The last engagement of Swiss President Doris Leuthard during her recent visit to India was perhaps the most exciting one as she came face to face with ‘Father of the Green Revolution’ in India Dr MS Swaminathan.

The occasion was the officially launch of ’70 Years of Swiss-Indian Friendship’ initiative on the lush green lawns of the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi. The two countries had signed their friendship agreement on 14 August 1948.

The others awarded on the occasion were Sushil K Premchand, Barbara Maim, Matias Ecahnove and Rahul Srivastva. Echanove and Srivastva are co-founders of the Urbz platform in Geneva and Mumbai and are engaged in projects involving architecture, design, planning, anthropology, pedagogy and technology.

Premchand is a former president of the SwissIndian Chamber of Commerce and is considered a pillar of the Indo-Swiss business community. Maim, a Swiss citizen based in Bengaluru, is the co-founder of the start-up Minsh, a community messaging system and private social network.

Swaminathan has been a close collaborator with the Swiss Development Cooperation on food security and climate change for over 10 years. He said of India’s relations with Switzerland, ”The friendship goes beyond economy, culture, valuesystem, peace and nonviolence.”

The Swiss President expressed confidence that relations between India and Switzerland would grow from strength to strength and lauded the role of the people of the two countries in this endeavour.