Soumya Swaminathan to head M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

Former WHO chief scientist to use science for sustainable development of rural and coastal communities


Geetanjali Minhas | January 31, 2023

#Soumya Swaminathan   #agriculture   #science   #policy   #WHO   #Covid-19  

Former World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan takes charge as chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) from February 1.
Founded by her father, the legendary agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan, MSSRF was set up to accelerate the use of modern science and technology for agricultural and rural development and to improve lives and livelihoods of marginalised communities. Over 5,50,000 farm families and 2,50,000 fisherfolk from 4,000 villages across 14 states are benefitted by it every day.
“The pandemic has taught us that science and technology can help solve humankind’s problems but need to be used with ethics and equity as the foundation. I look forward to working with the staff of MSSRF and rural, tribal and coastal communities to use science for sustainable development,” Soumya Swaminathan said in a statement.
Prior to working as WHO chief scientist, she was the deputy director-general for programmes at that global health body. As the WHO’s inaugural chief scientist, she was instrumental in building its Science Division with a focus on research, quality assurance of norms and standards and digital health. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she played a key role in coordinating scientific efforts at the WHO as well as in setting up Covax with a focus on equitable vaccine distribution to LMICs.
Swaminathan was secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research from 2015 to 2017 where she focused on bringing science and evidence into health policy-making, building research capacity in Indian medical schools  and forging south-south partnerships in health sciences. Between 2009 to 2011 she also served as coordinator of the UNICEF/ UNDP/ World Bank/ WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in Geneva.
Swaminathan has published more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She is a Fellow of the US National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Medical Sciences of the UK and a Fellow of all the science academies in India. She has received several honorary doctorates, including from EPFL, Lausanne and the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She serves on several national and global advisory bodies and committees and is an adjunct Professor at Karolinska University in Sweden and Tufts University in Boston, USA.



Other News

India’s forest cover increases by 5,516 sq km in four years

The Dehradun-based Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, carries out the assessment of forest cover biennially since 1987 and the findings are published in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR). As per the latest ISFR 2021, there is a

Steps taken to meet higher power demand of April-May

While the average growth of energy requirement in the country for 2023-24 viz-a-viz 2022-23 has been estimated as 4.9%, the months of April and May have been projected as high demand period. During the current year, the peak demand is expected to be around 229 GW during the summer period. The government ha

Millets to make comeback in army ration after half a century

As the UN has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Indian Army has steered introduction of millets flour in the rations of soldiers. This landmark decision will ensure troops are supplied with native and traditional grains after over half a century, when these were discontinued in favour

Central Bank Digital Currency has game-changing potential

When discussing digital currency, you might think of one or two well-known varieties. There is the digital representation of currency that you access with mobile and online banking services. This currency is the liability of a commercial bank. There is also cryptocurrency, a digital medium of exchange issu

An Insider’s Account of the Zail Singh Years: The Endgame

The Indian President: An Insider’s Account of the Zail Singh Years By K.C. Singh HarperCollins, 312 pages, Rs.699  

‘My Father Was a Simple Man’: Remembering Gen. Rawat

Bipin: The Man Behind the Uniform By Rachna Bisht Rawat Penguin, 207 pages, Rs 599 On the morning of 8 December 202

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Current Issue


Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter