Born in Doburji, Tarn Taran, Amritsar, India on 27 June 1947. Educated in Khalsa College Higher Secondary School, Amritsar, 1960-63; B.Sc., Khalsa College, Amritsar, 1963-67; M.Sc., Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, 1967-69; Ph.D., Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 1969-74. Post-Doctoral Fellowship; German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Fellowship, Germany 1976-78; Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Fellowship, Germany, 1988-89; AvH Europe Fellowship, UK, 1989; University of Hohenheim Fellowship, Germany, 1990.
Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, 2011 to date.
Asstt. Maize Breeder, 1974-79, Maize Breeder, 1979-87, Sr. Maize Breeder, 1988-95, and Director (Seeds), 1995-98, PAU, Ludhiana; Assoc. Scientist, CIMMYT, Mexico, 1993-94; Asst. Director General, ICAR, New Delhi, 1998-2000; Director, NBPGR, New Delhi, 2000-2005; Director of Research, PAU, 2005-2007; Director of Research, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, 2007; Scientist, Institute of Plant Breeding, Seed Science and Population Genetics, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, 2007-11.
Awards/Honours: IARI Gold Medal, 1974; ICAR Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Memorial Prize; 1986-87; Punjab State Council for Science and Technology-Appreciation Certificate, 1990-93; Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding - Dr. Joginder Singh Memorial Prize, 1997-98; Om Prakash Bhasin Award, 2006; Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources - Dr. Harbhajan Singh Memorial Award, 2009-10; DST-J.C. Bose Fellowship, 2013; NAAS - Recognition Award, 2001-02; NAAS - B.P. Pal Memorial Award, 2013-14; Punjab Academy of Sciences - Life Time Achievement Award, 2016; CIMMYT-MAIZE Champion for Asia Award, 2018; Padam Shree, 2019.
Fellow: Indian National Science Academy; National Academy of Sciences, India; Punjab Academy of Sciences.
Research Areas: Plant breeding, quantitative genetics, plant genetic resources, IPR and biotechnology