We are a Centre for innovative research and action research on transformative social praxis anchored by Ambedkar University Delhi in community contexts. The university with its vision of setting up interdisciplinary and practice orientated domains/fields of enquiry and engagement, collaborated with PRADAN (a leading development sector agent) and launched an MPhil programme in Development Practice in August, 2012. In-house AUD faculty, visiting faculty from various disciplines, field guides from PRADAN and CDP Fellows in Action Research have collaborated to train the seven batches of MPhil students so far. Students are trained both within the university setting as also in the field. Our idea is to:
- (i) Offer, through the MPhil programme, to the country at large and to the developmental sector a cohort of trained developmental sector action researchers every year as also to
- (ii) Create a new discipline called ‘Development Practice’ and a new body of action research literature.
The driving idea of the MPhil programme is that this new cadre of professionals trained in rural transformational skills would help fulfil the bottom-up version of the Indian developmental dream. There are not many programmes in the formal education sector that meets this need. The programme leads to the creation of a body of documentation and teaching-learning material on development practice by building on lessons learnt from the collaboration between the academic community and development practitioners. The Centre for Development Practice is designed to emerge as a research, documentation, capacity building, and reflection site for the developmental sector scholars and agents, engaged with issues like rural livelihoods, education, governance, health and so on. The centre is also expected to serve as a nucleus to deepen and further AUD’s engagement with transformative social praxis and ideas of development.