CAREER GUIDE Friday, December 20, 2002, Chandigarh, India
Avenues in the dairy sector
ESPITE rapid strides in all other sectors of the economy, agriculture and animal husbandry in India continue to employ the greatest number of people. With recent advances in technology, these sectors now offer a range of truly varied and remunerative career options.


Avenues in the dairy sector

DESPITE rapid strides in all other sectors of the economy, agriculture and animal husbandry in India continue to employ the greatest number of people. With recent advances in technology, these sectors now offer a range of truly varied and remunerative career options. There are several career avenues within the agricultural industry, ranging from farm management to careers in related areas like horticulture, dairy farming, poultry farming, and many others.

The dairy sector is concerned with producing milk and milk products and raising and breeding of cattle. The dairy industry produces a range of milk products — milk, butter, cheese, ghee, condensed milk, powdered milk, yoghurt, etc. while providing raw material for many other industries. India, which enjoys a locational advantage, in the international market, is the largest producer of milk and the second largest producer of milk products in the world. Incidentally, India also happens to be the lowest cost producer of milk per litre in the world at 27 cents (vs 63 cents in the USA and $2.8 in Japan). If the present trend continues, like the mineral water industry, the milk processing industry is poised for exponential growth. With production expected to triple in the next 10 years, India will easily emerge as the world’s leading producer of milk products. This in turn will result in a consequent spurt in the number of jobs in the sector.

Those who train to be dairy technologists have to be not only technologically trained but also adept at managing a farm, as this constitutes the major part of the job. In fact, they are trained and work more as dairy managers. A typical dairy manager’s work would include selection and purchase of animals, housing and feeding of animals, looking after dairy hygiene, supervising the milking process and monitoring the processing and sale of dairy products. Incidentally, India also has the largest cattle population (with some 20 recognised breeds) in the world.

However, despite being the world’s largest milk producing country, our yeild per animal is very low. Although Punjab surpasses the national average, increasing the yeild is a major challenge.

Personality traits for someone wishing to enter this profession as a dairy technologist would include a scientific bent of mind and willingness to experiment and innovate. To that add loads of patience, especially in research-related work areas, willingness to roll-up your sleeves and work with your hands, ability to handle workers tactfully, good and effective communication skills as your ideas and directions will have to be effectively put across to those who will be actually executing the task.

Relevant knowledge of agriculture, economics, animal husbandry, chemistry, mechanics and bacteriology is essentially required. Though dairies are increasingly being located in large cities, a majority of them are located either in the outskirts of large cities or in the countryside, so this is a job for those who don’t mind staying in rural environs. As in any other scientific job, good observation and an eye for detail is also essential.

For those employed in the management or sales and marketing divisions of this sector, some knowledge of the field, even its technical aspects is necessary. A dairy manager generally combines administrative work with practice in his day-to-day work. His job includes recruiting the staff, supervising the overall work in the dairy, taking decisions about buying of feed, machinery, livestock and also overseeing the marketing of the produce. In large dairies, specialist managers are in charge of different sections of the dairy.

Where to train

Various universities and institutes in the country offer courses in dairy technology. BSc/ BTech (Dairy Tech):

The eligibility for admission to most of these courses is merit in the BSc degree (with mathematics in plus two). Some institutes conduct entrance tests. The duration of the courses ranges from two to four and a half years, although most courses are of four-year duration.

Postgraduate courses in dairy sciences/technology can be pursued by graduates in dairying or related fields of agriculture, veterinary sciences, pure sciences, engineering, food technology, etc. However, an entrance exam has to be cleared for seeking admission to a PG course. These courses are offered at:

* Gujarat Agricultural University, Gujarat.

* Rajasthan Agricultural University, Bikaner.

* University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.

* West Bengal University of Animal & Fishery Sciences, Kolkata.

Specialisation is offered at the Master’s level — dairy technology, dairy chemistry, dairy microbiology, dairy engineering, dairy extension education, food technology, genetics and greeding, dairy quality control, animal biotechnology, livestock production and management, dairy production and many others.

You can even pursue academics (teaching & research) by doing a PhD, for which you will again have to take an all-India level entrance exam (JEST).

Besides, diploma courses are also offered at some universities. The National Dairy Research Institute, Southern Regional Station, Bangalore, offers a two-year diploma in dairy technology.

Job prospects

Job opportunities exist in both government and non-government sectors. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), a multi-locational organisation involved in planning, implementing, financing and supporting farmer-owned professionally agri-business enterprises is the core PSU in this field, although with almost every state aping Amul’s ‘cooperative’ success, employment opportunities have increased manifold for both technologists as well as managers, both in production as well as marketing.

With the entry of multinational giants like Nestle, Cadburys, Britannia, Kelloggs, Heritage Foods, KFC, HLL, etc. into the Indian market, employment opportunities as well as salaries have received a further boost. Traditional Indian market leaders like Mother Dairy, Indana, Milkfood, Amul, Dalmia, Dabur, Cadburys, Vadilal, Parag, Vijaya and Milkfed (Verka) are also modernising and diversifying their operations and exploring non-traditional channels to boost demand.

For young people looking at a career away from the hurly-burly of urban life, this could be one of the most attractive choices available.

Pervin Malhotra




Q What is industrial mathematics?

Chetan Anand, Jammu

A Scientific computing, semiconductor devices, image processing, electro-optics, very large integrated systems (VLIS), and sensor technology are some of the emerging areas of high technology. As classical geometry is ‘inadequate’ to understand the intricacies of nature, a new geometry called ‘fractal geometry’ has been invented by a mathematician. It has proved useful in studying and picturing mountains, skies, rainfall, coastal lines, artificial scenery, and designs and patterns through computers. This technique has revolutionised the film industry, image processing and data compression techniques, leading to the compact disc.

Industrial mathematics has become a buzzword in the USA, Europe and Japan in the last decade. In fact, this branch of applied mathematics is not only the queen of all sciences but is also the mother of all technologies. Industrial mathematics is taught at Annamalai University. The eligibility is BSc in maths (55-60 per cent).


Q These days everyone seems to be opting for MBA. Could you please explain to me why it is so?

Suresh Malhotra, Ludhiana

A Each year, the Master of Business Administration degree (MBA) attracts thousands of people of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds. The MBA is a postgraduate and post-experience qualification designed for people with some years of management experience. Whether you work in the public or corporate sector, have three or 13 years of work experience, there is an MBA programme to suit your needs.

As a generalist qualification, the MBA widens horizons and delivers an understanding of all major functions of a business. In Europe, the average age of a student on an accredited full-time programme is 27 and 34 for those studying part-time or by distance learning. Many MBA students are already on their way up the management ladder and have around five to 10 years of postgraduate experience. The specialisation of your undergraduate degree is not a major factor when studying for an MBA.

There are many different reasons why people study for an MBA. For some, the MBA offers an opportunity to move into a general management role, for others it provides the knowledge and confidence to start their own business, while for many, the potential salary benefits of having an MBA from a reputable programme makes it an attractive proposition.

The length and quality of your management experience, together with your personal motivation are extremely relevant in securing admission to a well-regarded business school. Competition for places on the best MBA programmes is strong and employers are obviously keen to attract the best graduates.


Q I am a German national married to an Indian. I work with a company in Frankfurt that has a branch office in India. As my father-in-law who lives alone, will be undergoing heart surgery next month, my wife and I would like to be with him. I have requested my company to send me on deputation for a few months to their Delhi office which is diversifying its operations in India. I would be very grateful if you could please tell me what implications this will have on my salary and what statutory documentation is required?

Hans Schmidt

A Deputation of foreign personnel for technical and supervisory services in India has been on the rise over the past few years. First of all, you must possess a valid employment visa. If your stay is likely to be continuous and exceeding six months, you must also register at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office within 15 days of entry (these six months are computed from the date of the issue of the visa and not the date of entry into India).

Under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (I-T Act), the salary paid to you for services rendered in India is taxable in India. There is an exemption in case your stay does not exceed 90 days and the remuneration is not deducted from the income of the employer.

Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), a minimum stay of 182 days during the preceding financial year makes you a ‘resident in India’. Foreign nationals who are employees of a foreign company and are on deputation to an office/branch/subsidiary/joint venture in India can receive 75 per cent of their salary abroad and the remaining 25 per cent in Indian currency in India. However, taxes on the entire salary must be paid in India. On your retirement from the employment of the Indian company, you will be eligible to remit up to Rs 20 lakh p.a., on furnishing supporting documentary evidence.


Q What subjects should one have studied at the Master’s level to be eligible for the UGC NET in population studies and human rights & duties?

Amit Arora, Mohali

A Those who have passed their Master’s degree in population studies or geography (with specialisation in population studies) or mathematics/statistic are eligible to appear in the subject "population studies" (code No. 15).

Those who have passed their Master’s degree examination in any of the following subjects i.e. political science, sociology, social work, public administration and law are eligible to appear in the subject "human rights and duties" (code No. 92).

A copy of the model question paper is included in the syllabus.

(Queries answered by Pervin Malhotra)




1. Who has been selected for the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for 2001?

2. Which city was recently renamed Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar by the Uttar Pradesh Government?

3. How many countries are members of the European Union?

4. Which country was recently awarded two tiny palm-fringed islands — Sipadan and Ligitan — by the world court in the Hague?

5. Which world famous monument of India will be saved from the effects of industrial pollution by using "Multani Mitti", an ancient face-pack recipe consisting of cereal, milk and lime?

6. Which state of the country tops in the registration of births and deaths?

7. Which song of A.R. Rehman recently bagged the fifth place in a worldwide top 10 list of songs compiled by the BBC?

8. Name the Founder-Chairman and Group Managing Director of Bharti Enterprises Limited.

9. Name the rebels with whom the Indonesian Government recently signed a landmark ceasefire agreement aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest and bloodiest internal conflicts raging for 26 years.

10. To which country does the Miss World 2002 belong?

11. Expand NHDA.

12. Which country recently won the women’s hockey World Cup for the first time?

13. Name the languages in which the theme song for the next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup has been released.

14. Where are the 32nd National Games being held?

15. Which country recently won the Junior World Squash Tournament in Chennai?


School address.........................

Winners of quiz 171: The first prize by draw of lots goes to Bhuwan, 7-E, St Xavier’s Sr Sec School, Sector 44, Chandigarh.

Second: Aditi Bansal, VI- D, Army School, 41 Chotti Baradari, Patiala.

Third: Divya Mohan, IX-B, Springfield Public School, Ambala-Chd highway, Ambala City.

Answers to quiz 171: Air Commodore Padma Bandhopadhyaya; Mir Zaffarullah Khan Jamali; Nigeria; December 1; Vijay Mahajan; Warren Anderson; 1949; Non-performing Assets; Yashoda & Krishna; Omega-3; Vijaywada; Weightlifting; Kathmandu; Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority ; Russia.

Cash awards of Rs 400, 300 and 200 are given to the first, second and third prize winners, respectively. These are sent at the school address.

— Tarun Sharma