‘Passionate’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘committed’ are just some of the adjectives used to describe outgoing Governing Board Chair Professor Chandra Madramootoo as ICRISAT bid him farewell.
Prof Chandra (as he is popularly called) completes his three-year tenure as Chair of the Governing Board, ICRISAT, on 30 April 2017. He joined the Board in March 2009, was elected as the Board Chair in April 2014 and has since played a key role in ICRISAT’s dynamic journey.
He oversaw the development of a country strategy for drought-hit Zimbabwe in 2016, the setting up of a pilot biogas plant to extract energy from biomass of constructed wetlands at ICRISAT-India, an effective Farmers Day where farmers pledged to use ICRISAT technology to help double their incomes, and several other milestones.
Prof Chandra completed his Bachelors, Masters and PhD (Agricultural Engineering) from McGill University, Montreal, Canada and was named to the James McGill Professorship in 2000.
Dr David Bergvinson, Director General, ICRISAT, said in his address, “We acknowledge the tremendous contribution of Prof Chandra, who has so ably served ICRISAT in different capacities. He has not just brought his wisdom and wealth of knowledge about irrigation science to ICRISAT, but has left an indelible footprint on the people he touched through mentoring, including myself. His James McGill Professorship has been renewed for 15 years, which is very rare. It points to his character and unique skills including mentoring students and colleagues, and being really passionate about what science can do for society.”
Dr Bergvinson talked about Prof Chandra’s successful research career and about his will to take on the urgency with which innovation needs to be applied to address society’s needs, especially the Sustainable Development Goals. “He has really invested himself in understanding our science and our partners,” said Dr Bergvinson. “That has been a tremendous asset as the board deals with the issues of positioning our research strategically.”
Dr Bergvinson thanked Prof Chandra for steering ICRISAT through challenging times and for going beyond the call of duty as not just a leader of science but as a mentor of people.