Career in Rural Development
The face of rural India is changing. With the government increasing budget of rural development and other ministries extending their shares of schemes and also with the large – scale intervention of Public Sector Undertakings as a part of their social obligation in the field of rural development, the job opportunities at various levels are also increasing.
While the rural development is still a mission for development agencies, it has become a profession for young graduates which gives them dual satisfaction of earning livelihood as well as undertaking social service.
One can join a government agency, a non – government organisation or even freelance. This article gives an insight to those aspirants who have Social Science background and want to make social service a career. Rural development as a career has gained much importance as this area is very vast and employment opportunities in this area would increase in the years to come.
The all – round development of rural area ranges from infrastructure development to upliftment of rural poor and the downtrodden. Health, Education, Economic Self Reliance and Empowerment of Women. The concept of rural development has changed in the last decade. It traversed from charity to making rural folk self – reliant and capable on the lines of mahatma gandhi’s thoughts.
This was the major breakthrough in the domain or rural development that came to be known as ‘paradigm – shift’. The paradigm shift was not merely a change in the philosophy of rural development but in its functional aspects as well – there is now a thrust on quality and not quantity, development and empowerment replaced charity and welfare, dependecia ( acute from the dependence ) was overthrown by self – help.
The new concept is “instead of handling out fish, impart the training of fishing” i.e. Make people self – reliant through their capacity building, make them healthy by educating them about health precautions. Making them aware of their rights and duties would be their real help. The task of rural development was gradually adopted as a profession in our country, various educational institutes came forward to offer professional course in rural development in order to prepare a cadre of skilled and committed rural development professionals, adoption of such tasks by corporate sector as a part of their social responsibility has further strengthened the roots of this profession.
Various corporate companies like tata, reliance, mafatlal, arvind mills and its etc. Have specially setup their rural development units that require competent professionals. As we all know the government is doing its best for rural development and has increased the budget of rural development manifold in last few years. The union government at present is the largest funding agency that Finance Voluntary Organisations and Non Government Organisation ( NGOs ) involved in Rural Development.
It has a monitoring system that supervises the proper utilisation of funds. Other government ministries like Ministry of Health, Human Resource Development, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment are also having a large chunk of their budgetary allocation earmarked for undertaking schemes and programs in rural areas.
Apart from government, indian and foreign donor agencies have their stakes in popularizing and strengthening this profession in india by sponsoring small to large – scale projects of rural development. Rural development as a profession is gradually gaining popularity with more and more young and competent professionals joining it as their livelihood and also because of the increasing number of educational institutions offering related professional courses.
The Course of Rural Development is unique in itself. On one hand it provides an understanding of human issues while on the other hand, it enables the students to operate the mechanical devices like computer. If students know the art of motivating rural people and getting their participation; they also know the managerial skills of managing a projects.
If they have an understanding of human psychology, behavioural science, they are also well versed in natural resources. This balance of the oretical sessions and practical is the uniqueness of this course. The course of rural development emphasises principles like ‘grass roots learning’, ‘hands on culture’, learning by doing’ and ‘land to lab’.
That is why apart from learning within the four walls of classroom, the students also learn under the open sky – in agricultural fields, in villages, in forests, in the operational areas of the voluntary organisations etc. Course syllabus of rural development encompasses classroom sessions, presentation, symposia, organisational visits, rural camps and dissertation ( summer projects ). The dissertation is the one of the most highlighted areas of the source because during this period students practice the theories thought in the class room, deeply understand the chosen development issue in the operational area of different voluntary organisations.
This two months project ( period may vary from institute to institute ) serves as the exercise board for the students. In this way, the course prepares a cadre of such professionals who have the understanding of the dimensions of rural development and skills as well to manage those dimensions optimally. Employment opportunities in this field are immense because of the newly created interest of the corporate sector in it, government’s increasing attention towards rural development and missionary spirit of the voluntary organisations who have pioneered and led the task of the rural development in our country.
In the changes scenario ( in which rural development is no more philanthropy but a profession ), corporate sector, government’s development units and voluntary organisation rely on professionals for the professional accomplishment of their tasks. The horizon of the profession is gradually expending and so is increasing the competition the quality and competition in it.
Recognition of the Course :
All the institutions offering course in rural development have either an affiliation to the local university or approval from all india council of technical education, delhi thereby making the course as good as other management courses. There is still a need to bring about an altitudinal change towards this profession that can transform gandhi’s vision of india’s rural development into reality.
The aspirants are advised to check from the website of AICTE fro recognition of particular institute.
Course Structure :
Two years divided into four semesters. Separate Examinations are held in each semester. Passing each semester individually is compulsory.
Probable Employers :
Government Development Agencies / Departments / State Resource Centers.
- Voluntry Organisations.
- Social Development Units of Corporate Sector.
- National / International donor Agencies.
- Self – Employment ( running one’s own voluntary organisation or doing research and project formulation as a freelancer ).
There are diversified employment opportunities in this sector that can be obtained as per one’s capability and orientation. Employment opportunities can be in the following Forms :
- Project Co – ordinator ( leading to superior posts like project director ).
Eligibility for the Course :
Graduate or equivalent ( in any discipline / sociology ) from a recognized university with a minimum of 50 percent of marks.
Some Institutions providing Courses in Rural Development :
- Institute of Rural Management, PB. 60, Anand – 388 001.
- Xavier Institute of Social Service, PB. 7, Purulia Road, Ranchi.
- Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar – 751 013.
- Institute of Rural Management, IIRM Campus, Mansarovar, Jaipur, Gandhi.
Gram Rural Institute, Gandhi Gram, Dindigul.
- XIDAS, 4th Mile # 8, Mandla Road, Village Tihari, P.O. Goraiyaghat, Via RFRC, Jabalpur – 482 001.
- Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi ( Course : Master of Social Work – MSW – Admission through Entrance Test ).
- Indira Gandhi National Open University ( IGNOU ), Maidan Garhi, New Delhi, www.ignou.ac.in ( Distance Mode ).
Apart from the above mentioned institutions, almost all universities run professional courses in rural development in the form of MA (Sociology), MSW PG Diploma in Rural Development etc.
The aspirants are thus advised to first choose their area of interest from various aspects of rural development and then admission to the concerned institution. Most of the institutes now admit candidates through Entrance Examination. The admission notices appear in the newspapers between February and March while the admission process is completed by the May – June.
The examination usually include written, viva – voce and or group discussion.