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Indian-origin Mexican plant scientist to be honoured by UBC

Indian-born Mexican plant scientist Sanjaya Rajaram

Vancouver, Feb 15 (UITV)- UBC will recognize 13 Centennial honorary degree recipients during spring graduation ceremonies and among them is Indian-born Mexican plant scientist Sanjaya Rajaram who was the recipient of the 2014 World Food Prize.

Sanjaya Rajaram was born in 1943 near a small farming village in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. After schooling, he went to earn a B.Sc. in agriculture from the University of Gorakhpur, a M.Sc. in genetics and plan breeding from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in New Delhi and a Ph.D. in plant breeding from the University of Sydney.

UBC awards honorary degree in recognition of substantial contributions of society at the provincial, national or international levels. The 13 recipients will receive their degree during UBC’s spring congregation ceremonies, held in Vancouver May 25 to 27 and May 30 to June 1.

In 1969, Rajaram began working as a wheat breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico. During his distinguished career, Rajaram’s work resulted in the release of more than 480 varieties of bread wheat in 51 countries, which was grown more than 58 million hectares worldwide.

In 2014, the former director of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center was awarded the prestigious World Food Prize for his work developing hardier wheat varieties, leading the better global food security.