With more than 70 percent of our population living in rural areas, any strategy for development in the country must focus on the socio-economic development in the rural areas.
Today, rural development is viewed as a multidimensional process which involves the reorganization and reorientation of entire economic and social systems. For the reorganization and reorientation of the economic and social system in the country there is an urgent need for the interaction among the various technological, biological, social and economic institutional organization.
In recent years, rural development is getting increased attention in countries around the world. It is one of the most important items in the development agenda of all the countries. It contributes greatly to the development of disadvantaged regions through its various structural funds to bring abut the deep structural change in rural areas which will augment change not only in rural economy but also be a pioneer in demographic, social and cultural transitions.
As India is home to 22 percent of the world’s poor, it is a matter of concern to eradicate it with major objectives of development planning processes. The Government of India, specially the Ministry of Rural Development has initiated several programmes and schemes for the development of the rural masses by eradicating poverty under the banner of various flagship programmes like latest NREGS etc.
Central and State governments also from time to time enhance allocation for the provision of education, health, sanitation and other facilities which promote capacity-building and well-being of the poor. Poverty alleviation has remained one of the guiding principles of the planning processes in India.
With the new emerging areas in the field of rural development and for the implementation of various schemes of Ministry of Rural Development, the scope for employment in the Rural Development field in increasing day by day.
As the term rural development encompasses overall development of rural areas with a view to improve the standard of living of rural masses, its field includes the development of agriculture and its allied activities, village and cottage industries, handicrafts, socio-economic infrastructure, community services and facilities, and, above all the human resources in rural areas.
In short, Rural Development is a process leading to sustainable improvement in the quality of life of rural folk.
As the rural development is a prerequisite for overall development it deserves the highest priority in terms of allocation of resources. When “poverty”, “un-employment” and “inequality” situations are grim in a country it must be presumed that there is dire need for the development and policies and plans for the same must be made accordingly to alleviate the poverty and improve the standard of living of the masses. The Government of India has also made and implementing the same for the betterment of its vast population who are leading a life in abject poverty. And, for the implementation and execution of such schemes and plans and programmes a large number of Rural Development professionals are needed.
Being a developing country with a large chunk of it population still below poverty line, our country is also in dire need of Rural Development Experts of for executing the various schemes of Government for the eradication of poverty and augmenting the standard of living of rural masses. The concept of development is meaningless when majority of its population struggles even for a square meal of the day. Keeping this in mind the Government is doing its best by increasing the budget of rural development manifold in the last few years.
The Union Government is the largest funding agency that finances voluntary organizations and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in rural development. It monitors and supervises the proper utilization of funds. Other government ministries like Health, Human Resources Development, Social Justice and Empowerment and others also earmark a part of their budget for the schemes and plans for the development in the rural areas.
Prospects of Rural Development
Rural Development from a mission has gradually changed to a profession and recently various educational institutes have come forward to offer professional curses in Rural Development in order to prepare skilled and committed rural development professionals. With the adoption of Social Responsibility Task as a concept by the Corporate Sectors, the demand for committed Rural Development professionals is increasing with time. Various Corporate Companies like Tata, Arvind Mills, Reliance etc. have set up their Rural development units.
Rural Development as a profession is gradually gaining popularity with more and more competent professionals are joining it as their career and also because of the increasing number of educational institutions offering professional courses in the field. Apart from the learning within the four walls of classrooms, students of rural development courses also learn under the open sky by carrying out projects/visits to the agricultural fields, in villages, in forests, in the operational areas of the voluntary organizations.
Course Structure :
The course syllabus for rural development comprises of classroom sessions, seminars, presentation, rural camps, organizational visits and rural camp dissertations/projects.
Recognition Of The Course:
All the course offered by the institutes are either affiliated by any University or have recognition from the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Delhi making the course as valuable as any other management course.
- In NGOs/Voluntary Organizations
- In Government Sectors/Banks
- In Social Development units of Corporate Sectors
- In Self-employment (freelancing as researcher/project formulations, setting up of one’s own units.
Other diversified employment opportunities in this sectors are as:
- Project Co-ordinator/Project
Eligibility for pursuing the course is a graduate with 50% marks in any discipline/sociology form a recognized University.
Institutes Offering The Courses
Following are the some of the institutes which offer courses in Rural Development
- National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD), Hyderabad (Offers Post Graduate Diploma In Rural Development Management).
- Institute of Rural Management, Anand
- Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi
- Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar
- Gram Rural Institute, Gandhi Gram, Dindigul
- Indira Gandhi National Open University, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi
- Career Institute of Rural Development, Bhopal, Barkatullah University.
Pradip Kumar Nath & Hemprabha Chauhan