ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute
Genesis and Glorious Past
ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) at Karnal, Haryana is one of the premier Institutes in dairy sector, which has contributed a lot in the growth of dairy industry and played a crucial role in India’s development in milk production with its continuous research. Over ninety six year old NDRI’s lineage goes back to the Imperial Institute for Animal Husbandry & Dairying which was set up in Bangalore in 1923 as a center for dairy education. In its erstwhile form of Imperial Institute in Bangalore, Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi and ‘Bharat Ratna’ Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, were imparted training at the Institute in 1927. They wanted to get acquainted with modern methods of cattle management and spent two weeks discussing and learning technicalities and complexities of problems pertaining to cows and buffalos in India. Gandhiji was highly appreciative of the most productive crossbred cow ‘Jill’ of the institute. He held several discussions on the problems of Pinjrapoles, which housed low producing, mostly sterile cows and other dairy stock mainly on humanitarian grounds. Mahatma Gandhi evinced great interest in the work of the Institute and wrote several articles in `Young India’ and `Harijan’ on the importance of dairying and scientific cattle management. Gandhiji’s thinking and views had significant influence on the political leadership particularly towards taking key policy decisions during early post Independence era, resulting in the formulation of Key Village Scheme, Gosamvardhana Council and intensive Cattle Development Programmes. In 1936 it was renamed as Imperial Dairy Institute and it was shifted to its present site in Karnal in 1955 and renamed again as National Dairy Research Institute. The infrastructure of Imperial institute was retained as southern regional station of NDRI and later in 1964 Eastern regional station was set up at Kalyani in West Bengal. In 1970, NDRI was brought under Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The Institute has the distinction of being a Deemed University for implementing its academic programmes since 1989. The Institute provides high quality education in the field of dairying, which has no parallel in Asia. It is noteworthy that NDRI is not only an important contributor of manpower in dairying required in State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) but also plays an important role in enhancing the teaching capabilities of the faculty from SAUs.
Southern Campus, Bengaluru
The foundation stone of the edifice of NDRI was laid at Bengaluru on July 1, 1923. It was the forerunner institution in starting dairy education programmes to meet the manpower requirements of the Nation’s dairy industry. Upon shifting of the Institute Head Quarters to Karnal in 1955, the establishment at Bengaluru continued as the Southern Regional Station of NDRI. The station has been catering to the research, training and extension needs of the dairy farmers and dairy industry of the southern region of the Nation. This centre was the first to initiate training in artificial insemination in cattle in the country.
Eastern Campus, Kalyani
The Eastern Regional Station of the Institute was established at the Central Dairy in Kolkata in 1964 and was shifted in 1966 to Kalyani (Nadia district), about 50 km north of Kolkata. The main objective of establishing the Eastern Regional Station was to identify the major constraints of dairy production in eastern and north eastern India and to offer solutions through research and extension activities to these problems.
Krishi and Dairy Vikas Kendra, Piprakothi – Motihari
ICAR-NDRI established Krishi and Dairy Vikas Kendra (KDVK) at KVK, Piprakothi, East Charparan (Bihar) in the premises of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agriculture University, Pusa. The Centre was inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Sh. Radha Mohan Singh on 10th July, 2016.
Model Dairy Centre, Lalukheri – Muzzafarnagar
The centre was initiated at Lalukheri in Muzzafarnagar, Uttar Pradesh under the project approved by ICAR, New Delhi vide letter No. 2-2/02-ASR-III dated 25.09.2002. The basic facilities have been created for empowering youth and women involved in dairy sector.
Sprawling Campus: Infrastructure for R&D Activities
This is a unique campus, which alongside Deemed University and residential buildings, has various well equipped research laboratories as well as green spaces with perennial plants and gardens. Well equipped sports facilities and attractive leisure time opportunities are offered to the students and employees of the Institute.
Situated on the sprawling 560 hectare campus at Karnal, NDRI has over 1800 dairy animals with modern milking parlour system and shelter management system catering to breed improvement projects and other research activities, number of labs equipped with the state-of-the-art analytical instrument to conduct research in most advanced areas of biotechnology, molecular biology, cell structure, fermentation technology, protein chemistry, nutritional studies, food technology and micro element analysis.
In addition to an experimental dairy for teaching and R& D activities, NDRI also has a commercial Model Dairy Plant with a processing capacity of more than 60,000 liters of milk per day to provide hands on training facilities to students and for scientists to carry out scaling up operations for products and processes developed in research labs, a bakery unit and national library on dairying having 94,000 documents.
Headed by Director& Vice Chancellor, NDRI has organizationally two wings, each headed by a Joint Director. One is for research headed by Joint Director (Research), and another is for education headed by Joint Director (Academic). NDRI has three major areas of R&D activities – dairy production, dairy processing and dairy extension/management – functional under 13 research divisions/sections viz. Animal Genetics and Breeding, Animal Biotechnology, Animal Physiology, Animal Nutrition, Animal Bio-chemistry, Livestock Production and Management , Forage Research, Dairy Microbiology, Dairy Chemistry, Dairy Technology, Dairy Engineering, Dairy Economics, Statistics and Management and Dairy Extension. It has also set up state-of-the-art facility of National Referral Laboratory for Milk Quality and Safety and Climate Resilient Livestock Research Centre. The referral laboratory is useful for conducting R&D and standards development for milk and milk products. It will play an important role particularly when the country would soon harmonise its standards of milk and milk products with Codex standards.
Nearly 160 highly qualified and experienced scientists and 185 technical staff, in addition to administrative and supporting staff, work at NDRI to run its research and academic programmes having total annual budget of over Rs 215 crores.
Creating History through Research and Development Programmes
NDRI has several “first” feathers to its cap and its contributions and role in the overall development of the dairy sector and dairy related research and education is well recognized. The Institute has the unique distinction of having been ranked first among all Agricultural Universities of India including 4 Deemed Universities consecutively three times in the years 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. The Institute was also conferred ‘Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institute award’ for its outstanding achievements in the field of dairying. The award was presented by the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, in July 2014. It was awarded Agriculture Leadership Award 2013 for setting up a benchmark in dairy research by contributing in research efforts to augment milk productivity, value addition, quality and safety of milk and economic and marketing aspects related to dairying. Prior to this, the Institute also received Education Leadership Award in recognition of the talent and leadership among educational institutes across India. In addition, many of its scientists have also won different awards and recognitions for their outstanding research.
As pioneering Institute, ICAR-NDRI has developed considerable expertise during the last nine decades in different areas of Dairy Production, Processing, Management and Human Resource Development. Continuous effort of the institute in generation and dissemination of technologies on milk production enhancement and value addition has resulted in social, economic and environmental benefits to the nation. The contribution of the institute in manpower development for dairy research, education and farming is immense and recognized as back bone for Indian dairying. In the recent years, the Institute has achieved landmark success in the area of cloning by producing the world’s first buffalo cloned calves using ‘hand guided cloning’ through somatic cells derived from new born calf, seminal plasma, embryonic stem cell as well as adult animal cell. In the area of Dairy Processing research, the Institute has developed technologies for preparation of a variety of indigenous dairy products, formulated foods and health foods. New functional dairy products such as probiotic cheese and dahi, sports drinks, low cholesterol ghee, herbal ghee, ice-cream and burfi for diabetics, and a formulation for cardio-vascular health have also been developed. Inclusion of ingredients from other food groups such as cereals, fruits and vegetables to formulate breakfast smoothies, iron-fortified biscuits based on pearl millet, probiotic beverage based on barley as well as pearl millet, millet-based weaning and extruded foods is an example of the Institute’s foray into the realm of composite foods. Equipments have been designed for both small scale dairy operations and mechanized production. NDRI has developed research methodologies for economic evaluation of dairy production and processing systems, which have been recognized as empirical tool by researchers and development specialists. As a result of proactive steps taken by the institute towards transfer of the technologies, industry has picked up some of the prominent innovations and technologies of the institute such as; low cholesterol Ghee, a new test for the detection of detergent in milk, a kit for antibiotic residues, area specific mineral mixture for animals, technology for iron fortified biscuits, recombinant chymosin, and bacterial rennet. Information generated at the Institute and services offered have contributed to the growth of Dairy Industry on the whole and well being of millions of milk producers and consumers of milk and milk products. Realizing the challenging need of globalized dairy trade, the Institute has been continuously working to develop its R&D and HRD programmes to better serve the nation in terms of food security, employment generation and poverty alleviation.