Dr. Verghese Kurien: The Father Of The White Revolution

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verghese kurien

Verghese Kurien was an Indian dairy engineer and social entrepreneur known as the father of the White Revolution. In 1940, Kurien obtained his degree in physics from the University of Madras, and in 1947, he obtained his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University. Read this blog to learn more about Verghese Kurien.

Overview of Verghese Kurien
NicknameFather of White Revolution
OccupationEngineer, Entrepreneur
AchievementsTransformed India to the world’s largest milk producer
AwardsPadma ShriPadma BhushanRamon Magsaysay AwardPadma VibushanWorld Food Prize

Verghese Kurien’s Early Life

Kurien was born on November 26, 1921, in Calicut to P.K.Kurien 

  • Kurien attended Diamond Jubilee Higher Secondary School, Gobichettipalayam, Tamil Nadu, while his father worked at the government hospital there.
  • His father died when he was just 22 years old; after that, he moved under the guidance of his maternal uncle.
  • Kurien applied for a Government of India scholarship and decided to study dairy engineering. He was sent to the Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry in Bangalore and spent nine months there before being sent to the United States on a government scholarship.
  • In 1948, he graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in masters of mechanical engineering.
  • He later travelled to Australia to learn dairying, which would help him establish the Amul dairy. 

Also read: Home Minister of India: Famous Personalities, Responsibilities, and Appointment  

Verghese Kurien Contributions

Verghese Kurien’s contributions to India are far more than just increasing milk production.

  • Kurien created the cooperative model, which empowered milk producers to gain control over their production and profits
  • This massive program, launched under Kurien’s leadership, aimed to establish a national milk grid. It connected village cooperatives to processing plants and urban markets, cutting out middlemen and ensuring higher returns for farmers.
  • The White Revolution created millions of jobs in rural areas, specifically for women.
  • India, because of Kurien’s efforts, became the largest producer of milk.
Credits: Amul

Why Is Verghese Kurien Considered The Father Of the White Revolution?

Verghese Kurien is considered the Father of the White Revolution because of his contributions.

Amul Model &  Cooperatives1. Led Operation Flood, a large-scale dairy development program
2. Increased milk production, processing, and marketing infrastructure
Operation Flood1. Led Operation Flood, a large-scale dairy development program
2.Increased milk production, processing, and marketing infrastructure
Focus on Farmers1. Ensured fair prices for milk producers by eliminating middlemen.
2. Provided veterinary services and improved breeding practices
National Impact1. Transformed India from milk-deficient to the world’s largest milk producer
2. Improved rural livelihoods and empowered millions of farmers

Awards won by the father of the White Revolution

Several awards were won by the father of the White Revolution, some of which are as follows:

YearAwardsAwarding Organization
1963Ramon Magsaysay AwardRamon Magsaysay Award Foundation
1965Padma ShriGovernment of India
1966Padma BhushanGovernment of India
1986Krishi RatnaGovernment of India
1986Wateler Peace PrizeCarnegie Foundation
1989World Food PrizeWorld Food Prize Foundation
1993International Person of the YearWorld Dairy Expo
1997Order of Agriculture MeritMinistry of Agriculture, France
1999Padma VibhushanGovernment of India


What is Verghese Kurien known for?

Verghese Kurien is known as the Father of the White Revolution in India for transforming the country into the world’s largest milk producer.

What was Kurien’s key contribution?

Kurien pioneered the cooperative dairy model in India, empowering farmers and boosting milk production through organizations like Amul.

What awards did Verghese Kurien receive?

Verghese Kurien received several awards, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the World Food Prize.

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