Green revolution made the country self-sufficient in food but it bypassed the dryland areas, which have become the hot spots of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, water scarcity and land degradation. In India, 60% of total cultivated area is rainfed, which is dependent on rainfall, having no facility for protective or life-saving irrigation. Rainfed areas meet 40% of India’s food demands and support 60% of total livestock population. Agricultural productivity in rainfed areas has remained low and unstable due to vulnerability to the vagaries of weather, degraded soils and continuing poverty of farmers, who are mostly small and marginal. Even if India were to achieve its full irrigation potential, approximately half of the cultivable area of 142 million hectares will still remain largely dependent on rainfall. It is also estimated that, by 2040, of an expected population of 1.5 billion, 500 million will live in rain-fed areas. In India, ensuring sustainability of rain-fed agriculture is therefore critical, more so in the scenario of climate change and the vulnerability of populations living in these areas.