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  White Revolution II  
  By Kanchan Vasdev

WHILE the first phase of the historic White Revolution made India the world leader in milk production, the second phase is expected to transform the country into a global giant in the production of dairy products.

Consequently, dairy technology is coming up in a big way and is all set to open up more employment avenues for upcoming professionals.

Professionally qualified human resource is very important for the proper growth and development of the dairy industry. Human resource needed in dairy industry include senior managers, technical managers, technical supervisors and middle level supervisors. Majority of milk plants in private and cooperative sector have a dearth of professionally qualified manpower.

The concept of dairy technology was popularised in India by Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) in 1946, giving impetus for imparting education in dairy technology. The National Dairy Institute in Karnal was the first to introduce a course in dairy technology in India. Rapid development in the industry is a boon for dairy technologists as it also generates employment opportunities in dairy equipment manufacturing and technical consultancy.

Of late, with the Government of India starting its Operation Flood and formation of the National Dairy Development Board, there is a huge demand for industry-ready dairy technologists to take charge of designing, development and execution of the projects essential for smooth running of the dairy plants in this field. A career in dairy technology also opens up job profiles in a dairy equipment manufacturing plant.

The scope: With the introduction of modern technologies in milk production and processing, the concept of liquid milk marketing has witnessed a paradigm shift towards value added dairy products, says Dr O.P. Parmar, director extension education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana. Most of the 678 milk plants in the country are dealing with standardisation and packaging of liquid milk, milk powder and ghee. Some are producing varieties of ice cream, paneer, skim milk and whey for production of high value medicinal products like casein and whey protein. Other products like diet ice creams, desserts, mozzarella and processed cheese and probiotic milk products have now caught the fancy of consumers and producers are trying to be in sync with the demand.

Milk production in the country is increasing by 4 per cent every year and contributing more than 1 crore to the growth of GDP. "The dairy sector is likely to generate 1 lakh jobs every year. A survey in Punjab indicates that there is an immediate requirement of about 150 dairy technology graduates for managing different milk plants and other activities of teaching and research," says Dr Parmar. Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, where there is no dairy education institute, would require nearly 500 graduates. Dairy technologist are much in demand in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Middle East.

Back to basics: The basic qualification to enroll in a dairy technology programme is 10+2 with chemistry, physics and mathematics. "We want students to come equipped with the knowledge of math and physics as the courses would be dealing with engineering and other principles of physics," says Dr Parmar.

Opportunities are aplenty in this field. The Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers Federation as well as private sector organisations like Nestle, Reliance, Wokhardt, Milkfood, Ceepham, Milk Specialties Limited, Supreme Agro Foods, Jagatjit Industries and other medium scale plants have vast expansion programmes in milk processing. "Graduates can easily land up with a job with an annual pay package between Rs 3 and 4 lakh," says Dr Parmar.

Traditionally, dairy technology was a part of veterinary and animal husbandry courses. These courses were and still are offered by agricultural universities as a part of bachelor of veterinary science and animal husbandry. (Courtesy: The Tribune)
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