Krishnasamy Ramiah obtained DSc (1953) from Utkal University. He worked as Geneticist and Botanist, Institute of Plant Industry, Indore (1938-46); Director, Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack (1946-51); Rice Consultant, FAO (1951-57); Special Officer, ICAR (1957-64); Adviser, Planning Commission; and Vice-Chancellor, Orissa University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneshwar (1965-68).
Academic and Research Achievements: Known as ‘Rice Ramaiah’ by his admires, Dr Ramaiah was responsible for coordination of rice research in the country. With Dr N Parthasarathy, he initiated work on rice hybridization and induction of mutations with X-rays. His contributions to our understanding of rice were wide ranging, covering both qualitative and quantitative traits. His work on gene identification and symbolization construction of linkage maps and classification of rice varieties according to grain quality still remains a classic. Above all, he was one the earliest to understand the close correlation between plant architecture and response to good soil fertility and water management. The improved varieties of rice, he evolved, were grown on several million hectares in Madras Presidency and elsewhere. At the CRRI, he introduced a seasoned crop of rice in canal-irrigated areas and encouraged the use of fertilizers in fields. His work shed light on the origin of cultivated rice.
Other Contributions: Ramaiah was largely responsible for putting CRRI, Cuttack on a firm footing. Being Member, Rajya Sabha (upper house of the parliament), he participated in policy-making processes of India. He drew the attention of the FAO and the UN to the need for constituting an International Rice Commission which indeed materialized. He helped in producing a world catalogue of genetic stock of materials available in different countries. He was also closely involved in the establishment of international Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines.
Awards and Honours: Dr Ramaiah was awarded MBE (1938); International Rice Year Medal by ICAR (1956); Sunder Lal Hora Medal by INSA (1969); Padma Shri (1956); and Padma Bhushan (1970). He was Foundation Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; Honorary Fellow, Japanese Breeding Society; and Vice-President, INSA (1969-70).