26 November: National Milk Day

Every year 26 November is being observed as National Milk Day (NMD) to mark birth anniversary Father of the White Revolution Dr.Verghese Kurien.

Background: The idea of observing National Milk Day was first mooted by Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014 on the lines of World Milk Day observed on June 1 under the aegis of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The first NMD was observed on 26 November 2014 by all Indian diary sector majors including National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), IDA along with around 22 state level milk federations.

About Dr.Verghese Kurien

  • Verghese Kurien was born on 26 November 1921 in Calicut in then Madras Presidency of British India. He had died on 9 September 2012.
  • Operation Flood: As a social entrepreneur he had started billion-litre idea-Operation Flood which was the world’s largest agricultural development programme.
  • Operation had helped to transform India from a milk-deficit country into the world’s largest milk producer.
  • Milk Co-operatives Movement: He had founded around 30 cooperative institutions of excellence (like AMUL, GCMMF, IRMA, NDDB) which are owned, managed by farmers and run by professionals.
  • As the founding chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), Dr. Kurien was pioneer in establishment and success of the Amul brand of dairy products.
  • Milk powder: Under his chairmanship, Amul achieved key invention of milk powder processed from buffalo milk.
  • Awards and Honours: Ramon Magsaysay Award (1963), World Food Prize (1989), Padma Shri (1965), Padma Bhushan (1966) and Padma Vibhushan (1999).


CCEA approves production subsidy of Rs 4.50/quintal to Sugarcane farmers

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to pay a production-linked subsidy of Rs 4.50 per quintal directly to sugarcane farmers in the current crushing season.

Decision in this regard was taken at CCEA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Key facts

  • This decision aims at helping cash strapped sugar mills clear arrears and would cost public exchequer about 1,147 crore rupees.
  • The production subsidy would be given to offset the cost of sugarcane and facilitate the timely payment of cane prices to farmers.
  • Currently, Sugar mills across the country are facing a liquidity crunch due to low prices of the sweetener in retail markets and they owe about 6,500 crore rupees to cane farmers.
  • In the last two crushing seasons, Union Government had given sugar export subsidy to millers in order to help them clear cane dues to farmers. But it was discontinued this season due to World Trade Organisation (WTO) objections.

Extension of Lines of Credit to African and other developing countries

  • The CCEA also gave its approval to the extension of Lines of Credit to African and other developing countries for another five years from 2015-16.
  • The Lines of Credit will be provided under Indian Development and Economic Assistance (IDEA) Scheme which has been in operation since 2005-06.
  • IDEA scheme attempts to promote India’s strategic political and economic interest abroad by positioning it as an emerging economic power and partner for developing countries.
  • The Union Government would make a budgetary provision to the tune of around 3,772 crore rupees for this scheme.
  • It should be noted that Lines of Credit are an important component of India’s diplomatic strategy.
  • It has been very useful tool in generating goodwill and building long term partnerships with different countries.


CCEA hikes MSP for major Rabi crops including wheat, gram and pulses

Government has hiked Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rabi crops including wheat and pulses for Rabi season 2015-16. The MSP of pulses was taken to boost the production as country is facing acute shortage due to domestic demand-supply gap/

Decision in this regard was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

MSP of Rabi crops for season 2015-16


MSP per quintal 
Gram (Channa)3500
Lentil (Masur)3400
*Note: Figures in Rupees

CCEA also gave its approval for allocation of additional 27 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Above Poverty Line (APL) families through Public Distribution System (PDS).

This will be for states which have yet not implemented National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013. So far 20 States have implemented the Act and by March 2016 rest of the states will implement the NFSA.

What is Minimum Support Price (MSP)?

  • MSP is a form of agricultural market intervention undertaken by the Central Government in order to insure agricultural producers are protected against any sharp fall in farm prices.
  • The MSP prices are announced by the Central Government at the beginning of the sowing season for certain crops.
  • The prices are decided by CCEA on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).