Shirish Chandra Agarwala obtained his PhD degree (1948) from University of Lucknow and PhD (1953) from Bristol University, UK. His areas of specialization were plant physiology, plant nutrition and soil-plant relationship. He was Officer-in-Charge, Lucknow Centre, ICAR Coordinated Project in Micronutrients in Plants and Soil; Professor and Head, Department of Botany, University of Lucknow, Lucknow (1965-79) and Senior Plant Physiologist, ICAR Scheme (1979-88).
Academic and Research Achievements: In collaboration with the associates, Agarwala had shown that: (i) molybdenum is essential even with reduced forms of nitrogen; (ii) tissue iron content is not related to its supply in many plant species and is depressed by heavy metals and with nitrate and urea in rice plants; and (iii) male sterility is induced by deficiency in each of Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Mo and Bo. His work had also shown the critical content of deficiency and toxicity of these micronutrients in most Indian crop plants; and metabolic changes due to the deficiency and toxicity of these micronutrients in some plants. He had also found that (i) Cu, Fe and Zn are depressed in alkali soils; (ii) the availability of Zn, Cu and Mo is low in alluvial soils of Uttar Pradesh; and (iii) interactions between micronutrients and with macronutrients alter the metabolism of plants. He authored a book and edited another.
Other Contributions: Agarwala was Editor of Journal of the Indian Botanical Society.
Awards and Honours: Agarwala was a recipient of Birbal Sahni Gold Medal by Indian Botanical Society (1980); Hari Om Ashram Award by ICAR (1982) and Plaque of Honour by Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Society, India (1985). He was a Fellow of Indian Botanical Society (sometime President) and Palaeobotanical Society of India (sometime President). He was President, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry Society (India), and Indian Plant Physiology Society.