Pushpendra Kumar Gupta earned his BSc (1956) and MSc (1958) degrees from Agra University. He worked at Meerut College, Meerut and DAV College Muzaffarnagar for a brief period and then joined Gorakhpur University (GPU) (1960), where he taught and conducted research in cytogenetics. He joined University of Manitoba, Canada for his PhD degree (1967) on a Commonwealth Scholarship. After his return from Canada, he served GPU for two years and then joined Meerut University, Meerut (1969). He worked as Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural Botany and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture at Meerut University. He continued there in active service till his retirement (1996) and later as an Emeritus Professor. He was INSA Senior Scientist during 2003-06. He visited UK (1974-75), Germany (1991) and Canada (every summer during 1984-88) for higher studies and collaborative research in the field of plant cytogenetics, molecular biology and biotechnology.
Academic and Research Achievements: Gupta extensively worked on different areas of plant cytogenetics, induced mutations, and quantitative genetics utilizing both classical and molecular approaches (mainly in cereals and legumes). Initially, while at Gorakhpur and Meerut, he conducted studies on chromosome status in several groups of plants including grasses, ornamentals and legumes, but later, during his PhD work (1964-67), he studied homoeologous relationships between wheat and rye chromosomes using wheat rye alien substitution lines. He also conducted research in the area of induced mutations and biometrical genetics and release of a mutant variety in mungbean (MUM-2). More recently, he has established a wheat biotechnology laboratory at Meerut and conducted research leading to detection of marker-trait associations and use of marker-aided selection for a number of traits in bread wheat. He has authored more than a dozen textbooks and published over 350 research articles, and mentored a large number of students including seventy PhD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Gupta brought Meerut on the international map in the field of crop cytogenetics, genetics and biotechnology. He edited several volumes on topical subjects. He is on Editorial Boards of NASI and INSA Proceedings, Indian Journal of Genetics Plant Breeding, and International Journal of Plant Genomics.
Awards and Honours: Professor Gupta received several awards including the Agra University Gold Medal for standing first in MSc (1958) and Lakshmi Devi Tamma Gold Medal for standing first in the Faculties of Arts and Science in Meerut College (1958). He is also the recipient of Normal H Dill Memorial Gold Medal (1998), Choudhary Charan Singh Vishwavidylaya Gaurav' Award (2003) and Birbal Sahni Gold Medal by Indian Botanical Society (2004). He was elected to the Fellowship of National Academy of Science (India), Allahabad (1978), Indian Academy Sciences, Bangalore (1989) and National Academy of Agricultural Science, New Delhi (1991).