Professor M S Swaminathan has been acclaimed by the TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century. He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as "the Father of Economic Ecology" because of his leadership of the ever-green revolution movement in agriculture. He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee. He has also served as Independent Chairman of the FAO Council and President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. He was President of the World Wide Fund for Nature (India). He also served as President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs , President of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Chairman , National Commission on Farmers.
A plant geneticist by training , Professor Swaminathan's contributions to the agricultural renaissance of India have led to his being widely referred to as the scientific leader of the green revolution movement. His advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an ever-green revolution makes him an acknowledged world leader in the field of sustainable food security.
He served as Director of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute , Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Secretary to the Government of India , Department of Agricultural Research and Education , Principal Secretary , Ministry of Agriculture , Acting Deputy Chairman and later Member (Science and Agriculture) , Planning Commission and Director General , International Rice Research Institute , the Philippines. The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting the knowledge , skill , and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for his pioneering role in mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development. Professor Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971. He is the recipient of Padma Shri (1967) , Padma Bhushan (1972) and Padma Vibushan (1989).
Professor Swaminathan is a Fellow of many of the leading scientific academies of India and the world , including the Royal Society of London and the U S National Academy of Sciences. He was a Member of the Parliament of India (Rajya Sabha) , during 2007-13.