Narinder Singh Randhawa received PhD (1964) from University of California, USA. He was National Coordinator, All India Coordinated Project on Micronutrients in Soils and Plants (1967-77), Professor, Senior Professor and Head of Soils Department (1967-73), Dean, College of Agriculture, Director of Research, Special Director of Research (1973-79), all at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; Deputy Director General (Soils, Agronomy and Engineering Research Education), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) (1979-85); also Secretary to Government of India, Department of Agricultural Research & Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and Director-General, ICAR, New Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Randhawa’s researches aimed at improving and sustaining productivity of soils through basic and applied work including field investigations. His major thrust areas were in soil chemistry, soil fertility and plant nutrition especially micronutrients in soils and plants. He focused on critical limits of micronutrients, transformation in soils, nutrient interactions, amelioration of their deficiencies and their effects on plant and livestock health. He authored the monographs: Micronutrients (ICAR and FAO); National Agriculture Research System of India (FAO); and Neem — Research and Development (Society of Pesticide Science, India).
Other Contributions: Dr Randhawa was conferred membership of the Research Advisory Council, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (1986-90) and represented India as Member of Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, Washington DC, USA (1985-90). He was Member of the INSA Council (1993-95).
Awards and Honours: Dr Randhawa was conferred Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize by ICAR (1975); National Citizen Award (1990); Padma Bhushan (1990); and NR Dhar Memorial Lectureship by National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1993). He was Vice-Chairman, International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Hyderabad (1985-90). He was elected Fellow and Vice President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi; Foreign Associate, All Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, USSR; and Honorary Member, Indian Society of Soil Sciences (sometime President), and Indian Society of Plant Nutrition (sometime President).