Raviprakash Dani

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Raviprakash Dani
Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism
  • M.S in Biotechnology
  • Ph.D
Alma mater
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute
  • Texas Tech University
  • Nagpur University
  • Plant geneticist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Krishi Gaurav
  • Distinguished National Education Leadership Award
  • Prime Minister’s Team Award

Raviprakash Dani is a well-known plant geneticist and biotechnologist. Born in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India, Dani was educated at Primary School, Parbhani, Bharat Vidyalaya, Akola, Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyalaya, Akola and Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Currently, he is President and CEO of 'Genescan', Houston, Texas, USA.

Academic Life

Dr Dani acquired a Ph.D degree in Genetics and Plant Breeding from IARI, New Delhi. He also obtained M.S in Biotechnology from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA. He holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Nagpur University. He also holds a Doctor of Biological Sciences degree from Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences.

Research Career

Dr Dani joined Agricultural Research Service of Indian Council of Agricultural Research as a scientist and rose to the position of Head, Agricultural Research Station (Cotton). He was awarded US Permanent Residency (2001) and later US Citizenship (2006) in the category of “Scientist of Extraordinary Ability”. He moved in 2001 to Texas Tech University. He obtained an additional M.S. degree specializing in Biotechnology. In 2003, he became Faculty Instructor & Post-Doctoral Research and Teaching Fellow in Biological Sciences Department.

Dani’s research included genetic improvement of cotton for improved seed quality, especially seed oil, resulting in 12 elite selections and a superior genetic stock, a first-ever cultivar named ‘Sarasvati’ registered at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi[1][2]. During his first post-Doctoral scholarship in Texas A & M University, Dani investigated the influence of maternal effects on cotton seed oil quality attributes [3]. His D.Sc. thesis at Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences was titled “Polymorphism and genetic control of seed oil in cotton under varying ecological conditions” [4]. Following the award of a PL 480 research fellowship, Dani explored over 3500 globally cultivated cultivars, genotypes and land races, making significant contributions to enrich global cotton germplasm collections. At Texas Tech University, Dani implemented new Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) protocols between TTU and Plant Research International - leading global research institution in the Netherlands. He facilitated the use of PRI’s Maize En-1 activation tagging transposon technology to help create new and stress tolerance expressions of the Ascorbate peroxidase (AP), Glutathione reductase and Catalase-3 enzymes, rendering them suitable for incorporation in commercially viable crop cultivars, chiefly cotton, maize and fruit and vegetable crops.


Dr Dani is the first American Citizen and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) to be appointed Vice Chancellor of an Indian University, viz. the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidaypeeth (PDKV Agriculture University), his alma mater at Akola, India from 14th August 2012, until his termination on 29th July 2017. He also served as advisor to FAO-UN panel on the “e-learning curriculum on Agricultural Risk Assessment and Management”.His contributions included launch of B.Sc. Agricultural biotechnology undergraduate degree course, marked with the establishment of the PDKV Biotechnology College at Yavatmal, as well as the PDKV Center for Excellence in Biotechnology at the headquarters. Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UN- Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)’s e-learning Academy in Rome, Dani also launched 75 online learning certificate courses, making PDKV India’s first FAO e-learning partner. He was advisor to USAID “Partners of Americas: Farmer-to-Farmer” Programs in the Caribbean on Agricultural Biotechnology Commercialization prospecting project in Jamaica. Dani also served an International Agricultural Advisor to the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) program.

Publications and Patents

Dani has published 62 research papers, 7 book chapters, 24 popular science articles, 6 books, 8 policy briefs and 7 gene sequences in Soybean [5][6].


Dani wrote two internationally acclaimed books titled “Desi-American Imperatives of Change”[7]and[8].He hypothesized that while change is imperative in the lives of capable and desirous potential immigrants, it will result in suffering - physical but mostly psychological in nature. Unless the sufferer learns to grasp its inevitability, these consequences can be drastic and unfavorable, including a possible lifetime of suffering in the illusion of irreversible failure. Quoting relevant interpretations of Buddhism from psychologists who have incorporated Buddhist philosophy to reinterpret and redefine clinical practices, especially in Experimental Psychology, Dani revealed ‘Three Identities” potentially bestowed on each conscious immigrant. Meaningfully understood their real purpose, these identities can help transform lives, rendering one capable of making meaningful contributions to forbearance against the force of those inevitable powerful and painful changes. Citing examples of post 9/11 rise of xenophobia, the two books elaborated on the exact kind of suffering experienced by the ordinary, even the well-placed Desi-Americans. The author also described at length the influence of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his 1959 visit to Indian parliament and on the life-changing career of President Barack Obama, who rose above the negative influence of racism in America.

Awards and Honors

Dr Dani is a recipient of several awards,

  • ICAR Fellowship (1970)
  • Sir Dorabjee Tata Scholarship (1974)
  • IARI Junior and Senior Research Fellowships (1974 and 1976)
  • ‘Krishi Gaurav” (Honour in Agriculture) Award of Bharat Krishak Samaj (2016), India’s oldest and largest farmer-led NGO and Cooperative movement.
  • Distinguished National Education Leadership (2015) Award of “Economic Times”
  • Prime Minister’s Team Award (2014/2015).

Social Service

Dr. Dani is a lifetime participant in the international movement ‘Initiatives of Change’, and in the IofC affiliated “Farmers Dialogue International”. Influenced by a meeting during one of the IofC retreats with His Holiness Dalai Lama, Dr Dani has emerged as an International Education Specialist, remaining an ardent supporter of international education. He contributed over a decade as Honorary Lecturer, promoting international education at Namangan Engineering and Technological Institute and six other universities in Uzbekistan.


Dr Dani is well versed in several languages that include Marathi (mother tongue), Hindi, English, Russian, Telugu and Bengali. Dr Dani taught Russian language as a Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, Indian and Foreign Languages (LIFL), Nagpur University for three years (1991-1994).


Dr Dani is a dedicated Freemason, having received his Master Mason Degree from St. Andrews Lodge No.6, Nagpur in 1989, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of India, AF & AM. He joined the Grand Lodge of Texas in 2002. He was the first GLI Mason to be elected as the Worshipful Master of Lubbock Lodge No. 1392 in 2007. Dani was also awarded the 32nd Degree of Scottish Rite by their Valley of Lubbock, under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. Currently he is a Member of the C.F. Spencer Masonic Lodge No. 1380 in Pearland, Texas and Member of the Houston Scottish Rites Valley.


  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Raviprakash_Dani/contributions
  2. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DoXqBSQAAAAJ&hl=en
  3. Dani R. G. and Kohel, R. J. 1989. Maternal effects and generation mean analysis of seed oil content in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Theoretical Appl. Genet., 77: 569-577
  4. Dani, R. G. 1995. Polymorphism and genetic control of seed oil markers, under diverse eco-geographic conditions). Institute of genetics & Experimental Biology of Plants, Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan. (In Russian).52p.
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Raviprakash_Dani/contributions
  6. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=DoXqBSQAAAAJ&hl=en
  7. Dani, R. G., 2011. Desi-American Imperatives of Change - Incentives, Challenges and Consequences of Change and Transforming Behaviour: An Autobiographic Quest. Hurricane Printing, Lubbock, Texas, USA. ISBN 13: 978-0-65-55889-9. 136 p.
  8. Dani, R.G., 2012. Desi-American Reflections on Suffering Change -Secrets of a Triple Identity Enigma. Author House, Bloomington, Indiana, USA/ ISBNs: 978-1-4772-5396-1 (sc); (78-1-4772-5385-5385-4 (hc) and 978-4772-5384-7 (e).113p.

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