Khem Singh Gill
|Khem Singh Gill|
1 September 1930|
Kaleke, Moga District, Punjab, India
|Years active||Since 1951|
|Spouse(s)||(Late) Surjit Kaur Gill|
Dr. Baljit Singh Gill|
Dr. Davinder Kaur Saran
Ranjit Singh Gill
Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award
ICAR Team Research Award
ICAR Golden Jubilee Award
ISOR Silver Jubilee Award
Khem Singh Gill (born 1930) is an Indian academic, geneticist, plant breeder and a former Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab Agricultural University. He is known for his contributions to the Green Revolution in India. Instrumental for breeding new strains of wheat, linseed, and sesame, he is the author of the book Research on wheat and triticale in the Punjab along with several additional articles on the subject. He is also the Vice-President of The Kalgidhar Trust and The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib, which is one of the largest Sikh charities. A Sant Teja Singh Chair Professor in Sikhism of the Eternal Global University and a founding fellow of The World Academy of Sciences, he is a recipient of Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Memorial Prize, Team Research Award of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), FICCI Award, ICAR Golden Jubilee Award and Silver Jubilee Award of the Indian Society of Oilseeds Research. In 1992, the Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honor of the Padma Bhushan for his contributions to science.
Born 1 September 1930 at Kaleke, a small village in the Punjab State of India (presently in Moga District), Khem Singh Gill graduated in Agricultural Science (BSc) from Khalsa College, Amritsar in 1949 and secured his master's degree (MSc) from Punjab University in 1951. He started his career as a Research Assistant at the Department of Agriculture, Government of Punjab and later moved to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) as Assistant Oilseed Breeder before taking a break from work to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of California in 1963. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University in 1966, he returned to India and joined Punjab Agricultural University as a professor and the head of the Department of Genetics (1966-1968). Dr. Gill later became a professor and the head of the Department of Plant Breeding (1968–79), Dean of the College of Agriculture (1979–83), Director of Research (1983–87), and Director of Extension Education (1987–89). He eventually earned the post of Vice Chancellor of PAU in 1990.
Dr. Gill Served as Vice Chancellor until 1993. During his tenure at the university, he contributed to the development of the Department of Plant Breeding into a Center of Excellence. His contributions were also reported in the introduction of research programs the Hisar and Ludhiana campuses of the institution. He headed the Wheat Improvement Program of the state government. On the research front, his work assisted in the development of improved cultivars of linseed, sesame, and wheat and in the genetic improvement of pearl millet, barley and triticale. His researches have been documented by way of over 475 scientific papers and articles and many books, including Development of triticales for stability of yield and improved quality of grains: Final technical report and Research on wheat and triticale in the Punjab. He also guided 17 doctoral and 8 master's students in their researches.
While serving as the head of the Department of Plant Breeding at PAU, Dr. Gill founded the Crop Improvement Society of India in 1974. He served as its President until 1979, while remaining a loyal patron ever since. He was associated with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center as a member of its program committee and board of trustees (1988–93). He was the evaluator of two UNDP programs: sorghum and millets improvement program of International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Hyderabad (1981) and rice program of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines (1983). Dr. Gill served as the Senior Vice President of the International Triticale Association from 1988 to 1994. He was a council member of the Indian National Science Academy from 1983 to 1985. He is the founding board member of the Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib, an international non-profit charitable organization along with Baba Iqbal Singh who was the President of the board. He was associated with Baba Iqbal Singh since early college days and they both found their mentor in Sant Teja Singh, (MA LLB AM Harvard). Since 1994, Dr. Gill served as chairman of 129 Akal Academies under The Kalgidhar Trust/Society in the rural areas of Northern India.
Dr. Khem Singh Gill worked with Noble Peace Laureate Norman Borlaug in the 1960s to develop new varieties of wheat. Under his leadership, the Department of Plant Breeding received recognition at the international level. His main focus area, however, remained the wheat improvement program. Dr. Gill carried out excellent work in the development and identification of improved varieties of wheat, which revolutionized wheat production in Punjab and several other parts of India and Pakistan. He was one of the main contributors to the Green Revolution in India, which made India a self-reliant country with an added capacity to export grains to other countries. Dr. Gill has over 300 research publications and has authored many books in the area of his expertise (K. S. Gill, personal communication, 22 November 2016).
Awards and honors
Dr. Khem Singh Gill is a founder fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (1974), as well as an elected fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (1981) and the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1991). He is also a fellow of the Indian Society of Agricultural Sciences, Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Genetic Association of India and the Crop Improvement Society of India. The Indian Council made him a National Professor of Eminence in 1980 and the Eternal Global University conferred the Sant Teja Singh Chair Professorship in Sikhism on him in 2016.
Dr. Gill received the Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in 1976 and a cash prize from Punjab Agricultural University in 1978. ICAR honored him again in 1981 with the Team Research Award and he was awarded the FICCI Award in 1985. He received three appreciations from the United States Department of Agriculture, Washington in 1981, 1987 and 1991 and two Wheat Research Medals from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in 1973 and 1993. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honor of the Padma Bhushan in 1992, the same year as he received the Golden Jubilee Award of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He was also a recipient of the Silver Jubilee Award of the Indian Society of Oilseed Research in 1993. In 2015, Dr. Gill was conferred Doctor of Science (honoris causa) by Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana in Punjab, India.
Dr. Khem Singh Gill was involved in a controversy in 1985 when his son, Ranjit Singh Gill, was indicted in the assassination of Lalit Maken and his wife, Geetanjali. Controversy surrounded Maken's alleged involvement in the massacres of Sikhs during the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide in New Delhi. Ranjit was convicted, despite his father's efforts, and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2003. His sentence was later commuted. Ranjit Singh Gill, after the release from incarceration, is involved in community and social development activities.
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- Khem Singh Gill (1979). Research on wheat and triticale in the Punjab. Punjab Agricultural University. p. 128. ASIN B0007B06LU.
- Wheat, barley, and triticale cultivars: A list of publications. CIMMYT. 1997. pp. 76–. ISBN 978-970-648-055-2.
- "Home". The Kalgidhar Society, Baru Sahib. 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
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- "Fellow, Elected 1991". National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Indian Fellow. Indian National Science Academy.
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- "Gill, Khem Singh on WorldCat". WorldCat. 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Khem Singh Gill (1985). Development of triticales for stability of yield and improved quality of grains: Final technical report. Punjab Agricultural University. ASIN B0007BGED4.
- "Crop Improvement Society of India". Indian Journals.com. 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Gurdwara Baru Sahib - SikhiWiki, free Sikh encyclopedia". www.sikhiwiki.org. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
- "Iqbal Singh (spiritual leader)", Wikipedia, 2018-08-02, retrieved 2018-08-02
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- "Sukhbir holds closed-door meet with Ranjit Singh Kuki, in Ludhiana". Hindustan Times. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
- Darsham Singh Tatla (8 August 2005). The Sikh Diaspora: The Search For Statehood. Routledge. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-1-135-36744-2.
- "Gill Gets Life for Maken's Murder". The Sikh Times. 24 February 2003. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Interview with Dr. Khem Singh Gill". YouTube video. The Harpreet Singh Show. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Dr. Khem Singh Gill's speech - Part 1". YouTube video. Apsumal61. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Dr. Khem Singh Gill's speech - Part 2". YouTube video. Apsumal61. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2016.