Mohinder Singh Randhawa received DSc (1955) from Panjab University and also DSc (hc) (1974) from University of Udaipur. He was Secretary, Imperial Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi (1945-46); Additional Director-General, Rehabilitation and Director-General, Rehabilitation, Punjab (1949-51); Commissioner, Ambala Division (1951-53); Development Commissioner, Rehabilitation and Custodian, Evacuee Property (1953-55), Punjab; Vice President, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Additional Secretary, Government of India, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (1955-60); Adviser, Natural Resources, Planning Commission (1961-64); Special Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (1964-66); Chief Commissioner, Union Territory, Chandigarh (1966-68); and Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana (1968-76).
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Randhawa was a specialist in phycology, floriculture and agriculture. He did extensive work on morphology, taxonomy, distribution and ecology of algae. He co-authored the books Evolution of Life (CSIR, 1968), Zygnemaceae (ICAR, 1959) and Flowering Trees in India (ICAR, 1961).
Other contributions: Randhawa served on numerous governing bodies/committees of ICAR, CSIR, ISI (now BIS), and other bodies. An all-round personality, he contributed to India’s development in general, and rural uplift in particular. He served as Chief Editor of ICAR publications and of CSIR’s (Publication and Information Directorate) monographs on Botany series. He was also Member of the INSA Council (1947, 1959-61), and its Treasurer (1948).
Awards and Honours: Dr Randhawa won numerous awards, notably Punjab University Robe of Honour for Services to Punjabi Literature (1968); Grant Gold Medal by Royal Agro – Horticultural Society of India, (1971); Padma Bhushan (1972); Innovator in Agriculture Honour by President of India (1976); and Silver Jubilee Commemoration Medal by INSA (1979). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; President, Phycological Society of India, National Academy of Sciences (India) at Allahabad; Vice President, Indian Society of Agricultural Statistics; Vice President (1979-80), INSA; and Patron, Northern Indian Science Association.