Rajendra Prasad received BSc (Agriculture) (1954) and MSc (Agriculture) (1956), both from the Government Agricultural College, Kanpur winning many awards and medals, and PhD (1961) from Mississippi State University, USA where he was elected to Phi Kappa Phi. He started his career as Assistant Professor (Agronomy) at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, where he was promoted as Agronomist (1964), Professor (1973), Head (1983) and ICAR National Professor (1996-2000); also Visiting Scientist at University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1993). Later, he worked as INSA Senior Scientist (2004-05) and INSA Honorary Scientist (2006- ).
Academic and Research Achievements: Prasad's notable contributions are related to nitrification inhibitors and slow-release nitrogen fertilizers; developed neem-coated urea. He taught several courses at IARI, specially 'soil fertility and its management'. He authored the books: Soil Fertility Management for Sustainable Agriculture, co-authored with Dr JF Power (CRC Press), Textbook of Field Crop Production (edited) (ICAR), Rice Agronomy (edited) (Jain Brothers) and Crop Nutrition (New Vishal). He also guided 30 PhD students and published over 200 research papers.
Other Contributions: Dr Prasad worked as Secretary (1975-78) and Vice President (1978-80), Indian Society of Agronomy and Editor-in-Chief, Indian Journal of Agronomy (1994-96); UNESCO Consultant in SR Vietnam (1986-87); and FAO Consultant to Nile Valley Regional Programme, Cairo, Egypt (1995).
Awards and Honours: Dr Prasad won Hooker Award from IARI (1974-75), Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Prize by ICAR (1974-75), FAI Silver Jubilee Award (1982), Indian Society of Agronomy Medal (1995) and ICAR Research Team Award (1997-98). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, India, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Indian Society of Agronomy.