White Revolution: Meaning, Short Note | Operation Flood

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The White Revolution is regarded as one of the biggest dairy movements launched by the Indian government in 1970. Operation Flood is the name given to the program that led to the white revolution. The Indian government’s venture proved to be groundbreaking due to the fact that it linked the country’s milk producers and sellers to consumers in almost 700 towns and cities all across India.

The white revolution is related to the history of the Indian economy and is an important concept in the Indian history of UPSC GS II. Many questions related to operation flood have been stated in the examination over many years. It is necessary to be up to date with the provisions and phases related to this movement. You can also download the PDF on the white revolution in India, better known as operation flood, using the link provided below.

What is White Revolution?

In India, the initiative that was used to enhance milk production is acknowledged as the White Revolution, also termed Operation Flood. In 1970, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) was set up to structure dairy advancement via cooperative societies, ushering in this milk revolution in India. Prof. Verghese Kurien was known as the father of the White Revolution in India.

White Revolution PDF

The prime objective of the white revolution was always to make India self-sufficient in terms of dairy production. This movement aided in increasing milk productivity in the country, which would then be sold at market prices. Due to the white revolution furthermore, there was increased demand for dairy cattle, and it prompted the dairy industry to adopt modern technology. The white revolution helped tremendously to the country with many benefits, such as closing milk solids imports in India, revamping dairy businesses and infrastructures, achieving dairy needs, and enhancing the genetics of milking species through cross-breeding.

Father of White Revolution

Dr. Verghese Kurien is known as the Father of White Revolution in India. He is known by many names such as the Milkman of India, and the Indian Milkman. He was presented with several prestigious awards such as Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri, World Food Prize, Order of Agricultural Merit, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award. He was the man behind India’s prosperous dairy industry and who made the White Revolution or Operation Flood, a successful venture.

Dr. Verghese Kurien was an agricultural scientist & a government servant who was sent by the government to look after the operations in the Anand factory. He was successful in sorting out the problems of farmers by inventing new techniques to utilize the entire milk production by creating different by-products such as condensed milk and milk powder.

History of White Revolution in India

The efforts toward the white revolution had already started in the 1960s, but the actual implementation of the program did not start until 1970. The following is a set of events mentioned that led to operation flood:

  • From 1964 to 1965, India implemented the Intensive Cattle Development Programme, which provided cattle owners with the benefit of improved animal husbandry in order to promote the white revolution in India.
  • Afterwards, the National Dairy Development Board launched a new scheme called “operation flood” to accelerate the country’s white revolution.
  • Operation Flood began in 1970 with the goal of creating a country-wide milk grid.
  • The National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB) initiated the rural development plan.

White Revolution in India

Dr. Verghese Kurein, known as the “Milkman of India,” was instrumental in pioneering India’s food processing industry. He conceived the idea of the White Revolution in India. Numerous powerful institutions, such as the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd and also the National Dairy Development Board, were founded under his leadership (NDDB). The NDDB launched the White Revolution in the 1970s, with rural milk producers’ cooperatives serving as its foundation.

Dr. Kurien’s perception of Indian agribusiness, as well as the trust he has managed to earn from the agricultural or farming communities, have greatly aided the Indian dairy sector. His frequently published interpretation was that India’s position in the sun could very well come from the partnership of its rural folk’s wisdom and the skills of its professionals. This brought about the soul of his existence and purpose in life.

Role of Amul in the White Revolution

Amul is credited with the popular ‘White Revolution’ or ‘Operation Flood’ that resulted in India becoming the largest producer of milk in the world. Dr. Verghese Kurien, who is known as the milkman of India had a big hand in the White Revolution. The large production of milk and its various by-products by Amul paced up Operation flood.

Amul, which was the name given to the Kiara District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union was a cooperative society dedicated to dairy farming. The Union decided to sell its products under the brand name ‘Amul’ and Dr. Verghese Kurien was made the chairman of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. He was responsible for steering the Operation Flood campaign with his efforts. The success of Amul as a brand led to the great success of the White Revolution.

Phases of Operation Flood in India

The white revolution in India was launched in phases. There were three phases in which it was conducted. Let’s learn about the phases of the operation flood in India in detail here.

Phase I of White Revolution in India

It commenced in 1970 and lasted approximately ten years, until 1980. The sales of butter oil and powdered milk pledged to donate by the European Union via the World Food Program helped fund this phase. During this phase, Operation Flood connected India’s 18 leading milk sheds with customers in the country’s four major metropolises: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai, instituting mother dairies in each.

Phase II of the White Revolution

From 1981 to 1985, it lasted for a span of five years. Throughout this phase II, the count of milk sheds accelerated from 18 to 136, and outlets of milk continued to expand to approximately 290 urban markets, including a self-sustaining framework with 4,250,000 producers of milk spread throughout 43,000 village cooperatives.

Phase III of Operation Flood

Phase III of operation flood lasted nearly ten years, from 1985 to 1996. This phase allowed the dairy cooperatives to widen and managed to bring the program to an end. It also improved the infrastructure required to obtain and market enormous doses of milk. Co-operative participants now have access to feed, veterinary first-aid medical services, and artificial insemination services, as well as increased member training.

Significance of White Revolution in India

The White Revolution in India aided in the reduction of trader and merchant malpractice. It also helped abolish poverty and helped the country become the world’s largest producer and exporter of milk and dairy products. Operation Flood gave dairy farmers control over the resource they created. It aided them in guiding their own growth.

A ‘National Milk Grid’ was established to link milk producers with buyers in over 700 cities and towns across India. At the same time, the White Revolution in India lowered regional and periodic price variations, improving customer satisfaction. It also made sure that the makers received a large portion of the price that customers paid. It improved rural people’s living standards and contributed to the growth of the Indian rural economy.

Success of the White Revolution in India

White Revolution was designed and implemented to be more than just a dairy program. Instead, dairying was viewed as a development tool, providing employment and consistent income to millions of rural residents. The programme transformed the dairy industry, bringing about numerous changes such as,

  • It started a tradition of using modern and innovative methods of holding and milking cows.
  • It urged changing the contents of animal feed in order to better adapt to the circumstances.
  • It adjusted various producer expenses on a sliding scale.
  • Throughout the 20 years since its inception, Operation Flood, also known as the white revolution, has transformed India from a milk importer to the world’s third-largest producer and supplier of milk.
  • During the same time frame, the multitude of milk cooperatives expanded from 10,000 to a total of approximately 60,000.
  • The Amul cooperative managed to bring good rates to the producers, created direct jobs for thousands, and functioned as a tool for social transformation and economic change.
  • Given the impact that the white revolution had on India, not just on the Indian dairy sector but also on rural India overall, its accomplishments far outweigh the very few criticisms.

White Revolution UPSC

The Operation Flood UPSC is an important segment of the UPSC syllabus. It is essential to cover the history of the Indian economy in the syllabus, which covers the important topic of operation flood, its phases, and the success of the operation. A major part of this topic includes the role of ‘Amul’ in the implementation and accomplishment of the white revolution in India. It is also important to constantly keep referring to the Indian polity and history books for a good outcome in the IAS exam. You can also refer to the currently available UPSC study material and previous year’s papers to improve your score.

Operation Flood UPSC Question

Question: Consider the following statements:

  1. Dr. Verghese Kurien is popularly known as the father of the White Revolution.
  2. Amul’s Anand Pattern Experiment was crucial to the accomplishment of the Indian White Revolution.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

  • (a) 1 only
  • (b) 2 only
  • (c) Both 1 and 2
  • (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (c)

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