Born in Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India on 12 December 1947. Graduated from Himachal Agriculture College, Solan, Punjab University 1968; M.Sc. 1970 and Ph.D. 1974 from Indian Agricultural Research Institute.
Junior Research Officer (Wheat Breeding), 1974-79; Associate Professor (Plant Breeding), 1979-85; Joint Director (Research and Extension), Hill Campus, Ranichauri, 1985-91 and Vice-Chancellor, G.B.Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand 2002-07 (two terms); Dean, College of Forestry, Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry, Nauni Solan, H.P., 1991-97; Director, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, 1997-2000; National Director, National Agricultural Technology Project, 2000-02 and Deputy Director General (Crop Science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, 2007-08; Chairman, National Biodiversity Authority, Chennai, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Govt. of India 2008-10; Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties & Farmers' Rights Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, New Delhi, 2010-12. Vice Chancellor Career Point University 2012-14 and Dec. 2015-18 . Pro- Chancellor (Honorary), Career Point University, Hamirpur, 2018 to date.
Associated with the development of 12 improved varieties of bread wheat, foxtail millet, soybean, rice bean, amaranth and buckwheat. Contributed substantially to the augmentation of plant germplasm in the national gene bank including mounting of special explorations. Contributed to the national policy action plan on agro biodiversity dialogues before and after the enactment of Biological Diversity and Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Right Acts of India. Served as, Mission Leader, NATP Projects on Agro biodiversity Management, Food & Nutritional Security and National Project Director, India-UNDP project on Strengthening of institutional mechanisms for implementation of Biological Diversity Act.
Served as member of Indian delegations for negotiations and meetings of FAO, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food & Agriculture and UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Elected as co-chair, representing the Asian region, of the Bureau for the 5th Session of International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources of the FAO. Member, Executive Board of Global Crop Diversity Trust, 2014 to date; Vice Chairman, Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences 2012 -17. Served as Chairman/ member of different committees of ICAR, SAUs, Central / State Governments.
Awards/Honours: Past President, Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources, and Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding. Agriculture Today Life Time Achievement Award; Dr. Harbhajan Singh Memorial Award; Life Time Achievement Award, Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Award; Indira Gandhi Priyadarshni Award; Punjab University Chandigarh Medal; CABI Award, Indira Gandhi Sadbhavana Award. Amit Krishi Rishi Award.
Fellow: Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding; Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources; National Academy of Biological Sciences; National Academy of Environmental Sciences; International Society for Noni Science.
Research Areas: Genetics and plant breeding, plant genetic resources, biodiversity and IPR; As a Rotarian, involved in many social welfare activities.