Randhir Singh obtained his Bachelor's, Master's and PhD degrees from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. For his doctoral thesis, he worked under the supervision of Professor IS Bhatia in the area of plant metabolism. He started his career as Assistant Professor at Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Hisar (1969), he was Associate Professor (1971-80), Professor (1980- ), Head of the Department of Biochemistry (1983-86), Dean, College of Basic Sciences & Humanities (1989-92), Coordinator, Biotechnology Centre, (1989-96) and Coordinator Research (1996-99). During 1981-82, he went to Germany as Visiting Professor.
Academic and Research Achievements: Randhir Singh has done pioneering work in the area of photosynthetic carbon metabolism of crop plants. His studies on metabolic pathways of CO not 2 assimilation in reproductive parts of cultivated crops have shown that these parts assimilate CO2 by a mechanism different from that what is known for the leaves of either C3 or C4 crops. He has proposed a detailed metabolic pathway for CO2 assimilation in reproductive parts of these crops and further hypothesized that fruit photosynthesis has an intermediate status between C3, non-autotrophic tissue and C4/CAM photosynthesis. His lab for the first time purified and characterized a number of carbon metabolizing enzymes from heterotrophic plastids of developing grains/seeds of crop plants and further assigned a specific role to PPi-dependent PFK (PFP) in sucrose metabolism. He has also developed an in vitro system with plastids isolated from developing seeds of oil crops and determined the factors influencing the rate of fatty acid synthesis during oil formation and further developed a model depicting carbon flow for fatty acid synthesis in developing seeds of these crops. His lab was first to report pigeon pea to be ureide producing legume. Subsequently, he established a pathway for the synthesis and assimilation of these compounds. He has also constructed models for legume crops which became tools in identifying constraints that limit production/productivity in these crops. His studies have helped plant breeders, in tailoring idiotypes for higher yield potential in cultivated crops. During 40 years of his active academic career, he published nearly 300 research papers and authored/edited several books He also mentored a large number of postgraduate students including about 30 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Professor Randhir Singh established strong schools of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology at HAU. He has been Member of the Executive councils, boards of Studies, Academic councils, and Research Advisory committees of DBT, ICAR, DST, etc.; and also Member of the Haryana Council for Science and Technology, Indian Rubber Board, Indian Petrochemicals Ltd, and National Convener for the BNF research. He has been office bearer of a large number of scientific societies including Society of Biological Chemists, India. He has served INSA Council as its Member. He was on the Editorial boards of about half a dozen research journals including Photosynthesis Research. He has been Editor-in-Chief of the journal Plant Physiology and Biochemistry.
Awards and Honours: Professor Randhir Singh was bestowed the Hari Om Ashram Trust Award by ICAR (1988), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial award by ICAR (1992), Recognition Award by the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi (1999), KS Bilgrami Memorial Lecture Award by INSA (2001) and Certificate of Honour by the Department of Agriculture, USA. He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1989), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1994), and National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi (1993).