Dr. Vilas A Tonapi


Member Task Force on enhancing production and productivity of Millets-International Year of Millets 2023


  • Director .Indian Institute of Millets Research ,a premier agricultural research institute engaged in basic and strategic research on sorghum and other Millets under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
  • Served as Head, Division of Seed Science and Technology, IARI, New Delhi.

  • Major contributions:

  • Planning, development and management of crop improvement programs and strategies food and nutritional security of self and cross-pollinated crops for dry and irrigated ecosystems.
  • He has been the consultant to FAO on seed system development.
  • He was part of USDA Global ergot collection and characterization mission.
  • Seed production (breeder to certified) of varieties, composites, hybrids and their parents.
  • Developmental initiatives in seed Technology, seed quality assurance, new seed policy and development of sustainable Community seed systems.
  • Farmer participatory seed production, DUS Testing, and seed quality control.
  • National and international capacity building initiatives in plant breeding and seed production practices.
  • Research on physiological, biochemical and molecular basis of seed vigour/longevity.
  • International visit to seven US universities to study crop improvement programs, seed systems, biotechnology and IPR management.

  • Awards:

  • He has been awarded RV Swami Nathan Gold medal for his Ph.D and JN TATA endowment award & GRDC fellowship for Post-Doctoral program.
  • ICAR-IISR award for significant contributions in Seed Science & Technology and NSP (Crops).
  • Legume Research Editorial Award.
  • ICAR award for Centre of Excellence in Seed Production.
  • Two awards- One as best DUS centre and one for capacity building in PPV&FR.
  • Seeds men Association medal and Award for service to seed industry.
  • Best Scientist award of Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad.
  • J.N.TATA Endowment award, GRDC, Australia & USDA scholarships for PDF.
  • Kirloskar Vasundhara Mitra Award.
  • Best AICRP Award for Sorghum-2019 as Project Coordinator Sorghum and Small Millets.
  • Outstanding Institute Award -2018 as Director of ICAR-IIMR.


  • Member, Society for Millet Research, Hyderabad.
  • Treasurer, Society for Millets Research.
  • President, UAS-AGRICOs Association.
  • Member, Indian Society of Seed Technology, New Delhi.
  • Member, Indian Society of Plant Physiology.
  • Member, Indian society of Agronomy, Hyderabad.


  • MSc ( Agri).
  • Ph.D. in Seed Technology
  • Post-Doc at University of Queensland, Australia and CRC for Tropical Plant Pathology, Brisbane, Australia