Eminent biologist from Odisha Ajay Parida passes away at 58

In 2017, he joined ILS, one of the 10 labs of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) set up to monitor the genomic variations in coronavirus.

Published: 20th July 2022 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th July 2022 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Eminent biologist Ajay Parida

Eminent biologist Ajay Parida (File photo| EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:Eminent biologist, researcher and Director of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, Dr Ajay Parida passed away at Guwahati in Assam early on Tuesday. He was 58.

Official sources said Dr Parida had gone to Guwahati on Monday to attend a conference on leprosy. It is learnt that he suffered a cardiac arrest in his sleep. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead.He is survived by his wife and a son. His body will be flown to Bhubaneswar on Wednesday.

A native of Bhagabanpur village in Jajpur district, Dr Parida was conferred with Padma Shri in 2014 for his contribution in the field of Science and Technology.

Known for his pioneering work in the field of agriculture, plant molecular biology and biotechnology, he had served as the Executive Director of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai from 2009-2016.

In 2017, he joined ILS, one of the 10 labs of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) set up to monitor the genomic variations in coronavirus.

Dr Parida's research focused on climate-resilient crop varieties with abiotic stress tolerance. He had made significant contributions in identifying stress-tolerant genes specifically for salt and drought stress using mangroves.

He had implemented a number of developmental projects that aimed at evolving models for sustainable development in fragile coastal and dry land regions through identification of low water requiring genotypes and effective management of water resources.

An alumnus of Utkal University, he had done PhD from Delhi University and post-doctoral research from University College of Wales, UK, University of Naples, Italy and International Rice Research Institute, Philippines.

His research outcomes not only strengthened the field of bio-technology but also increased the scientific temper among the millions of young students.Expressing grief Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that Dr Parida will be cremated with full State honours.

"Deeply saddened to learn about the passing away of Padma Shri awardee scientist and Director of ILS Ajay Parida. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family members and friends in this hour of grief," he tweeted.

Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal and Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also condoled his demise. 

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