Reema Anand : The Pioneer of Green Revolution in India, Former Vice Chancellor -Punjab Agricultural University, Vice-Chairman-The Kalgidhar Trust and Chairman Akal Academies , Baru Sahib is no more. He breathed his last at Hero Heart Institute, Ludhiana.
He did his Bachelors in Agriculture from Khalsa College Amritsar in 1949 and subsequently Masters in Genetics and Plant Breeding in 1952. Dr. Khem Singh was one of the nuclear staff when PAU was established in 1962.
He was the first scientist to be sent abroad for Research by the University . After completing his PH.D on Linseeds, from the University of California, he returned in 1966,to India, to take over as a Professor and Head of Department of Genetics at PAU, at the Hissar campus.
On May 25, 1968 Dr Gill was appointed as the Head of Department of Plant Breeding and became Dr. M. S. Randhawa ‘s right hand man.
DrGill’s prowess in building the wheat program and developing more than 30 varieties of wheat, pearl millet and other crops was an add on to Green Revolution progressing in Punjab and India.
The release of WL 711 variety of wheat by Dr Gill in Punjab and rest of India and launching of semi- dwarf , high yielding varieties of wheat, made Punjab the wheat granary of India. As a result, Punjab today produces 21% of India’s wheat and 8.5% of its rice.
Undoubtedly Dr. Khem Singh Gill proved to be an eminent plant breeder and a role model for many an evolving scientist.
Dr Khem Singh Gill was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India. It was an acknowledgement of his life long dedication to his country, to Agriculture and to the farming community.
He was the founding trustee of The Kalgidhar Trust along with Baba Iqbal Singh.
As Director of the Akal Academies, he set up the first academy in Punjab at Muktsar in 1993. This wave of setting up Academies continued over the years, and today there are 117 Akal Academies functioning in Punjab, Haryana,Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Dr. Gill remained the Director of these Academies to date.
An epitome of humility and unending dedication, Dr. Khem Singh Gill , with his stature stands tall among the Indians world over. Punjabis truly salute this sage- scientist of Punjab, whose persona is larger than life.
He is survived by a daughter and two sons.