Hari Krishan Jain obtained his BSc (Hons) degree (1949) in Botany from Delhi University and Associateship of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (1951). On receiving Science Research Scholarship of the Royal Commission, London, he went to the University College of Wales, Aberystyth, for his PhD. On retuning to India, Jain joined the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. He was appointed as Head of the Division of Genetics at IARI (1966) and became Director of IARI (1978). He received DSc (hc) from IARI (2005). Currently Jain is the Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Jain taught advanced courses in genetics in the country's foremost Post-Graduate School in Agricultural Sciences. While doing his PhD abroad, Jain's work on Lulium showed that chromosome condensation and nucleolar synthesis during the meiotic cell division are correlated. At IARI his group worked on the cytological mechanisms of genetic recombination in Delphinium. His laboratory reported the discovery of chemical mutagen specificity and observations on ribosomal RNA synthesis in the evolution of bread wheat. He directed the Institute's development programs on high-yielding varieties and its diversification. Earlier, the Institute used to receive semi-dwarf varieties of wheat from Mexico. Jain promoted three major programmes to incorporate the new plant-type genes in the genetic background of Indian wheat combining high-yields, adaptation and diversity. A significant part of the Green Revolution technology came from IARI at a time when Jain was holding key positions in that Institute.
Other Contributions: In 1984, Jain joined the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands, one of the Centres of CGIAR. As its Deputy Director General, Jain organized collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Systems of more than 30 countries, especially, those of sub-Saharan Africa, advising them on organization and management of research. Jain has been a Trustee of Several International Research Boards and Member of Science Committees including the SACC. He served as Member, INSA Council during 1979-81.
Awards and Honours: Dr Jain received SS Bhatnagar of Prize of CSIR (1966), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award of ICAR (1967), Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1975); Padma Shri (1981); Borlaug Award (1982); Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1986); Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture (1996) of INSA; Dr BP Pal Medal of NAAS (1997-98); and BP Pal Memorial Award by Indian Science Congress Association (2003-04). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.