White Revolution, The Story of India’s Milk Revolution

4 minute read
White Revolution

To combat the adverse economical situation of the nation, many revolutions like Golden Revolution, Green Revolution, Black Revolution and Blue Revolution surfaced in Indian history. Amongst all the Indian Revolutions, the White Revolution was launched to enhance the production of milk and milk products across the country. Right after the great success of the Green Revolution, White Revolution or the Operation Flood was started with the aim to make India self-sufficient as well as a prominent milk exporter. Read this blog to know all about the what White Revolution, who started it and the various objectives and features of the White Revolution which paved India’s path towards becoming the largest exporter of milk. 

History of the White Revolution 

The history of the White Revolution dates back to 1964-65 when the Indian government launched the intensive cattle development programme in the year 1964- 65 in which the cattle owners were given high-quality animal husbandry. This programme was introduced to promote the White Revolution and after the completion of this scheme, the National Dairy development board launched a new program called Operation Flood under the White Revolution. The program came into practice in the year 1970 and being a rural development program it aimed to create a milk grid across the country.

Dr Verghese Kurian is renowned as the Father of the White Revolution as he was the chairman of the National Dairy Development Board when these programmes were launched and he led the revolution through his excellent managerial skills and empowered the whole initiative. This is why he is also referred to as the Architect of the White Revolution.

Google Doodles paid tribute to Dr. Verghese Kurian, the Father of the White Revolution on his 94th Birth Anniversary on 26th November 2015.
Courtesy: Google Doodles Archives


Coming into practice in the year 1970, under the Operation Flood, a link between the milk producers and the consumers across the country was established. More than 700 cities and towns were a part of this plan where it was ensured that there is no seasonal or regional price variation in milk. The cooperative programme ensured that the entire income of milk producers was generated from the end consumers. 

Here are the key objectives of the White Revolution:

  • Enhancing the income of the rural population
  • Generating a flood of milk by increasing its production across the country
  • Circulate milk in the country at fair prices


The chairman of National Dairy development board, Mr Verghese Kurien along with his friend H.M. Dalaya For the very first time invented the process of creating milk powder and condensed milk from the buffalo milk. After leading India’s greatest milk revolution, Dr Kurien also founded Amul which became one of the largest milk-producing firms in India. Under the guidance and leadership of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, he empowered the revolution which is also referred to as Operation Flood. Here are the three main phases of the White Revolution:

Phase 1
Beginning in 1970, the objective of the first phase of the White Revolution was to set up dairy cooperatives 18 milk shares in 10 sheets. These theories were further connected to the best markets of the metropolitan cities. In the year 1981, towards the end of this phase, there were a total of 15000 farmers and 13000 village dairy cooperatives.  

Phase 2
Expanding the Phase 1, the Phase 2 of the White Revolution promoted dairy development in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, etc. 36 lakh members,  34,500 village dairy cooperative and 136 milk sheds were achieved by the year 1985.

Phase 3
The third phase emphasized on creating a sustainable platform that will effectively increase the productivity of milk. By the end of the third phase of the Milk Revolution, there were 9.5 million farmer members and 73,300 dairy cooperatives.

Features of White Revolution

The two most prominent features of the White Revolution are as follows:

  • Adapting high and techniques and methods for animal husbandry
  • Reconstructing the composition of feed ingredients in various proportions

Advantages of White Revolution

The paramount achievement of the White Revolution in the country was to ultimate transform India as the largest exporter of milk. Along with this, the key advantages of the Operation Flood or the Milk Revolution in India were:

  • The entire infrastructure of the dairy industry expanded greatly and approximately 10 million farmers earned their bread and butter through dairy farming.
  • The biggest achievement was seen in the import and export sector as India became the largest exporters of milk powder for various foreign nations
  • The idea of cross-breeding helped in improving the genetics of various milking animals
  • The local production of milk in villages and rural areas met the country’s requirements.

Hence, the White Revolution phenomenally brought a much-needed revolutionary phase in India’s history as it empowered the milk producers especially local villagers and farmers and promoted India as the biggest exporter of milk! Interested in studying world history? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to assist you in finding the right course and university as per your interests and career goals! Sign up for a free session with us today.

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