Prof. K.S. Thind (Kartar Singh Thind) was born on October 30, 1917 at village Saipur, District Kapurthala, Punjab. He received his B.Sc. Honours in Botany in 1939 form Punjab University and obtained first position and was awarded Oman Prize. He secured a first class in M.Sc. from Punjab University, Lahore. He completed his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology 1948 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. After joining Punjab University in 1949 as Senior Lecturer in Botany, he began his distinguished career in the field of Mycology and Plant Pathology. He attained the rank of Professor in 1962 and later as Head of the Department of Botany, Punjab University, Chandigarh from 1976-77. After his retirement he was reappointed as Professor in the same University where he served from 1977-1980.
Prof. Thind research programme encompases both basic and applied work and he was made major contributions to the various areas like physiology and taxonomy of fungi. He took up the floristic studies of higher group of fungi and conducted an extensive exploration of the mycoflora of North-western Himalayas from 1952 to 1976 and that of eastern Himalayas from 1977-1986. He pioneered for the initiation and development of Mycologist Herbarium with over twenty thousand collection of fungal specimens demonstrate the importance of application of tissue concept in India, originally put forth by Korf for Discomycetes and Corner for Aphyllophorales as one of the important criteria in systematic at different taxonomic hierarchical categories.
Prof. Thind published more than 190 research papers and two monographs, Indian Clavariaceae and Myxomycetes of India, published by ICAR, New Delhi. He was member of Sigma XI, USA, 1948; Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, 1958; Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1960; Fellow, Indian National Science Academy, 1968; Member of the International Mycological Association from 1972 to 1976 and later from 1977 to 1983.
He was elected President of the Indian Phytopathological Society, 1972, President of the Section of Biological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of India, 1973, President of the Indian Botanical Society, 1973, President, Section of Botany, Indian Science Congress Association, 1975, President, Mycological Association of India, 1979, Chairman, Committee for the Development of Asiatic Mycology, 1977-88, Honorary Fellow, Indian Mycological Society, 1979. He was awarded Panchanan Maheshwari Gold Medal, Indian Botanical Society, 1979, National Lecturer, UGC 1982, awarded T.S. Sadasivan Endowment Lecturers INSA, 1982. Prof. Thind was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of Indian Society of Plant Pathologists in 1988.
He traveled various countries including USA, Bulgaria and number of European countries in various scientific endeavors. A large number of students have obtained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees under his guidance. As a mark of respect and affection they presented him a volume Advances in Mycology (ed. G.S. Rawla) on his 70th birthday in 1987.
Prof. Kartar Singh Thind expired after prolonged illness at his residence in Chandigarh on December 3, 1991.