M S Swaminathan Current Affairs - 2020

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Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu National Award to Prof M S Swaminathan

On January 14, 2020, the Agricultural Scientist Prof M S Swaminathan was awarded the “Muppavarapu Venenkaiah Naidu” National award. The award was also presented to Mr Muniratnam. Mr Muniratnam was the first person to receive the award four days back.

Highlights

The professor was made the honours during Pongal celebrations at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. The award carried cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs.  During the celebrations, the professor was titled as “Father of Green Revolution and the Doyen of Agricultural Science”.

Muppavarapu foundation

Muppavarapu foundation is a non-profit organisation started by Mr Muppavarapu Harshavardhan, son of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. The organisation arranges training on latest technologies. The trainings are predominantly offered in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, animal husbandry, home science, fisheries, vermi culture and mushroom culture.

M S Swaminathan

Mr Swaminathan is an Indian Geneticist. He played a major role in Green Revolution programme of India. He has played the role of director general of ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), director of IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) and president of IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources). He was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Great Bengal Famine kindled the professor’s interest towards agriculture. He left his doctor profession and learned agriculture from University of Kerala. He also conquered UPSC and qualified for IPS.

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Tamil Nadu gets world’s first salt-tolerant plant garden

The world’s first Genetic Garden of Halophytes (naturally occurring salt-tolerant plants) was inaugurated at the coastal town of Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu.

The first of its kind garden in the world was inaugurated by Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib Fakim through video-conferencing.

Key Facts

  • The garden has been set up by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) founded by eminent agriculture scientist Prof M S Swaminathan, father of Indian Green Revolution.
  • It will have over 1,600 species belonging to 550 genera and 117 families of Halophytes plants.
  • Initially it will comprise halophytes occurring along the coasts of India including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

What are Halophytes?

Halophytes are salt-tolerant or salt-resistant plants. They can thrive and complete their life cycles in soils or waters containing high salt concentrations. They constitute two per cent of terrestrial plant species.

Significance

Halophytes plants are important in the context of increasing salinisation of land especially due sea level rise because of climate change and global warming. In recent times, alarming rise in the sea level has prompted agriculture scientists to call for the cultivation of saline-tolerant crops in light danger of sea intrusion. In future, anticipatory research of these plants could reap rich rewards to mitigate impact of climate change as they can provide food for people, fodder for livestock, bio fuel and also can be used for ornamental purposes.

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