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Dr. Verghese Kurien

December 24, 2012

Dr. Verghese Kurien

Dr. Verghese Kurien

Dr. Verghese Kurien is known as the “Father of The White Revolution” in India. He is credited with architecting operation Flood – the largest dairy development program in the White Revolution in India, and made India the largest milk producer in the world.

          Born on 26th November 1921, Dr. Verghese Kurien graduated with Physics from Layola college, Madras in 1940 and then did B.E. (Mech) from the University; he joined the Tata Steel Technical Institute, Jamshedpur from where he graduated in 1946.

          He then went to USA on a government scholarship to do his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. When he came back to India, he was posted as a Dairy Engineer at the government creamery, Anand , in May 1949.

          Around the same time, the infant cooperative dairy, Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union Limited (KDCMPUL)- now famous as AMUL – was fighting a battle with the Polson Dairy which was privately owned. Young Kurien was fed up with being at the government creamery which held no challenge. Shri Tribhuvandas Patel, the Chairman of KDCMPUL, was assigned by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel the task of “Making the Kaira farmers happy and organize them into a cooperative unit”. Kurien volunteered to help him to set up a processing plant. This marked the birth of AMUL, and the rest is history.

          Dr. Kurien has since then built this organization into one of the largest and most successful institutions in India. The Amul pattern of cooperative had been so successful that Dr. Kurien setup NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) to replicate it across India.

          Dr Kurien wanted to leave Amul in 1949 but Shri Tribhuvandas Patel influenced him to stay back. He also set up GCMMF (Gujarat cooperative Milk Marketing Federation) in India but also overseas. For his contribution to the dairy industry Dr. Kurien has received top awards not only in India but also overseas:

          Padmashri (1965), Padmabhushan (1966), Krishi Ratna Award (1986) by the President of India, Ramon Magsaysay Award for community Leadership (1963), Wateler Peace Prize Award of Carnegie Foundation (1986), World Food Prize Award (1989), International Person of the Year (1993) by the world Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Padma Vibhusan (1999).

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