Downy mildew (DM) caused by Sclerospora graminicola is the most calamitous disease of pearl millet. Therefore, for introgression of DM resistance (DMR) in HHB 197 (MH-1302), an elite pearl millet hybrid, a marker-assisted breeding was undertaken by targeting three DMR loci on linkage groups (LGs) 1, 2 and 4. Breeding programme was initiated by crossing HBL 11 (DM susceptible), male parent of HHB 197 hybrid with ICMP 451 (DM-resistant) to produce true F1 plants. By conducting three rounds of backcrossing and selection, BC3F1 lines were generated. Foreground selection was employed using six polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers of the 18 total selected markers. Four of these markers were linked to LG 1, five to LG 2 and nine to LG 4. Background selection was performed in BC3F1 generation using 33 polymorphic SSR markers of a total of 56 evenly spread SSR markers in the pearl millet genome to check recovery of recurrent parent genome. On the basis of genotypic selection (foreground as well as background) using selected SSR markers, agronomic performance in field and DM screening in greenhouse; 10 improved HBL 11 lines were selected and crossed with ICMA 97111 to produce DM-resistant HHB 197 hybrid versions. Six putatively improved HHB 197 hybrids were successfully tested in first year trials at Hisar and Bawal locations of Haryana and two selected versions with higher yield and zero DM incidence will be further tested in multilocation trials.