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About Dr. S K Mukherjee (SKM)

Swarup Kumar Mukherjee (1955 - 2002)
was many things to many people - he was a scientist par excellence, a dutiful and loving son to his parents, devoted and loving husband, a fantastic friend to so many of those he befriended through his short life but perhaps most significantly he was a great human being.

Born and brought up in Jamshedpur SKM was an academically gifted child who was awarded the National Science Talent Scholarship while in school. After school he chose to study Agriculture at the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar and went on to do his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in New Delhi.

Following a post-doctoral stint at the University of Washington in the USA SKM returned to India to set up one of India's first Biotechnology laboratories in the private sector for the Mahyco, in Bangalore. From Bangalore he moved with his Lab to Jalna when Mahyco decided to centralise their biotechnology research work at their newly established state of the art Life Sciences Research Facility. SKM was a great proponent of the use of Science to help farmers and is credited with having been one of the key players in the development of several transgenic crop plants including the Bt Cotton.

SKM made a lasting impression on all whom he came across in his short life and to many of us, his friends, Dada was somebody we implicitly trusted and knew we could rely on for solutions to problems most others could never have solved. This effort at instituting a scholarship at the College of Agriculture, by a group of his friends who also studied at Pantnagar aims at perpetuating a friends memory while encouraging deserving students to follow in his footsteps and to reach for the stars.