Dr. Prem Nath Bahl is an accomplished plant breeder and geneticist whose work on improving crop productivity and production efficiency made tremendous impact on chickpea and wheat production in India. For this contribution he has been honoured with a number of national and international honours and awards.
Dr. Bahl was born in 1933 in Tanda Urmar, (Hoshiarpur), Punjab. He received his Doctoral Degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from North Dakota State University, Forgo, USA. Dr Bahl started his career as a researcher in Division of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi and served this institute in various capacities.
Prior to joining Project on Pulses, Dr. Bahl was associated with wheat Improvement Project; first at Wheat Research Station, Shimla and afterwards at Division of Genetics (1959 – 71). One of his landmark wheat variety Arjun, popular among the farmers of Indo-Gangetic plain, contributed substantially towards green Revolution.
After retirement from Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 1993, Dr. Bahl continued his professional activities in the international arena. He was team Leader of FAO project on Grain Legume Production in Myanmar during 2002 – 2004. He also formulated FAO sponsored Grain Legume Production Project for Bhutan and LAO PDR, which paved the way for major pulse production in these countries.
Dr. Bahl’s Research contribution and leadership have been widely recognized. He was National Coordinator of Internation FAO Project on Grain Legumes and Millets in south-East Asia during 1990 – 93. He is recipient of Recognition Award by Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding for his three land mark varieties, Pusa 256 (Chickpea) and Arjun and Pusa 809 (Wheat). He was given Life Achievement Award by Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development in 2016.
The Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding takes pride in honouring Dr. Prem Nath Bahl with the first Dr. B.P. pal Memorial Award on this day.