The MPhil programme is the first programme of its kind and attempts to introduce each year into the development sector a cohort of developmental professionals imbued with alternative visions of development and innovative grassroots level action plans borne out of (i) a critical engagement with theories of development, (ii) rural immersion, (iii) practice-based learning, (iv) self-reflection and (v) engaged scholarship. Building on PRADAN’s existing work in the rural this programme, housed in an University, is thus an attempt to offer to the country at large a cohort of professionals who do not just ‘study’ the rural but bring change to the rural and become themselves harbingers of social transformation.
The MPhil programme in Development Practice places the question of (rural) transformation – including transformation of human subjects – at the core of its enquiry, research and practice. The overarching objective is to critically engage with and reflect on existing developmental discourse and practice, usher in psychological-psychoanalytic sensitivity in our work with communities and rethink and rework the associated developmental sectoral practices and practices of self, social and political transformation in the rural and forest communities.
The programme in Development Practice however has two broader/larger goals:
(i) (a) to institutionalize in a University setting the professionalizing of rural development practice (where developmental practice is seen as a socially meaningful and legitimate arena of work)
(b) to de-institutionalize the existing imagination of the University through its partnership with a grassroots level developmental sector agent of change (here PRADAN) and take it to the rural sector, make its University-level work relevant to the needs of the rural poor and
(ii) to build ‘capacities’ in terms of developing and increasing the pool of quality human resource in the developmental sector.