Dr. Krishnaswami Ramiah, a world renowned rice breeder and geneticist expired on August 3, 1988 at the age of 96. He was born in 1892. He began his scientific career in 1914 when he joined the staff of the Paddy Breeding Station, Coimbatore, He was the first scientist in India to begin the systematic hybridization program in rice. Prior to the first crosses he made in 1917-18, rice varietal improvement in India was mainly limited to purline selection. He was the founder director of Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), Cuttack. In 1949, he led the FAO-sponsored International Rice Commission. He inspired the FAO sponsored program on Indica-Japonica hybridization for developing nitrogen responsive varieites of rice for the tropics which resulted in the release of Mahsuri and Malinja in malaysia and ADT 27 in India.
As FAO expert with headquarters in Bangkok, Dr. Ramiah travelled widely in rice growing countries and stimulated Government support for rice research and dvelopment. Dr. Ramiah was the author of Rice in Madras and Rice Breeding and Genetics. He was the first geneticist who advocated the standardization of gene symbols in rice. Dr. Ramiah is survived by 5 sons, two daughters, 12 granchildren and 3 great grandchildren. (G.S. Khush)