The metallurgist and the white revolution

From the obituary of Verghese Kurien in Hindu:

“What do you know about pasteurisation,” an interviewer asked the young man who had applied for a Government of India fellowship for a Masters in Engineering abroad. “Something to do with milk?” was the uncertain reply. The year was 1946. In his biography From Anand: The story of Verghese Kurien, M.V. Kamath recounts the story of how the youngster was selected to do a Masters in dairy engineering by a government committee that was impervious to his pleas that he be allowed to specialise in metallurgy instead.

As it turned out, Michigan State University did not have dairy engineering, and Verghese Kurien was able to do metallurgy and Physics. But when he came back to India in 1948, it was to a small and unknown village in Gujarat called Anand that he was sent, to work out his two-year bond at the Government creamery on a salary of Rs.600 per month. Hating his job, he waited impatiently for his fetters to loosen. That did not happen. What it did was that V. Kurien, by the conjunction of politics, nationalism and professional challenge, decided to stay on. He would transform rural India.

Take a look!

One Response to “The metallurgist and the white revolution”

  1. Annals of life-changing admission mistakes « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] We have heard about Verghese Kurien’s switch to metallurgy thanks to his reaching Michigan Sta…. Now I learn from here (thanks to Arunn at Nanopolitan) that  a mix-up in the admissions office allowed Sir John Gurdon to study zoology instead of classics and he is the Nobel prize winner for his work! After receiving the report Sir John said he switched his attention to classics and was offered a place to study at Christ Church, Oxford, but was allowed to switch courses and read zoology instead because of a mix-up in the admissions office. […]

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