Posts Tagged ‘Development’

It is said that the difference between a winner and a loser is that a winner tries ‘one more time’. Fed up with the Government Creamery that had no challenges, in dusty Anand, Verghese Kurien had almost thrown up his hands. It was May in 1949. Around the same time, a small co-operative dairy was fighting its freedom battle from a privately owned one. Young Kurien volunteered to help this dairy set up a processing plant. This marked the birth of AMUL; and there was no turning back!


Credited with this title, Verghese Kurien is also called ‘The Milkman of India’. He set up an army of milk producers, which stands over 9-million strong today.

The small co-operative dairy was the Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union (KDCMPUL) that was fighting for freedom from the Polson Dairy, which was privately owned. Kurien helped the then Chairman of KDCMPUL, Shri Tribhuvandas Patel in this battle. Shri Patel was assigned the task of providing good facilities to the Kaira farmers and setting them into a co-operative unit by Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Since then, Kurien has built this organization into one of the largest and most looked up to institutions in India. He ushered in a concept of co-operatives where dairy farmers could own and manage profitable agri-business enterprises with their produce, however small it may be.

Kurien is also credited with being the brain behind the largest dairy development program of the world – Operation Flood. Operation Flood ran under Kurien’s leadership in 3 phases for 26 years, with 3 principal objectives:

  •  Making dairying India’s largest self-sustainable rural employment programme
  •  Bringing India close to self-sufficiency in milk production
  •  Trebling the nation’s milk production within a span of two-and-a-half decades to make India the world’s largest milk producer

He is the architect of the Anand Model of Co-operative Dairy Development and hence the engineer of White Revolution in India.


Verghese Kurien was born on 26 November 1921 in Kozhikode, Kerala. He graduated with Physics from Loyola College of Madras in 1940. He pursued his BE (Mechanical) with honors from the Madras University in 1944. Further, Kurien joined the Tata Iron and Steel Company Institute at Jamshedpur, Bihar, in February 1946 to complete his special studies in engineering. Success does not come easy; Kurien underwent a specialized training of nine months in dairy engineering at the National Dairy Research Institute of Bangalore.

Kurien earned himself a Government Scholarship and moved on to the Michigan State University in the USA to earn his Master of Science degree with distinction in 1948.

Verghese Kurien returned to India and joined the Dairy Department of the Government. He was posted as the Dairy Engineer at the Government Research Creamery, a small milk-powder factory, at Anand, in 1949.


The Creamery did not turn out to be a satisfactory job for Kurien and he resigned 7 months later to become the Manager of KDCMPUL.

Such was the success of the organization, known as AMUL today, that the then Prime Minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri decided to replicate the model. Under the leadership of Verghese Kurien, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was created in 1965. Meanwhile, AMUL brand name (acronym for Anand Milk Union Ltd) became a global role model for dairying as an instrument of rural development.
Kurien went on to establish the GCMMF (Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation) in 1973 to sell the products produced by the dairies. However, after a disagreement with the organization’s management in 2006, he quit the post of Chairman.

Verghese Kurien heads the Viksit Bharat Foundation, a body set up by the President of India. He is also the Chairman of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand’s (IRMA) Board of Governors in India.

Apart from these, Kurien is the proud owner of Fellowships for advanced training in dairy plan design and dairy engineering in New Zealand and Australia, which were awarded to him in October 1952. He was an official Indian delegate to the International Dairy congresses held in Rome in 1956 and Copenhagen in 1962. He is a member of both the Dairy Science and the Dairy Education committees of the Government of India. As a nominee of the Industrial Finance Corporation of India, he serves as a Director of Tensile Steel in Baroda and Air Control and Refrigeration in Ahmedabad, and is a member of the Gujarat State Electricity Board.


A leading figure in the dairy development of the country, Verghese Kurien has been a remarkable agent of social change. His work is acknowledged globally and a plethora of awards has been conferred on him.

  • 1963 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership
  • 1965 Padma Shri
  • 1966 Padma Bhushan
  • 1986 Krishi Ratna Award
  • 1986 Wateler Peace Prize Award (from Carnegie Foundation)
  • 1989 World Food Prize
  • 1993 International Person of the Year (by the World Dairy Expo, Madison, Wisconsin, USA)
  • 1999 Padma Vibhushan
  • 2003 Godfrey Philips Bravery Award
  • 2007 Karmaveer Puraskaar Noble Laureates by iCONGO -Confederation of NGOs

Along with this, Kurien and his team were the pioneers in inventing the process of making milk powder and condensed milk from buffalo’s milk instead of cow’s milk. This was the reason AMUL became so successful and competed well against Nestle.


Verghese Kurien has done groundbreaking work in the field of dairy development. India that faced the scarcity of milk in the ’50s and ’60s was turned to a land of surplus in the ’70s. Around 10-million grassroots milk producers walked the path of prosperity. Today, India has the largest cattle population in the world. It has overtaken the US and has become the largest producer of milk in the world.

Every morning when the producers must be walking to local milk collection centers with their pots full of milk, they would be blessing Kurien with their true hearts. And it would surely be the happiest hour of Kurien’s day!

Read original article at:

How do you define the term ‘Infrastructure Development’?
Infrastructure is actually the key element of development. It has a large connotation that includes urban planning as one of its element. Roads, water supply, solid waste management are some of the major issues of infrastructure development. However, ports, airports, highways, industries etc. are other mega issues related to the term. We can say that infrastructure is directly proportional to development, better the infrastructure, more the development in any said state. India is growing at a fast rate due to its manpower, but to sustain this growth, we will need better infrastructure.

What are the main elements that support the overall infrastructure development?
For any city, roads, water supply, electricity and solid waste management are the most important elements. However, landscaping is the decorative element of infrastructure development. The other essentials like the trees, footpaths and cleanliness are the areas where we highly lag behind. Probably this is the only difference between the developing and the developed countries. We need to learn the management skills of the public land and other properties and change the mindsets of the people on a larger scale.

How does CEPT play its part?
CEPT is basically an educational institute. So, due to the need of the hour, we offer various educational programs in the fields related to infrastructure. This includes transportation, industrial development, urban planning etc. In addition to this, CEPT has been declared the ‘Anchor Institute’ in the field of infrastructure. It’s a three tier process, funded by the Government of Gujarat. We identify nodal institutes and the availability of manpower. The teachers of various colleges are trained. Also, uneducated people who wish to work in the field of construction are trained for their livelihood. Because, after all, without them infrastructure cannot be possible. It is believed that in future 70% of the manpower will be absorbed in the field of infrastructure. There are tie-ups with NGOs and also foreign universities for the sharing of knowhow.

What are your views on the heritage of Ahmedabad and Gujarat as a whole?
Ahmedabad itself is a huge heritage. Talking about Gujarat, its heritage and climate are very much similar to that of Rajasthan. But the economy of Gujarat is related to trade and commerce. While that of Rajasthan and places like Kerala are tourism oriented. I strongly believe that heritage and tourism go hand-in-hand. If we have a grand legacy and heritage, but there is no one to appreciate and admire, it does not make sense. Gujarat emphasizes on trade more and so tourism is sidelined. People too, are not much bothered; they travel to almost entire India and even abroad but do not care to see their own Gujarat.

Do you think that restoration damages the originality of the heritage?
Restoration has a set guideline and standard procedures. Unless and until, those are not followed, one cannot even touch the monuments. Also, it is a matter of pride that India is an expert on the world level in this field. Countries like China and Bhutan depend on the Indian experts for the restoration of their heritage. However, the problem here too, is the limited availability of resources and the available resources are being pulled in every possible direction. The economy is growing and gradually importance is being given to culture and heritage.

What are the trends coming up in the field of infrastructure?
Public-Private partnership is the recent trend. Initially, the Governmental budget was not enough to cater to all the necessary developments. The need was much more than the supply. Also, people believed that since they have gained independence, they need to pay taxes and tolls for the public services that they use. On the other hand, private parties have huge funds. So the Government shifted from ‘Control’ to ‘Encouragement’ and joined hands with the private players.

How do you foresee Gujarat in 2020?
Gujarat will be termed as an Urban State by 2020. It has already achieved the status of 35-40% of its people living in the urban areas. This is the ‘Urban Age’ wherein most of the parts of the world have more than 50% of its population living in the urban areas.
Gujarat is a progressive state. It will have enough of land and power, but water supply can be an issue to be tackled in 2020. Also, instead of focusing on the industrial development, Gujarat will move to the next phase that will involve IT and other trade related services.

(Prof. Utpal Sharma, Dean, Faculty of Planning & Public Policy, CEPT University)