Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday paid glowing tributes to Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, recalling that his Green Revolution techniques helped India achieve self-sufficiency in foodgrains, overcoming severe shortage.
At a time in the 1960s, when India was facing the specter of severe food shortage, the introduction of Borlaug's high yielding varieties of seeds set in motion a technological revolution in agriculture, leading to India achieving self-sufficiency in foodgrains, he said.
"The Green Revolution lifted the spirits of the Indian people and gave them new hope and confidence in their ability to tackle the country's daunting economic challenges," Singh said in a message condoling the death of the renowned scientist.
The prime minister said Borlaug's impact on India's science and economy went much beyond the Green Revolution, whose success spawned other successful interventions in areas such as animal husbandry, dairy industry and agriculture.
"Borlaug's life and achievement are testimony to the far-reaching contribution that one man's towering intellect, persistence and scientific vision can make to human peace and progress," he said, adding that with the death of Borlaug, "an era has ended in which he spearheaded a scientific revolution in agriculture".
"On behalf of a grateful nation, I convey my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Dr Norman Borlaug," Singh added.
President Pratibha Patil also condoled Borlaug's death, saying the country has lost a 'friend'. In her message, the President said Borlaug had a special place in the heart of all Indians as he, along with M S Swaminathan, brought the Green Revolution to the country.
"The Green Revolution marked a watershed in India's agrarian economy and rural development. In his passing away, the world has lost a famous agriculture scientist and a friend of India," she said.
Nobel laureate Borlaug, who developed high-yielding and disease-resistant wheat that nearly doubled India's wheat output and prevented famine in the developing world, died in the United States on Saturday.