Mohinder Singh Randhawa

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MS Randhawa
Born Mohinder Singh Randhawa
(1909-02-02)2 February 1909
Zira, Punjab, India
Died 3 March 1986(1986-03-03) (aged 77)
Kharar, Punjab, India
Residence Kharar, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater University of the Punjab
Occupation Civil servant, art historian, contribution for indian algology:zygnemaceae (the only monograph available for algologists to identify indian zygnemaceae members.
Spouse(s) Smt. Iqbal Kaur Randhawa
Children Jatinder Singh Randhawa

Mohinder Singh Randhawa (2 February 1909 – 3 March 1988), known as M. S. Randhawa, was a Punjabi civil servant. He played major roles in the Green Revolution in India, resettling Punjabis uprooted by Partition, establishing the city of Chandigarh and documenting the arts of Punjab.


Early life and education[edit]

M. S. Randhawa was born 2 February 1909 at Zira, Ferozepur district, Punjab, India to an affluent Sikh family, S. Sher Singh Randhawa and Shrimati Bachint Kaur.Dr Randhawa's native village was Bodlan in Hoshiarpur district, though he was born at Zira (now in district Muktsar). He did his matriculation from Khalsa High School Muktsar in 1924 and his F.Sc., BSc (Hons.), and MSc (Hons.) in 1926, 1929 and 1930 respectively from Lahore. In 1955, he was awarded a Doctorate in Science by the University of the Punjab for his work on algae, especially on Zygnemataceae.


Randhawa joined the Indian Civil Service in 1934, then served in various capacities at Saharanpur, Fyzabad, Almora, Allahabad, Agra, and Rai Barelli until 1945, when he became secretary of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for a year. He was associated with the ICAR through its initial years and made huge contributions to this pioneering organisation which was responsible for the Green Revolution in India.

In 1946, he was appointed as the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi, when India was on the eve of independence. In 1947 he was in charge of the entire function where Jawaharlal Nehru delivered his famous Tryst with destiny speech. As the Deputy Commissioner, he helped persons uprooted by the Partition of India resettle, and then in 1949 he was sent as the Additional Director-General (Rehabilitation) and subsequently made the Director-General (Rehabilitation), Punjab. Dr. Randhawa then went to Ambala Division in Punjab as the Commissioner. He was brought back to the task of rehabilitating people in 1953 as the Development Commissioner and Commissioner Rehabilitation and Custodian, Evacuee Property, Punjab. During this time he was in charge of allotting land to those who had left behind lands in Pakistan and allotting land to them in Indian Punjab.

In 1955 he was made the Vice-President of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Additional Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, New Delhi. He then served the Government of India as Advisor, Natural Resources Planning Commission from 1961–1964 and the as special Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Govt. of India. Hesubsequently became the Financial Commissioner of the Capital Project Punjab from July 1966 to October 1966, and then he was appointed the Chief Commissioner of the Union Territory of Chandigarh in November 1966 and remained so till 1968.

Randhawa was chairman of the committee to plan the city which is now Chandigarh in 1955, and was instrumental in the city's landscaping. Only because of his untiring efforts, Chandigarh Museum, Punjab Arts Council and Museum of Cultural Heritage of Punjab at Ludhiana could be built. Many beautiful trees and plants now adorning roads and open spaces in Chandigarh were brought by Dr Randhawa. The city owes a lot to this great son of Punjab. Other achievements include his roles in establishing the Rose Garden in Sector 16 in Chandigarh, the Punjab Agricultural University at Ludhiana, the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, and the Anglo-Sikh Wars Memorial near Ferozepur which was completed in February 1976.

Death and afterward[edit]

Dr. Randhawa died on 3 March 1986 in his farmhouse in Kharar. The library at Punjab Agricultural University is named in his honour and maintains a collection of his works and laboratory instruments used by him.[1] Dr. Randhawa also served as the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University in the 70s.

Published works[edit]

  • The Birth of the Himalayas (1947)
  • Out of the Ashes; an account of the rehabilitation of refugees from West Pakistan in rural areas of East Punjab (1954)
  • Basohli Painting (1959)
  • Zygnemaceae (ICAR, New Delhi) (1959)
  • Indian Painting : the scene, themes, and legends with John Kenneth Galbraith (Hamilton, 1961)
  • Beautiful Trees and Gardens (1961)
  • Kangra Paintings on Love (1962)
  • Natural Resources of India (1963)
  • Flowering Trees (1965)
  • Chamba Painting (1967)
  • Farmers of India (1968)
  • Evolution of Life (1969)
  • The Kumaon Himalayas (1970)
  • Kangra rāgamālā paintings (1971)
  • Beautiful Gardens (1971)
  • The Famous Gardens of India (1971)
  • Kangra Valley Painting (1972)
  • Green Revolution (1973)
  • Travels in the western Himalayas in search of paintings (1974)
  • Gardens through the ages (1976)
  • Beautifying India (1977)
  • A history of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, 1929–1979 (1979)
  • Kishangarh Painting (1980)
  • A History of Agriculture in India (1980–1986)
  • Basohli Paintings of the Rasamanjari (1981)
  • Guler Painting (1982)
  • Paintings of the Bābur nāmā (1983)
  • Indian sculpture : the scene, themes, and legends (1985)
  • Indian paintings : exploration, research, and publications (1986)
  • Above all as an algologist he has published nearly 50 articles on different algae in reputed scientific journals from 1933 to 1962.


  1. ^ "M.S. Randhawa Library". Punjab Agricultural University.

External links[edit]