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Posted at: Jan 27, 2018, 7:49 PM; last updated: Jan 28, 2018, 2:15 AM (IST)

Agricultural scientist GS Kalkat dies at 92

Agricultural scientist GS Kalkat dies at 92
Gurcharan Singh Kalkat. File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 27

Eminent agricultural scientist Gurcharan Singh Kalkat passed away at PGIMER here on Saturday after a brief illness. He was 92.

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Kalkat was awarded Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan for his work.

Born in Hoshiarpur's Sahora village on June 17, 1926, Kalkat obtained his BSc Agriculture degree from Punjab Agriculture College, Lyallpur (now Pakistan) in 1947.

As a Rockfeller Fellow, he joined the Ohio State University in January 1957 and completed his PhD in agricultural zoology-entomology in December 1958.

He was later honoured with the "Distinguished International Student Award" of the university.

Kalkat also worked as a senior agriculturist with the World Bank. He was stationed at Washington DC from 1978-1989.

During this period, he worked on agriculture and rural development programmes of Nigeria and Ghana and he was a pioneer in introducing shallow tubewells for irrigation and hand pumps for the purpose of drinking water in Nigeria.

He also supervised the implementation of World Bank assisted programmes in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Indonesia.

Kalkat also held the reins of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana as its vice-chancellor from 1998 to 2001.

During his tenure, he identified the priority areas to find the problems of farmers and farming in consultation with agricultural economists and farm scientists, a PAU release said.

During his tenure as the director agriculture, Punjab and agriculture commissioner/additional secretary, the country witnessed Green Revolution.

In his condolence message, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh 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 agriculture sector.

Recalling his outstanding services, the CM said Kalkat worked tirelessly throughout his life for the welfare and prosperity of the farmers, besides introducing new farm practices to enhance the agriculture production, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Sharing his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family, relatives and friends of Kalkat, Captain Amarinder Singh prayed to the Almighty to grant eternal peace to the departed soul.

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