Uma Shankar Singh

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Uma Shankar Singh

Umesh is a plant pathologist, biotechnologist, and the South Asia Regional Coordinator of the Project Stress Tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also the acting Country Representative for IRRI-India and -Nepal. 

In STRASA, Umesh is primarily responsible for the coordination of seed multiplication and dissemination of stress-tolerant rice varieties in stress prone environment in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. He is also responsible for the development and facilitation of a network of partner organizations in India, Bangladesh and Nepal to implement the project; monitoring of the progress; track the dissemination of the varieties and impact assessment plus facilitate the seed policy changes in national systems to speed up the process of varietal release and dissemination; and help in capacity building of national partners.

Umesh introduced several innovations in his work, like targeted dissemination of stress-tolerant rice varieties using GIS and remote sensing and tracking of their diffusion through informal and formal seed sectors and ground surveys. His innovative approaches like pre-release varietal seed multiplication and promotion and linking of varietal dissemination with mega developmental schemes of government and other organizations helped achieve an unprecedented speed of seed multiplication and diffusion of stress-tolerant rice varieties in South Asia.


  • Seed system
  • Targeted dissemination and varietal tracking
  • Management of biotic and abiotic stresses using microbes
  • Plant pathogen interaction
  • Fungal diseases


  • PhD in Plant Pathology G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology (GBPUAT), Pantnagar, India (1983)
  • MSc in Plant Pathology, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (1977)
  • BSc in Biology, Delhi University, New Delhi, India (1975)


  • Acting and Country Representative for IRRI-India and -Nepal (2015-present)
  • Senior Scientist (II) and South Asia Regional Project Coordinator-STRASA, IRRI (2009-present)
  • South Asia Regional Coordinator-STRASA, IRRI (2008-2009)
  • Professor, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (2000-2008)
  • Joint Director Research, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (2005-2008; additional responsibility)
  • Officer-in-charge, Rural Bioresource Center, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (2006-2008; additional responsibility)
  • Coordinator, Biotechnology Programme, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (2006-2008; additional responsibility)
  • Associate Professsor, Plant Pathology, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (1992-2000)
  • Consultant, IRRI (2008)
  • Visitng Scientist, Rothamsted Experiment Station, Harpenden, UK (March 1996-Sept 1996)
  • Post-doc fellow, IRRI (1990-1992)
  • Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology, GBPUAT, Pantnagar, India (1983-1992)


  • Elected as President, Indian Phytopathological Society (2012)
  • Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi, India (2006)
  • Sipani Krishi Anusandhan Award, Asian Agri-History Foundation, Hyderabad (2005)
  • Uttaranchal Ratan (Jewel of Uttaranchal), All India Intellectuals Conference (2005)
  • Special Recognition, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India (2004)
  • Pesticide India Award, Indian Society of Mycology & Plant Pathology, seven times (1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1999, 2000, 2004)
  • Prof. M.J. Narasimhan Academic Merit Award’, Indian Phytopathological Society (1985)
  • Plaque of Appreciation, Tarai Organic Farmers’ Association, Udham Singh Nagar, Uttarakhand, India
  • Plaque of Appreciation, Krishak Manch (Farmers’ Forum), Kashipur, Uttarakhand, Indial (2005)


  1. Gaur, V.S., Singh, U.S. and Kumar, A. 2011. Transcriptional profiling and in silico analysis of Dof transcription factor gene family for understanding their regulation during seed development of rice Oryza sativa L. MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS ( DOI.10.1007/S11033-010-0429-Z).
  2. Kumar, A.,Scher, K., Mukherjee, M., Pardovitz-Kedmi, E., Sible, G.V., Singh, U.S., Kale, P.K., Mukherjee, P.K. and Horwitz, B.A. 2010. Overlapping and distinct functions of two Trichoderma virens MAP kinases in cell-wall integrity, antagonistic properties and repression of conidiation. BIOCHEMICAL AND BIOPHYSICAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 398 (4): 765-770.
  3. Srivastava, R., Khalid, A.,Singh U.S. and Sharma, A.K. 2010. Evaluation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, fluorescent pseudomonas and Trichoderma harzianum formulation against Fusarium oxysprum f.sp. lycopersici for the management of tomato wilt. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL 53: 24-31.
  4. Purwar, S., Marla, S.S., Singh, U.S. and Kumar, A. 2010. Basal expression studies of cystatins during specific growth stages of wheat spikes for determining their possible role in differential stage dependent immunity against Karnal bunt (Tilletia indica). MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS 37 : 1377-1389.
  5. Arif, M., Zaidi, N.W., Singh, Y.P., Haq, Q.M.R.and Singh, U.S. 2009. A comparative analysis of ISSR and RAPD markers for study of genetic diversity in shisham (Dalbergia sissoo). PLANT MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTER 27(4), 488-495.
  6. Srivastava, P., Srivastava, P.C., Singh, U.S. and Srivastava, M. 2009. Effect of integrated and balanced nutrient application on soil fertility, yield and quality of Basmati rice. ARCHIVES OF AGRONOMY AND SOIL SCIENCE 55(3): 265-284.
  7. Srivastava, P., Srivastava, P.C., Srivastava, U. and Singh, U.S. 2008. Effect of sample preparation methods on analytical value of some micro- and secondary nutrients in plant tissue. COMMUNICATIONS IN SOIL SCIENCE AND PLANT ANALYSIS 39, 2046-2052.
  8. Singh, U.S., Nashaat, N.I., Doughty, K.J., and Awasthi, R.P. 2002. Altered phenotypic response to Peronospora parasitica in Brassica juncea seedlings following prior inoculation with an avirulent or virulent isolate of Albugo candida. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PLANT PATHOLOGY 108: 555-564.
  9. Singh, A., Rohilla, R., Singh, U.S., Savary, S., Willocquet, L. and Duveiller, E. 2002. An improved inoculation technique for sheath blight of rice caused by Rhizoctonia solani. CANADIAN JOURNAL PLANT PATHOL. 24: 65-68.
  10. Singh, U.S., Doughty, K.J., Nashaat, N.I., Bennett, R.N. and Kolte, S.J. 1999. Induction of systemic resistance to Albugo candida in Brassica juncea by pre- or co-inoculation with incompatible isolate. PHYTOPATHOLOGY 89: 1226-1232.

Uma Shankar SinghDr. Uma Shankar Singh
Senior Scientist II, South Asia Regional Project Coordinator for STRASA project and acting Country Representative for IRRI-India and -Nepal

IRRI India country office

+91 11 25843347