India's first Student Dairy
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Vidya Dairy was set up by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for the Dairy Science College affiliated to Gujarat Agricultural University (GAU), at Anand. It helps students in acquiring excellence during hands on training and equips them to face challenges in the real world of dairying.
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India's first Student Dairy

Vidya Dairy: India's First Student Dairy

Anand in Gujarat State is the Mecca for dairymen. World-famous AMUL (Anand Milk Union Ltd.) is located here. So is the Vidya (education) Dairy, the first student dairy in the country. This dairy, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, is a modern training plant. Students here receive excellent all round hands-on training in the plant. Not only that, students also run Vidya Dairy in a commercially viable way.

An autonomous unit, the 100,000 lpd capacity Vidya Dairy was set up by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for the Dairy Science College, affiliated to Gujarat Agricultural University (GAU), at Anand. Located in the campus of GAU on 50 hectares of land with total investment of about Rs 15 crore, this Dairy was financed by the NDDB under the Operation Flood III Program.

Commissioned in February 1994, Vidya Dairy's key objective is to provide students an opportunity to have first-hand experience of modern dairy processing and management practices. These include:

plant operation and maintenance
quality control
store and accounts management.
It also provides R&D facilities in the fields of product development, dairy engineering, process technology, packing and essential plant management-related subjects.

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Manufacturing facilities

It purchases milk from the Amul Dairy chilling centers. It has 1.2 lakh liters of silo capacity to hold raw and pasteurized milk, used in various manufacturing processes. It is the first dairy in India which has an automatic plant for milk reception and processing. It also has an effluent treatment plant to treat all liquid waste, in accordance with the statutory requirement for waste water discharge.

Vidya Dairy has the technology to produce packaged pasteurized milk, ghee, processed cheese, ice-cream and UHT products. Its main product is pasteurized, standardized milk, packed in 500 ml pouches. It can pack 60,000 liters a day.

The Dairy's average daily ghee-making capacity is approximately 2,000 kgs. A packaging machine can pack ghee in 1 kg polythene pouches. Its daily cheese production capacity, based on three shifts, is approximately 2,000 kgs of natural cheese. After maturing, this quantity would yield about 2,500 kgs of processed cheese. The Dairy has two continuous ice-cream freezers and an ice-cream cup filler.

The Ultra-High-Temperature (UHT) aseptic packaging plant has a capacity to pack 700 liters of product per hour in 200 ml Tetrabriks and 250 liters per hour in 20 ml Tetrahedrons.

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A unique feature of the training is the active involvement of student-trainees in carrying out various functions on a rotation basis. Vidya Dairy plant operates on a three-shift, round the clock basis, with manufacturing generally confined to the day and afternoon shifts. The packaged milk is mainly dispatched during the night shift.All  plant functions are grouped in nine work-areas. The student-trainees are also divided in nine groups. Each group, therefore, works in each work-area for 40 days in rotation. Students gain confidence in each function through hands-on practice under the guidance of experts. Regular review sessions help students clarify their technical doubts, if any, and provide them solid technical support. This also helps in attending to their weak areas.

Each student-trainee is provided with a technical operating manual on dairy as a reference guide. The manual includes details of various product processes, equipment and other support functions. Exercises are also given in the manual to sharpen student-trainee's skill.

While close attention is paid to students' skill improvement, confidence building and discipline, their work performance is also regularly evaluated through a well-designed training assessment. Its criteria include technical advancement, work quality, work output, consciousness of sanitation and waste control, meticulousness and punctuality.

Vidya Dairy is operating as a commercially viable, self-supporting venture. Its products are marketed through the established distribution systems, assisted by Anand-based Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF). It attempts to coordinate knowledge with experience. Its student-trainees are an integral part of the management and operational staff. They actively contribute to the efficient and profitable functioning of the dairy. And, they step out from here as real professionals.

Another student dairy on the same lines has been set up at the Dairy Science College attached to the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, Haryana.

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