I would like to briefly reminisce about FAI.
The Fertiliser Association of India was registered as a company 50 years ago on the 27th May, 1955 at Hyderabad and shifted to Delhi in 1959. In the last 50 years, the FAI has come a long way. The founding fathers of the Association and their successors made such foundation for the Association to prosper. Over the years, the FAI has progressively grown in stature both at the national as well as international levels. Its membership has grown from mere 12 members in 1955 to 1282 members comprising of Active, Associate, Overseas Associate and Technical & Professional Associate members. Its activities have also increased manifold in different areas like developing international relations, organizing seminars, conferences, workshops, training programmes, documentation and publications, awards for excellence in various functional areas of the fertiliser industry, collection, compilation and dissemination of information related to fertiliser and agriculture. The role played by the Association and the results achieved in the last 50 years are indeed gratifying. But for the vision of the founder of the Association, this would not have been possible. We would like to pay our tribute to their farsightedness. In fact, we are grateful to each and every one who has contributed to its growth and the success of the FAI. In this connection, I would like to make a special reference to the Director Generals or Executive Directors as they were earlier known who made the growth and success of FAI possible, Mr. C. R. Ranganathan was the first Executive Director of FAI who nursed the organisation in the initial years. Mr. Satya Nand nurtured this organisation for ten years, Mr. Pratap Narayan steered the organization for 17 long years.
As I said earlier, Prof. Swaminathan needs no introduction. But it is customary and etiquette demands that I should say a few words about him to introduce to you. Prof. Swaminathan has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century and one of the only three from India, the other two being Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as “the Father of Economic Ecology” and by Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary General of the United Nations, as “a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction”. He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 to take follow-up action on the Vienna Plan of Action. He has also served as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council and President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. He is the current President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.
A plant geneticist by training Prof. M. S. Swaminathan has been acknowledged as a world leader in the field of sustainable food security. He is the recipient of the first international award for significant contributions to promoting Empowerment of Women in Agriculture and for his pioneering role in bringing into the mainstream gender considerations in agriculture and rural development. Prof. Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986, and the first World Food Prize in 1987.
Prof. Swaminathan is a Fellow of many of the leading scientific academies of India and the world, including the Royal Society of London and the U. S National Academy of Sciences. He has received 50 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. He currently holds the UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai (Madras), India and Chairman of the National Commission on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security of India.
May I now request Prof. M. S. Swaminathan to deliver the Golden Jubilee Lecture on “Towards an Evergreen Revolution in Agriculture”.