Remembering Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh Gill

Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh Gill was born in village of Gill, Ludhiana, Punjab on September 15, 1927. He studied in Lyallpur (West Punjab) and later at Khalsa College, Amritsar graduating with a BS. He went to study Agricultural Chemistry and graduated with an MS from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Under the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, he went on to pursue a doctorate from Ohio State University, Columbus, OH and completed his PhD in 1965.

After returning from the US, he joined PAU as Associate Professor of Agronomy at Ludhiana. In 1968, he became the Chief Scientist, ICAR-Central Institute at Hisar. He became professor and headed the Department of Agronomy. Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh’s immense contributions made a tremendous impact on PAU and in the state of Punjab. He established the Department of Agronomy as a leading center of learning at the national level. His research contributions to the Green Revolution in the Punjab are unparalleled. He played a key role in developing the agronomy of newly introduced wheat varieties with reference to their time of sowing, depth of seeding, timing of first irrigation and practices for late sown wheat. During that period, he was an authority at the national level on the agronomy of newly introduced genotypes. He developed systems for crop intensification for different agri-climatic zones of the state. Besides, he also established a Forage Section to enhance the dairy farming and developed agricultural practices for the supply of green fodder throughout the year.

Dr Gurbakhsh Singh, an eminent agronomist with countless contributions to the Punjab peasantry. The 96-year-old scientist was a distinguished teacher, a mentor, a man of highest integrity and honesty who was committed to agriculture, the Sikh religion and service to humanity.

A selfless Sikh who took his religion seriously. After retirement he devoted his time and energy towards empowering and teaching Sikh religious history to Sikh children at and through summer camps for more than twenty-five years across the US, Canada and UK. His unpretentious and straightforward way of explaining the Gurbani and the basic Sikh principles was the reason his several books for Sikh children were extremely popular in the West. There is an entire generation of Sikhs in North America who were positively impacted by his teachings. His books for Sikh youth are regularly used at most Gurdwaras schools and for various speech competitions, empowering many. Dr Gurbakhsh Singh was also a founding member of Akal Trust, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh.   Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh passed away on Aug 19, 2021 after living a full life while enriching countless others. He will be remembered as a great Sikh academic in our history for all his selfless contributions to changing the lives of so many young Sikh Americans.

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