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128. Dr. E.A.Siddiq

Prof. E.A.Siddiq
Adjunct Scientist, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics
Adjunct Professor, Central University, Hyderabad
Hon. Professor - Biotechnology, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad

Prof. E.A.Siddiq obtained his Bachelor's degree in Botany from Madras University, and later the Masters and Doctoral degrees in Cytogenetics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) under the guidance of Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. He began his career in 1968 as Cytogeneticist at IARI. From 1976 to 1983, he was Senior Scientist in the same institute. He spent 3 years in Egypt as Rice Expert during his stint at the International Rice Research Institute (1983-1986). He returned to IARI and was appointed Professor of Genetics (1986-1987). In late 1987, he became Project Director at the Directorate of Rice Research. He assumed the position of Deputy Director General (Crop Science) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (1994-1997). Between 1997 and 2002 he was National Professor (ICAR) and Honorary Chair Distinguished, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting & Diagnostics (CDFD) during 2002-07; He is the Adjunct Professor, University of Hyderabad (2008 onwards); Adjunct Scientist, CDFD (2008 onwards); and Honorary Professor, Biotechnology, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad (2002 onwards)
Prof. Siddiq's research in genetics and plant breeding in the past four and half decades contributed significantly not only to the development of high yielding dwarf basmati and non-basmati varieties and hybrid rice, thereby boosting India’s rice production and export but also to our understanding of the genetics and molecular basis of traits of complex inheritance in rice.

Prof.Siddiq was the Member of the Board of Trustees, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), The Philippines for two consecutive terms. He also served as the Member of the Prime Minister’s Scientific Advisory Council from the year 2004 to 2009. Prof.Siddiq is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences (India), National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a member of various national and international societies. He has published more than 200 research papers in reputed national and international journals.
Prof. Siddiq is the recipient of several awards and honours, which include Hari Om Ashram Trust National Award (1975), VASVIK Foundation Award (1981), Om Prakash Bhasin Award (1994) ,Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Prize (1995), Norman Borlaug Award (1995), INSA Silver Jubilee Medal, GP Chatterjee Memorial Lecture Award, ISCA (2001) and Agricultural Leadership (Research & Development) Award - 2008.

The Government of India conferred the Padma Shree in 2011.
Prof.Siddiq along with his writer wife, Mrs. Fathimuthu, founded the ESFT Trust as a humble expression of their social commitment. The main objective of this Trust is to nurture the educational aspirations of the deserving needy students at all levels irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

*Hari Om Ashram Trust National Award for Genetics from ICAR (1976).

*Vasvik National Award for Agricultural Research & Technology from the Vasvik Foundation (1981).

*Amrik Singh Cheema Award for 1987-88.

*Silver Jubilee Medal/Memento from DRR (1990).

*Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for Science & Technology (1994).

*Recepient of Norman Borlaug Award (1995).

*Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for 1995.

*Silver Jubilee Medal/Memento from INSA (1997).

*Mementos from Governments of Tamil Nadu and Egypt for contributions to rice research.

*Research Leadership Award , on 19th Sept, 2008 under the aegis of Agriculture Today

*The Government of India conferred on him the PadmaShree in 2011

Widely referred to as ‘Mr. Rice’ of India and ‘Father of Hybrid Rice in India’, Prof. Siddiq has been the guiding force in strengthening and shaping the country’s rice research and development for the past 43 years. As a researcher and research leader, his pioneering role in sustaining the enviable impact of high yield technology broadly covers basic and applied research as well as planning and coordination of networks of innovative research, extensive technology testing and technology transfer strategies.


Directed towards catering to the national and regional varietal needs, his breeding research has led to the evolution of as many as 14 high yielding varieties. They include the world's first and only high yielding dwarf basmati variety of export value Pusa Basmati-1, varieties of specific adaptation viz quick maturing Pusa 2-21, Pusa 33, Pusa 4, Pusa 834, etc for crop diversification and multiple cropping, highly compatible Pusa 169 and 203 for rice-wheat rotation in the Indo-gangetic plains and never lodging. Pusa 44-33 amenable to combine harvest in the intensively cropped northwest India. Launch and intensification of hybrid breeding at national level has led to the development of DRRH-1, one of the first generation hybrids released in the country with higher yield threshold.


Pusa Basmati-1 combining high yield and quality comparable to the traditional basmati accounts for 40-50% of the basmati export valued at around Rs. 1500 crores annually. The early and mid-early varieties have helped since their release crop intensification all over the country and sustainable rice-wheat rotation in the Indo-gangetic Plains. Pusa 44-33, the medium duration fine grain variety being ideally suited to combine harvest occupying over 50% of the rice area in Punjab and the adjoining states accounts for sizeable non basmati rice export. DRRH1, the first generation hybrid along with many, that followed contributes to sustained rice production/productivity growth.


The basic research broadly covers breeding, genetics, cytogenetics and cellular/molecular biology. The significant contributions include the following:

Breeding research brought out the-

relevance of specific adaptability vs general adaptability
significance of selection under diverse environments in ensuring higher stability over environments and
potential of convergent breeding in combining multi-index complex traits.

Genetic research enabled-

understanding the qualitative and quantitative genetic architecture of various indices/parameters of cooking/nutritive quality and tolerance to key biotic (BLB, gall midge and green leaf hopper etc) and abiotic(low temperature, moisture stress and salinity) stresses
study of genetic bottlenecks impeding exploitation of hybrid vigour
identification and genetic characterization of CMS sources alternate to widely used Chinese 'WA' source and indigenous sources of temperature sensitive genic male sterility and
study of allelic relationship of spontaneous and induced dwarfs in search of sources non-allelic to widely used DGWG gene.

Cytogenetic research has been confined to study of –

effectiveness and efficiency of various physical and chemical mutagens and
directed mutagenesis by treatment manipulations using base specific mutagens and
location of genes of economic value on chromosomes by trisomic analysis.

Phylogenetic research aimed at –

tracing the evolutionary pathway of Asian cultivar (O.sativa) and its subspecific differentiation
assessing the extent of diversity in rice germplasm comprising cultivar and wild progenitor species using biometric, biochemical, mutation and molecular approaches which revealed (a) monophyletic origin of cultivated rice, (b) segmental polyploidy nature of O.sativa (c) differentiation of O.sativa into indica and japonica subspecies due to a series of systematic mutations brought together in a cluster under the influence of disruptive selection and (d) the richness of genetic diversity in the landraces and closely related wild/weedy species.

Molecular strategy aiming at raising the ceiling to genetic yield level helped –

discover as many as 20 yield related new quantitative trait loci (QTL) in an accession of the wild progenitor O.rufipogon and primitive landraces
tag and fine map two temperature sensitive male sterility genes viz. tms5 and tms6 in two indigenous TGMS sources F1 and SA2
map and tag four major wide compatibility gene loci, which overcome sterility in inter-subspecific combinations known for highest yield vigour
develop efficient molecular marker based diagnostics to distinguish traditional basmati rices from cross- bred and non-basmati rices and
discover exploitable variability in rice germplasm for activity and response to effectors of ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase, the key rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of starch

Impact : Understanding of genetics/breeding behaviour has helped evolve genetically the most complex basmati quality variety Pusa Basmati-1, new plant type based breeding lines, while diversification of CMS and discovery of two indigenous sources of temperature sensitive genic male sterility molecular tagging of four major wide compatibility gene loci are adding strength to hybrid rice technology. Basic knowledge generated on quality, disease-insect pest resistance is widely used in breeding research.

Other Contributions

*Played a major role in strengthening rice research in Egypt - as IRRI's Rice Breeder under USAID sponsored Programme between 1983 and 1987.

*Played a major role in the establishment of Govt. of India supported National Rice Research Institute in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.

*As World Bank Consultant prepared National Agricultural Innovative project for Sri Lanka

*As a Member, Board of Trustees, International Rice Research Institute, Philippines contributed to the global rice research endeavours.

*As FAO Consultant prepared the report on "Yield and Productivity Decline in Intensive Rice Production Systems in India" during the FAO convened Global Expert Consultation Meeting on "Yield Gap and Productivity Decline in Rice Production" in 1999.

* As FAO expert consultant advised and prepared projects for augmentation of hybrid rice research in Bangladesh and Egypt

* As FAO consultant reviewed and prepared project documents on Integrated Crop (Rice) Management for Indonesia, Egypt and Near East countries.

* As Technical Committee Chairman, played a major role in getting removed the patent claims of the American Rice company Rice Tech on India’s traditional basmati rice

*As Task Force Chairman (Crop Biotechnology) of Department of Biotechnology and Convenor of National Rice Biotechnology Network and several other related bodies, continue to contribute to the development and exploitation of biotechnology products in India.


  1. Excellent information about biotechnology,more information about Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University courses ,admission and notification.

  2. Indeed a great contribution in the field of Agricultural Sciences . Humanity owes you a lot for this service ...May Allah bless you !

  3. A great pride for the Nation and the entire humanity!

  4. A great pride for the Nation and entire humanity!!