**Appreciating the role of Madhav Gadgil in transforming the ecological landscape of India**
On the 78th birth anniversary of Madhav Gadgil, let’s appreciate the imperative role played by the eminent ecologist, writer, and columnist in transforming the ecological landscape of India.
**Who is Madhav Gadgil?**
Madhav Gadgil was born to Pramila and Dhananjay Ramchandra Gadgil on 24 May 1942 in Pune. Madhav Gadgil graduated in biology from the Fergusson College under the University of Pune in 1963. He completed his master’s degree in zoology from the Mumbai University in 1965.
He later went on to become the founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences and a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India and the Head of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) popularly known as the Gadgil Commission.
**The Gadgil commission**:
The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) came to be known as the Gadgil Commission in the name of its chairman Madhav Gadgil.
On 31st August 2011 the Gadgil Commission submitted its report to the Government of India in which a set of tasks were enlisted:
1.) Compilation of readily available information about the Western Ghats
2.) Development of Geospatial database based on environmental sensitivity, and
3) Consultation with Government bodies and Civil society groups.
**A luminary & pioneer of ecological institutions in India**:
– In the year 1973, Madhav Gadgil joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. During his 3 decades-long association with IISC, he established two research centers at IISC: the Centre of Theoretical Studies & the Centre for Ecological Studies.
– The Government of Karnataka decided to work for the protection of the state’s bamboo resources in the year 1976. The state thus reached out to Gadgil to conduct a study that prompted the government to curb subsidies provided to forest-based industries.
– From 1986 to 1999, Madhav Gadgil was served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. During this tenure, he assisted the efforts for establishing India’s first biosphere reserve at the Nilgiris.
– He was appointed as the chairman of the Science & Technology Advisory Panel of Global Environment Facility, a UN agency in the year 1998.
– He has also served as a member of NCERT’s environmental education panel and the National Advisory Council.
– Madhav is also an esteemed member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the chairman of the committee proposing Environmental Education Curriculum at the School level.
– In 2010, he was made the Chairman of Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP), an expert panel constituted by the Government of India to examine the environmental issues related to the Western Ghats.
– He also acted as a visiting professor at Stanford University in 1991 and at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995.
**Awards & Honors**:
The list of awards and honors in recognition of Gadgil’s contributions in the field of environment can go and on. Some of the most prestigious awards being conferred to Madhav Gadgil include:
– The Padma Shri award
– Padma Bhushan
– Volvo Environmental Prize
– Tyler Prize
– Vikram Sarabhai Award
– Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar Award, among others.