|Dr. Arvind Kumar receives the award from Minister of State for Agriculture Molhanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya (in deep khaki Nehru jacket).|
Arvind Kumar, IRRI senior scientist, received the prestigious Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for Outstanding Research in Agricultural Sciences 2014 from the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) during the celebration of ICAR's Foundation Day on 25 July in Patna, India.
Dr. Kumar was honored for his outstanding research under the area of crop sciences. Specifically, he was recognized for his significant contribution to increased rice production in rainfed environments, which are most susceptible to climate change-related stresses such as drought. To help farmers in these areas, his research enabled him to develop 35 drought-tolerant rice varieties, 15 of which have been released in India. Sahbhagi dhan, one of the first drought-tolerant rice varieties developed by IRRI and released in the country in 2010-11, has provided farmers with yield gain of 1 ton per hectare. It has now been disseminated to half a million hectares in India. He was also acknowledged for his work on identifying major genes for important traits such as grain yield, lodging resistance, and disease resistance, among others that have been used continuously by several breeding programs across the country.
The Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award was instituted by ICAR in 1956 to recognize outstanding research in agricultural and allied sciences and provide incentives for excellence in agricultural research.
A total of four awards were given, one for each of the following areas: crop and horticultural sciences, natural resources management and agricultural engineering, animal and fisheries sciences, and social sciences. Aside from citation, each award came with INR500,000 in cash.
The award is named after the late Sh. Rafi Ahmed Kidwai who was ICAR president from 1952 to 1954.