National Dairy Research Institute is a premier institution of dairying in Asia. The Institute was started as the “Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying” in 1923 at Bangalore. In 1936, it was rechristened as “Imperial Dairy Institute”. In 1955, its headquarter was shifted to Karnal and the Institute was renamed as National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), and the Bangalore campus was retained as its regional station. The Eastern Regional Station was established in 1964 at Kalyani in West Bengal. These Regional Stations provide region specific R&D support for dairy development. The Institute was conferred the status of Deemed University in 1989 in recognition of its human resource development par excellence.
ICAR-NDRI plays a crucial role in developing quality human resource for the dairy sector of the country by developing need based educational programmes and introducing innovations in learning styles and pedagogy. Currently, with 159 Scientists in position, NDRI is providing B.Tech. in Dairy Technology and Master degree and Ph.D. in 16 disciplines of dairy science and over 1150 students are registered for different degree programs. Currently, the Institute is rated as an outstanding University and has secured first rank amongst the Agricultural Universities of our country. The Institute undertakes basic and applied research, teaching and extension activities helping towards dairy development, animal productivity, development of new products and practices for the benefit of millions of farmers and consumers. Over the past 98 years, the Institute has shown remarkable development and expertise in different areas of dairy production, processing, management and human resource development.
In India, it is expected that milk consumption will grow at 3-4% per annum. With expanding population, growing urbanization and increasing purchasing power, the demand for milk and milk products is expected to go up. We need to catch up with the daunting challenge to produce more milk and convert it efficiently into value added products. Global trend in animal production also indicates a rapid and massive increase in consumption of dairy products. To meet the domestic demand of milk and generate sufficient exportable surplus, the growth rate in our milk production needs to be accelerated. One of the biggest strengths of Indian dairy sector is its mega biodiversity and largest livestock population. Our research priorities are focused on development of technologies in all the three area of dairy science viz. animal production, milk processing and extension and marketing. There is a need to increase the number of animals with superior germ-plasm, at the same time the number of non-producing and less producing animals should be reduced in order to minimize the competition on limited feed and fodder.
Some of the salient achievements of dairy production are: development of two cattle breeds- Karan Fries and Karan Swiss; genetic improvement of indigenous cattle, pioneering the production of world’s first cloned buffalo calf named ‘Garima’ using economical Hand-guided cloning technique; production of India’s first Ovum-Pick up – IVF Sahiwal cattle calf named ‘Holi’; development of mineral mixture and technologies for round the year fodder production. In Dairy Processing technology of Indian traditional dairy products, which was followed by chemistry of milk proteins and lipids with special reference to buffalo milk, and microbiological aspects of fermented milk products have been established. Properties and processing of buffalo milk for various products and mechanization of manufacturing processes for indigenous milk products, Arjuna herbal ghee, low cholesterol ghee, calcium and dietary fibre fortified Doda burfi, curcumin fortified milk drink and herbal products such as Aloe-vera lassi health foods, probiotics were important contributions of the Institute.
Recently, to meet the research demand of various stakeholders, the social science discipline of the institute has re-oriented its research priorities to include comprehensive analysis of value chain management, impact and implications of economic reforms, development programmes and dairy technologies, climate change and sustainability issues in dairying. The extension activities have focused its research efforts on dairy innovation system for bridging the technological gaps in dairying, and disseminating the technologies generated in the fields of dairy production, processing and management to the dairy farmers, conducting constraints and impact analysis of technology adoption and facilitating rural community participation for climate resilience and gender empowerment. The KVK and extension division is imparting training to farmers and over 50000 farmers were trained in dairy aspects during the last decade.
Over 140 technologies including packages and practices were developed out of which 92 technologies have been transferred to stakeholders /industries for commercialization. Over 44 patents have been filed and 26 have been granted so far. During the last decade, over 3030 publications have been published in high Impact journals, over 500 training program has been conducted and several faculty members/ scientists and stakeholder
Research advancement’s made by NDRI are focused to develop a network of collaborations at both national and international levels to enable interactions between scientific fraternity to ensure that information is exchanged among research organizations in real time for avoiding duplication of efforts and its timely utilization. One area of collaboration that stands out is with the medical research institutions affording validation of functional foods through clinical studies. The Institute will also maintain close interface with the various stakeholders of its research such as farmers, processors, policy makers, extension agencies to facilitate wide applicability of its research. NDRI has a significant role to play by way of providing necessary research and development support in meeting the future dairying needs of the country with the futuristic outlook of dairy sector. In the next three decades, the economic environment and institutional arrangements in which Indian dairy sector would operate shall be potentially much different from the existing scenario. The innovative technologies will have major impact on dairy development. The linking of domestic producers to the world markets and emergence of new institutional arrangements shall widely replace the small-holder milk production and unorganized milk processing system. The paradigm shift in structure of dairy production and processing would implicitly require that extension support is made available to farmers in wider fields such as technical, organizational, marketing and entrepreneurial aspects, through extension models based on the New Innovation System and massive use of ICT, machine learning and artificial intelligent.
We are hopeful that in the years ahead, NDRI will prove to be a world class institution in R&D of dairy science and will generate innovative farm technologies for dairy production, food, livelihood and environmental and nutritional security of the billion plus population of the country, for all times to come.