The President of India, Droupadi Murmu, graced and addressed the 19th convocation of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) at Karnal, Haryana, on April 24, 2023.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the dairy industry plays an important role in ensuring our country’s food and nutritional security. The dairy sector also contributes about 5 percent to the country’s GDP and provides livelihood to about 8 crore families in India. Hence, institutions like National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) are important in the country’s inclusive development.

Governor of Haryana, Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Choudhary, Director General of ICAR, Dr. Himanshu Pathak were the special guests at the convocation.

The President said cows and other livestock have been integral to Indian society and traditions. She was happy to note that NDRI has developed technology to produce clones of high milk-yielding buffaloes and cows. She said that it would increase the milk production capacity of the animals and enhance the farmers’ income.

The President said that milk and milk products have always been an integral part of Indian food and culture. India is the largest milk-producing country in the world. But, we are facing the challenges of increasing demand for milk products. Apart from this, the dairy sector is also facing challenges like the availability of good quality fodder, change in weather due to climate change, and diseases in livestock. Making milk production and dairy farming sustainable is a challenge for us. It is the responsibility of all of us to develop the dairy industry by adopting environment-friendly and climate-smart technologies, keeping animal welfare in mind. She was happy to note that NDRI is promoting various technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farms. Along with this, NDRI also emphasises clean energy like biogas production.

Speaking on this occasion, Union Minister Tomar said that the NDRI is a very important institution of the country, which has completed a glorious journey of 100 years. ICAR-affiliated NDRI has secured First position for five consecutive years in the competition among agricultural universities across the country, which is a matter of pride. He said that the contribution of scientists in the Animal Husbandry-Dairying sector, where the country is standing today, is also a landmark.

India is an agricultural country, in which it is impossible to imagine the Agriculture sector without Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. Especially the livelihood of small and landless farmers also depends on Animal Husbandry. Animal Husbandry has a significant contribution to the GDP of Agriculture.

There is a need to keep moving forward while solving the challenges in this area. He said that the per capita availability of milk in the country in 2021-22 was 444 grams per day, while the global average during 2021 was 394 grams per day. There has been an increase of about 44% in the country’s per capita availability of milk between 2013-14 and 2021-22.

Tomar said that for any student, the convocation ceremony is an unforgettable moment in his life, it is even more a matter of pride that this occasion coincides with the centenary celebrations of the institute. Congratulating the students who received the degree, he said that they are going to be of great service to the country.

Governor of Haryana, Dattatreya, Chief Minister Manohar Lal, and Union Minister Rupala also addressed the ceremony. During the convocation, undergraduate-postgraduate and Ph.D. degrees were presented, and Gold medals were awarded to the best students. The Director and Vice Chancellor of the Institute, Dr. Dheer Singh, and other dignitaries were present.

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