Government approves Meenesh Shah to hold charge as NDDB Chairman for another 6 months

August 22, 2022

Prabhudatta Mishra

The Centre has extended the tenure of Meenesh C Shah, executive director of National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), for another six months until November 30 to hold the charge of the premier organisation. The post of a full time Chairman of NDDB has been vacant since December 2020.

The post of Chairman NDDB fell vacant when Dilip Rath demitted office after being elected to the Board of International Dairy Federation (IDF). Initially the charge was given to Varsha Joshi, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, who held the post. From June 1, 2021, Shah has been continuing on the post and the notification published on August 20 is the second extension after the first on January 4 this year.

Summit in New Delhi

Incidentally, India will be hosting the world’s biggest dairy conference—IDF World Dairy Summit 2022—in New Delhi during September 12-15 wherein the theme is “Dairy for Nutrition and Livelihood.”

As the brainchild of then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, NDDB was set up in 1965 with the basic objective of replicating the Amul model across the country and Verghese Kurien, chosen to head the institution as its Chairman, continued until 1998. Kurien was succeeded by Amrita Patel who continued until 2014.

Encroachment by the IAS

However, the UPA government decided to appoint former agriculture secretary T Nanda Kumar as NDDB Chairman, which many experts view it as an encroachment by the IAS of an august institution. Kumar’s successor Rath was also an IAS and was earlier a joint secretary in charge of dairy in the Agriculture Ministry.

In the Amul model, farmers own the dairy, their elected representatives manage the village societies and the district union, professionals operate and manage the business while being sensitive to the needs of farmers.

NDDB under temporary charge

Notification Effective from Tenure In-charge
04-12-2020 01-12-2020 6 months Varsha Joshi, joint secretary
24-06-2021 01-06-2021 6 months Meenesh C Shah, ED, NDDB
04-01-2022 01-12-2021 6 months Meenesh C Shah, ED, NDDB
18-08-2022 01-06-2022 6 months Meenesh C Shah, ED, NDDB
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