Krishnaswamy Ramiah
Born15 April 1892
Died3 August 1988(1988-08-03) (aged 96)
OccupationAgricultural scientist
Known forRice genetics
SpouseJanaki Ammal (3 Aug 1902 – 15 March 1985)
ChildrenFive sons and two daughters

Krishnaswamy Ramiah MBE (15 April 1892 – 3 August 1988) was an Indian agricultural scientist, geneticist, parliamentarian and the founder director of Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack,[1] credited with introducing systematic hybridisation programmes in rice breeding in India.[2] The Government of India honoured him in 1957, with the award of Padma Shri, the fourth-highest Indian civilian award for his services to the nation and followed it up with the third-highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1970.[3]


Ramiah, born in 1892,[2] started his career, in 1914, as a member of research staff at the Paddy Breeding Station in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.[1] In three years time, by 1917, he produced new crossbreeds of rice though pure line selection and breed improvement.[2] Later, he introduced systematic hybridisation programmes, known to be the first Indian scientist to pursue such a protocol in rice breeding.[1] When the Government of India established the Central Rice Research Institute in 1946, Ramiah was selected to head the institution as its founder director[2] and continued at his post when the institute was later brought under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.[4] During his tenure there, he also led the International Rice Commission, a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) initiative. He was reported to have contributed to the FAO sponsored Indo-Japonica Hybridization programme[1] which yielded the nitrogen responsive rice varieties of Mahsuri, Malinja, ADT 27 and Circna, the first two released in Malaysia, the third in India and the last one, in Australia.[5] He also evolved a number of varieties of rice which include GEB 24, ADT 3, CO 4 and CO 25.[6] The GEB 24 variety is a progenitor for 83 rice varieties developed across countries.[7]

Ramiah was one of the first scientists who advocated for standardisation of gene symbols for rice.[2] Serving as the FAO expert based in Bangkok, he was involved with the rice breeding in many countries.[1][2] He was known to have conducted advanced research on X-ray induced mutation of rice[2] and established a gene bank for rice.[8] He was the author of two books on the subject, Rice in Madras[9] and Rice Breeding and Genetics.[10]

The British government appointed Ramiah a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1938 Birthday Honours list.[11] After India's independence, the Government of India recognised his services by awarding him the fourth-highest civilian honour of Padma Shri in 1957 and the third-highest honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1970.[3][12] The Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has instituted Ramiah Memorial Lecture, an annual lecture event, in his honour.[13] He died on 3 August 1988, survived by his five sons and two daughters and their families; his wife had predeceased him.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Gramene". Gramene. 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Shigen". Shigen. 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Padma Shri" (PDF). Padma Shri. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Central Rice Research Institute". Central Rice Research Institute. 2015. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  5. ^ Japan's Role in Tropical Rice Research. International Rice Research Institute. 7 December 1982. ISBN 9789711040659. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  6. ^ "NRRI Annual Report 2017-2018." retrieved on 9 December 2018.
  7. ^ "NRRI Annual Report 2017-2018." retrieved on 9 December 2018.
  8. ^ "A Master in his Field". Hindustan Times. 7 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  9. ^ Krishnasamy Ramiah (1937). Rice in Madras. Government Press. p. 249. ASIN B0000D5XND.
  10. ^ Krishnasamy Ramiah (1953). Rice Breeding and Genetics : Scientific Monographs. Indian Council of Agricultural Research. p. 360. ASIN B0007JG8JG.
  11. ^ "No. 34518". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 June 1938. p. 3704.
  12. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2014)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. pp. 2–11. Retrieved 22 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Nebraska Water Centre". Nebraska Water Centre. 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015.

Further reading