Eminent agricultural scientist and Padma Bhushan awardee Gurcharan Singh Kalkat passed away here on Saturday following a brief illness. He was 92.
Kalkat was actively involved as an agricultural scientist during the Green Revolution in Punjab in the 1950s and 1960s to make the country self-reliant in foodgrain.
He was the founder-Chairman of Punjab State Farmers Commission, and former Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice Chancellor (1988-2001), Ludhiana.
He was a recipient of Padma Shri (1981) and Padma Bhushan (2007).
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, in a condolence message, said Kalkat was a “pioneer in bringing several exemplary reforms in the field of agriculture, besides unleashing the Green Revolution in the state”.
He recalled Kalkat’s immense contribution to ensure overall development and phenomenal growth in the agricultural sector.
Amarinder Singh said that Kalkat worked tirelessly for the welfare of farmers.
Born on June 17, 1926, Kalkat graduated in agricultural science from the Punjab Agricultural College, Lyallpur (now in Pakistan), in 1947 and secured a master’s in agriculture from the University of Panjab in 1956.
He went to the United States on a Rockefeller Fellowship to complete his doctoral studies at the Ohio State University. He returned to Punjab in 1960 and joined the government.
He also worked as a senior agriculturist with the World Bank in Washington DC.