Dr. Sanjay Rajaram posthumously receives the Republic of India’s Padma Bhushan Award
Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, World Food Prize winner and former scientist of ICARDA and CIMMYT was awarded the Padma Bhushan award by the Government of the Republic of India. The Padma Bhushan is India’s third highest civilian honor, awarded to those who have displayed “distinguished service of a high order”. Dr. Rajaram joins the rank of nearly 1300 unique individuals who were honored for their exemplary achievements since the launch of the Padma Bhushan in 1954.
Dr. Rajaram joined ICARDA in 2002 as Director of the Integrated Gene Management Program. Prior to joining ICARDA, Dr. Rajaram spent 33 years with CIMMYT where he worked closely with Nobel Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug, helping to release hundreds of high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties of improved wheat. Due to their groundbreaking work that raised millions our of poverty and food insecurity, Drs. Rajaram and Borlaug are considered leading figures of the “green revolution” - the research technology transfer initiatives that occurred in the ‘50s and ‘60s vastly increasing agricultural production.
After his retirement in 2008, Dr. Rajaram continued to offer his expertise on wheat improvement strategies that tackle challenges facing the cultivation of the crop in dry areas, including stripe rust, a threat to worldwide wheat production that is now worsening due to climate change.
His lifelong work to improve worldwide food security through increasing global wheat production and the development of improved wheat varieties resulted in him being awarded the prestigious World Food Prize in 2014.