15th Dec, 2016 was a very sad day in the history of Indian Dairying, when one of its tallest stalwarts, Dr. Nek Ram Bhasin, who was holding the office of the president of Indian Dairy Association (IDA) passed away. In fact, in his demise, IDA has lost its guiding light and India has lost one of its greatest dairy doyens. Dr. Bhasin was a genius. His vast knowledge and wisdom, his professional acumen coupled with administrative abilities and his charismatic leadership qualities and above all his dedication to the cause of Indian dairying became his hallmark. He has left behind a rich legacy, spanning innumerable reforms, which has significantly resulted in the growth of Indian dairy sector and in the process brining also improvement in the socio-economical status of small and marginal dairy farmers in the country.
Dr. Bhasin had majored in animal nutrition and animal genetics in 1964. Subsequently, he received his Ph. D. degree in Animal Genetics and Breeding from Pantnagar University in 1969. After obtaining his IAS from Rajasthan cadre, Dr. Bhasin was appointed Managing Director, Rajathan State Dairy Development Corporation (RSDDC), which he also established in 1975. In 1979 he also established Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation, and held the post of its Managing Director till 1982. During this period, he was responsible for the implementation of World Bank assisted Rajasthan Dairy Project and Operation Flood Project (Rajasthan component). Under these projects, 3000 milk producers’ cooperative societies were set up, which were federated into 10 milk producer’s cooperative union, with an apex level federation following Anand pattern. All this resulted in the establishment of 10 Dairy plants, 24 chilling centres and 6 feed milling plants. Dr. Bhasin’s painstaking efforts in establishing dairy network and cooperatives in the state of Rajasthan are quite laudable, for which he also received the title of “The Kurien of Rajasthan”. During his stint with the ministry of Commerce, as Director Agricultural Commodity Division from 1984 to 1987, he left a deep imprint, by promoting export production and marketing of agricultural, livestock and dairy products, resulting in the establishment of The Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA).
The members of BENISON Media and the editorial committee of “Think Grain Think Feed” deeply mourn the loss of one of the monoliths of Indian Dairying, revered Dr. N. R. Bhasin. We offer condolence to the bereaved family and pray that his soul gets peace in heaven.