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  • Malkiat Singh Duhra

Shri Prem Nath Thapar ICS

In 1962 Shri Prem Nath Thapar, ICS, was appointed the first Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana by Sardar Partap Singh Kairon, Chief Minister. He remained in position until 1968, when he suffered a paralytic stroke. He is credited for gathering the group of scientists that ushered in the Green Revolution in Punjab in the 1960s. In his honour, the Dr PN Thapar Gold Medal is awarded to the best all-around graduate of the university every year. He was the President of the Indian Agricultural University Association from 1967 to 1969. Shri Thapar was awarded an honorary Doctorate from Ohio State University in March 1969. He was also a founding member of the Indian National Theatre in Chandigarh.


Shri PN Thapar graduated from Punjab university Lahore, received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Oxford University, and joined as ICS in 1926. He served as Deputy Commissioner, settlement officer till 1941. From 1941 to 1946 he remained Joint Secretary, Department of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and he was appointed Secretary, Department of Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab Government in 1946. He was Commissioner, Lahore and Jalandhar Division, during 1947. He also served as Financial Commissioner Rehabilitation, and Chief Administrator, Chandigarh Capital Project from 1948 to 1953 then he joined as a Advisor, Planning Commission till 1954. He was Secretary, Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 1954 to 1958, and then remained a member of Finance and Administration, Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, Government of India from 1958 to 1962. He was also a member, Punjab Administrative Reforms Commission during 1964-65. He also remained Consultant, FAO Review Team and Trustee, International Rice Research Institute, Manila.

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