The Masters of Business Administration - Rural Development (MBA- RD) Programme is located in the Centre for Rural Development and Management. Multidisciplinary research undertaken in the centre feeds into the programme.
The two year full time Masters of Business Administration- Rural Development, MBA (RD) programme was initiated in 2001. So far 359 students have graduated from this course and joined the corporate and development world. The Class of 2015 has 41 students.
The mission of the MBA-Rural Development Programme is to build committed and competent professionals who could transform rural communities that are embedded in a culture of silence into those that can think and act on their own, plan their own destiny, control and manage their own institutions, evolve and adopt technologies for sustainable development as well as adapt to changing demands of the market.
- To train students to become development managers in the formal and informal sectors of a rural society;
- To equip young men and women with entrepreneurial abilities;
- To inculcate egalitarian values among students for professional commitment, integrity and ethics informed by social purpose; and
- To train students into competencies for acting as effective change agents in bringing about rural transformation.
The MBA (RD) Programme is designed to provide students a comprehensive learning opportunity with intensive theoretical knowledge and extensive practical exposure to the rural reality. It seeks to blend diverse learning methods in order to enable students to integrate subject knowledge and practical skills with an attitude to view reality in a holistic manner.
The main features and the content of the programme are as follows:
- Immersion Work
- Course Work
- Classroom Teaching
- Simulation and Experiential Exercises, Case Studies
- Field visits
- Village Work
- Summer Placement Work: Training in a
- Development Organization
- Research Project Work
Students are inducted in the programme with an orientation session which informs them about the Institute, the MBA-RD Programme, its Mission and Objectives. Students are also offered Mentorship by the core faculty of the Institute. Assigning each student to a Teacher-Mentor is done in the orientation. It also involves two weeks long stay in villages selected by the Institute.
Objective of the Immersion work is to acquaint students with village and rural living, locate boundaries of a village, and identify physical parameters of livelihood and other agro-economic conditions. This also enables them to observe and experience the problems faced by rural people and in general to develop an appreciation of why efforts for rural development are required. Based on the problems identified and needs of the people a plan of initiatives is developed. The visit also aims at helping students to develop qualities which are needed to establish rapport with people/communities and initiate participatory development process.
There are 27 courses spread over four semesters. Students acquire knowledge and skills through an appropriate mix of lectures, field visits, practice and experiential learning.
Field visits in the first two semesters help student interface theory with rural reality. Concepts learnt in the classrooms are used to develop own understanding of challenges in rural society. Students report on field visits enabling them to reflect and consolidate their learning.
Experiential Exercises like games, role-plays, simulations and case studies are designed to help students reflect in a group and acquire requisite managerial and organizational capabilities.
Village Work is undertaken by students in their first and second semesters. It provides opportunity to students to live and interact with villagers and understand in depth the rural reality. It aims at sensitizing students to the concerns of rural people, help them identify the constraints and potentials for development in the area.
Students visualize their role as professionals and experience rural living from a change agent's perspective. They record their observations and experiences in field diaries and also formulate research questions. Students make a presentation before the final submission of the study report.
For village work, the students of MBA-RD went to a nearby block Pratapapur and for the second field stay they had been sent to Unchahar to study the impact of NTPC on the villages nearby. Students were sent to these villages in groups for undertaking task of assessing the needs of these inhabitants in the context of geography, culture, political structure and existing resources of the area besides ongoing government interventions. The students found that economic needs were not exclusive need. Lack of political independence in voicing their concerns, absence of avenues in promoting effective supply of local produce, and inability in assertion of their legitimate rights were some other handicaps that inhibited fulfillment of significant needs. Favoritism in government run schemes was depriving many from their dues and also political interference based on caste was pushing many towards unwarranted activities, retarding both the development of the area and growth of individuals.
Summer Placement Work: Training in a Development Organization
Summer Training is an attempt to bridge the gap between the professional world and academic learning. It enables students to experience the rigours of professional environment. The training gives students a unique edge to maintain a direct and live contact with organizations, work with the organizations, and understand their complexities and challenges.
Objectives of the summer training are:
- To provide students with an opportunity to apply the concepts learnt to real life situations;
- To sensitize students to the nuances of a work place by assigning time-bound projects in an organization; and
- To provide students a platform to work and develop a network, which will be useful to further their career prospects.
Summer Training is arranged for all students with Corporate, Government and Non-Government organizations concerned with rural sector, after the completion of second semester and before the initiation of the third semester. The training is of 6-8 weeks duration and provides a platform to students to be a part of the organization and learn from actual practice of the skills acquired.
Students went to different parts of the country and returned with experiences on issues and challenges in development in villages of North India, South India, hilly regions, industrial regions, tribal regions etc. to name a few. This helped in creating a better understanding of Indian rural life in general and preparing the students to fit in any part of the country in any project.
Select List of Summer Training Organizations
- Association for Community Transformation
- Aditya Birla Group
- Aga khan foundation
- Azim Premji Foundation
- Center for Agriculture and Rural Development
- Development Alternative
- DRISHTEE Foundation
- EDARural System
- Grameen Bank
- Grameen Development Services
- Grameen Koota
- Insight Connect
- Janhit Foundation
- M- Cril
- Morarka Foundation
- Peoples' Science Institute
- Satin Credit Care Private Ltd.
- Seva Mandir
- Sonata Microfinance
- Urban Health Initiative
- Urmul Trust
- Utkarsh Microfinance
- We the People
- Watershed Organization Trust.
Research Project Work
Research project is a semester long project undertaken during the final semester and focuses on in-depth research study on emerging rural issues.
The objective of the research project is to provide students with an opportunity to design and create research project independently. It aims to rigorously analyse and apply management insights to complex problems in rural development and management.
The research project is supervised by a core faculty of the Institute. A Project Proposal presentation is being made by students before completion of the third semester.
The data collection is done in the two weeks semester break between the third and the fourth semester. Students in this period visit the organization and the site where it is operating and/or intervening.
In the fourth semester, students analyze the data collected and write a report. Presentation of the project report is made by students before a panel of experts.
In addition to classroom teaching and use of reading materials (e.g. Books, chapters, articles) the programme employs a dynamic approach in teaching learning process. The following innovative pedagogical methods facilitate in achieving objectives of the programme.
- Videos, slides and other materials.
- Reports and documents produced by activist groups and NGOs.
- Folk techniques like folk song, folk dances etc.
- Experimental learning exercises.
- Use of reflective methods, learning diaries.
- Interaction with village communities.