Anupam Varma obtained MSc (Botany) (1961) from Allahabad University and later worked there on post-harvest diseases of fruits and vegetables under the guidance of Profossor RN Tandon. In 1964, he went to Rothamsted Experimental Station, UK, and obtained his PhD (1967) from London University while working under the supervision of Sir Frederick Bawden and Dr Adrian Gibbs. In 1967 itself, he joined Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi and worked there as Senior Virologist, Principal Virologist, Professor of Virology, Professor of Plant Pathology, Head, Division of Plant Pathology, Dean, Post Graduate School, ICAR National Professor, INSA Senior Scientist and currently INSA Honorary Scientist and IARI Adjunct Professor. He was with the FAO of the United Nations (1979-81) for developing a National Horticultural Research Institute at Ibadan in Nigeria. He has been Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Scottish Crop Research Institute, UK, and INRA, France.
Academic and Research Achievements: Anupam built a strong school of plant virology at IARI and made notable contributions to fundamental and applied aspects of plant virology by developing technologies and probes for quick and reliable diagnosis of viral diseases of crop plants. These developments have helped in minimizing economic losses caused by viruses. He demonstrated the etiology of sandal spike and mango malformation, which are of national importance. Anupam determined the ultrastructure of several groups of plant viruses and characterized, at biological and molecular level, a large number of economically important viruses belonging to groups like badna-, begomo-, cucumo-, ilar-, nano-, poty- and tospo-viruses. For the biotechnological management of viral diseases, he has developed virus resistant transgenic lines of potato, tomato, papaya and various cucurbits. He also freed several cultivars of potato and horse-radish by meristem culture, and developed effective practices for the integrated management of viral and mycoplasmal diseases of plants. He taught plant virology to MSc and PhD students at IARI and also guided 25 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Anupam played a key role in establishing the: (a) Advanced Centre for Plant Virology, (b) National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) as Founder Secretary (1990-98), (c) National Certification System to certify Quality tissue culture Plants, and (d) National Horticultural Research (NIHORT) Institute, Nigeria. He was also INSA Council Member (1999-2001) and Vice President (2005-07). .
Awards and Honours: Professor Anupam Verma was conferred several prestigious awards, notably: the VASVIK Award, Om Prakash Bhasin Award for Science and Technology, Millenium Plaque of Honour Award by Indian Science Congress Association, KS Bhargava Award by Indian Virological Society, Prof. AP Misra Lifetime Achievement Award by Indian Phytopathological Society, TS Sadasivan Lecture Award and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal by INSA. He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, Indian Phytopathological Society and Indian Virology Society. He was President of the Indian Phytopathological Society (1998-99), Agriculture Section of ISCA (1988-89), Biological Sciences, NASI (1993); International Society of Plant Pathology (1998-2003) (Secretary General also during 1993-98) and Chair, ICSU Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific (2006-08); Editor-in-Chief 'Agricultural Research', the official Journal of NAAS.