The Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding, the oldest and most prestigious registered society of practicising Geneticists and Plant Breeders from public and private institutions and the students pursuing Genetics and Plant Breeding disciplines, has vital role to play in fostering the progress of Science of Genetics and Plant Breeding in the country. The Society was founded 60 years ago, in January, 1941 at the Indian Congress Session at BHU, Varanasi by a group of Indian geneticists and plant breeders of that time led by Late Dr. B.P. Pal, the First Secretary and also the First Editor of the Society's official publication. The Indian Journal of Genetics & Plant Breeding. Sir T.S. Venkataraman, was the First President of the Society in 1941. The Society was registered in 1951 under the Societies Act 1860. The Founder of the Society Late Dr. B.P. Pal graced the Presidentship of the Society four times - 1947, 1948, 1957 and 1977. The Father of Green Revolution in India, Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, was President of the Society for three terms - 1964, 1975 and 1983. The other distinguished Scientists who were Presidents of the Society for two terms each were: Dr. W. Burns, 1942 & 1943; Dr. K. Ramaiah, 1944 & 1953; Dr. N. Parthasarthy, 1952 & 1969; Dr. A.B. Joshi 1962& 1978; Dr. S.S. Rajan, 1971 & 1972. Some other distinguished past Presidents of the Society who guided the Society activities in the early years include : Mr. Ram Dhan Singh, 1945, Dr. S.M. Sikka, 1954, Dr. T.R. Mehta, 1955; Prof. P.N. Bhaduri, 1958; Dr. R.H. Richaria, 1959; Dr. Pushkarnath, 1960; Dr. E.K. Janaki Ammal, 1961. Prof. R.B. Singh, presently Assistant Director General, FAO, Bangkok was the immediate past president of the Society, 1997-99. The present President of the Society Dr. Mangala Rai [Dy. Director General (Crop Science), ICAR] is the 51st President and 41st person to ben the President of the Society till date.
Since the humble founding of the Society in pre-independent India, the Society has continually expanded and has now on its roll, more then 2000 members from India n\and abroad which include more than 900 Life Members. The Society has 45 foreign members and 14 Honorary Fellows. The list of its Honorary Fellows includes some of the most renowned Geneticists and Plant Breeders of the twentieth century like Prof. H.J. Muller, Prof. Gustafsson, Prof. H. Kihara, Nobel Laureates Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, Dr. Hargovind Khorana, Prof. J. Lederberg and Dr. B. Mc Clintock. World Food Prize winners Dr. M. S. Swaminatha, Dr. Gurdev Khush and Dr. S.K. Vasal are also closely associated with the Society.
The major aims and objectives of the Society are : (i) To advance the cause of research in the field of genetics and plant breeding and its allied disciplines in India, (ii) To dissiminate the knowledge of Genetics and Plant Breeding and (iii) To provide facilities for association and conferences for students of heredity and for the encouragement of close relationship between workers in Genetics and Plant Breeding and those in the related sciences. These have been achieved through a number of activities such as: providing a forum for publication of the research findings in the peer-reviewed and widely circulated official publication of the Society - Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding with its short name Indian J. Genet. Since ints inception in 1941. The historical first paper of the very first issue of the journal by William Burns on "Some Ideas and Opportunities for Plant Geneticists in India" is reprinted and included in this Directory. The Society organizes symposia, conferences and seminars and has organized so far 6 International and 17 national Symposia and is a recognized body engaged in research and teaching by DSTIR for income tax relief.
The Society has instituted several Awards and Memorial lectures in memory of its distinguished departed members such as : Dr. B.P. Pal Memorial Lectures; Dr. Harbhajan Singh Memorial Ward for Plant Exploration & Conservation; Dr. Joginder Singh Memorial Award for maize genetics; Dr. S. Ramanujam Memorial Award for Genetics and Plant Breeding; Dr. V.S. Mathur Award for Wheat research and Dr. N.R. Bhat Award for best paper from Ph.D. thesis.
The Society has also founded the XVth Genetics Congress Trust in 1985 for the purpose of providing financial supports for various activities of genetics and plant breeding research.
True to the letter and spirit of its objectives, the Society has been keeping itself abrest with the latest research in the area of Genetics and Plant Breeding by encouraging active integration among its members through topical seminar/symposia to bring about an awareness among its members and the public at large.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the Society shall be to:
- advance the cause of genetics and plant breeding and to encourage and promote study and research in these disciplines in the service of agriculture
- disseminate the knowledge of genetics and plant breeding,
- provide facilities for association and conference among students of genetics and plant breeding and for encouragement of close relationship between them and those in the related sciences,
- advocate policies in the interest of the nation in the field of genetics and plant breeding, and
- facilitate international cooperation in the field of genetics and plant breeding.