Veteran pioneer of biotechnology and a passionate critic of hereditarily modified crops, Dr. Pushpa Mittra Bhargava, departed his life at his Hyderabad-based home on Tuesday. He was 89 and was survived by two of his children; one son and one daughter.

Dr. Pushpa Mitra Bhargava was not only an eminent scientist, novelist, and Bureaucrat of India, but also the founder-director of Hyderabad-based ‘Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)’. While leaving his last breaths because of a short-term poor health on Tuesday, he was 89.

As confirmed by Rakesh Mishra, Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, Dr. P M Bhargava died while sleeping. He was suffering from kidney complications and was undergoing dialysis process. On Tuesday morning, he had a mild fever and resting in his home, and while sleeping, he left his life.

Dr. Bhargava was born in a Rajasthan-based village Ajaymeru on 22nd February 1928. His father was Dr. Ram Chandra Bhargava, a public health professional and mother was Gayatri Bhargava. After completing his intermediate from UP’s Queen’s College, he completed his B.Sc. in 1944, M.Sc. degree in 1946 and Ph.D. from Lucknow University.

Apart from his magnificence scientific contributions to the Indian as well as global biotech industry, Dr. PM Bhargava was also acknowledged for his audacious and outspoken nature to speak out against matters of principle and policies of the Indian government. He was also a dedicated agnostic and was the Vice-Chairman in the National Knowledge Commission.

Apart from this, he was also an associate of National Security Advisory Board and candidate for the Supreme Court of India on the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of the Indian Government. In 1986 Dr. Bhargava received the honorable Padma Bhushan award from the President of India and in 2015; he returned the award throughout his led ‘Award Wapsi’ remonstration against ‘growing intolerance’ in India.

Likewise, in 1994 he also resigned from his membership to all three Indian academies of sciences including Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences and Indian Academy of Sciences. Answering to the questions about his resignation, Dr. Bhargava highlighted about the controversial “science mafias” who allegedly hold back the growth of Science in India.