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Master of Arts in Development

The M.A. Development programme aims to prepare individuals capable of informed and thoughtful development action. It enables students to become aware of the complexity, depth and scope of the discourse of development, its ethical imperatives and its implications for policy and action with special reference to the Indian context. It provides the conceptual rigour and sensibilities in students that would help them:

  • Articulate a historically and socially grounded understanding of India’s development experiences
  • Understand and appreciate the evolution of development thought, practices and their critiques
  • Empathetically engage with lived realities of individuals and communities as sites of development knowledge and practice
  • Imagine constructive ideas for realising desirable futures
  • Demonstrate ethical sensibilities and practical competencies for development action
Programme Design

The M.A. Development is designed as a 72-credit, postgraduate degree programme, requiring full-time engagement for two academic years. The curriculum is broad-based and encompasses theory, practice and research relating to development.

  • The programme is structured with a common core curriculum that lays the foundations and a wide set of electives based on student preferences.
  • Each student will be required to study eight core courses (32 credits), a combination of elective courses (24 credits), two open courses (4 credits), as well as three modules of Field Practice (12 credits).
  • In the second year of study, students have the flexibility to concentrate in specific areas of their choice. Concentration refer to a set of four elective courses totalling 12 credits, which together cover a specific development theme/topic/domain in a focused and well-rounded manner.

Core Courses: The core courses will set the context and build foundational understanding and appreciation of key developmental concepts, theories and methods as relevant to examining the Indian development experiences. These courses are expected to provide adequate knowledge, competencies and orientations to embark on a deeper exploration of specific themes and practices in development. These courses are mandatory for all students.

Electives: Elective courses will build upon the concepts, ideas, theories and methods learnt in the core courses to deepen and broaden the understanding about a wide variety of specific, topical and relevant local and global development issues. Elective courses will enhance two broad competencies, namely critical analysis and imaginative practice. These electives cover a range of topics – Gender, technology, public health, Sustainability, Globalization, Policy and Programmes, Poverty, Water etc. Typically, 50-60 electives are on offer each year.

Open Courses: These courses allow students to explore the arts, culture, the sciences and other subjects of interest. Students are required to enroll in two courses from a wide range of subjects such as literature, art, cinema, epics, science, history, dance etc. based on their interest. About 10- 15 open courses are offered each semester.

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Field Practice: Field Practice is an integral part of the curricular objectives of the MA Development programme. In the context of the curriculum, Field Practice is used as a representative term to reflect multiple kinds of engagements expected of students introducing them to people’s lived realities in diverse social, economic and cultural contexts. Field practice will complement the students learning in the class room and offer opportunities for experiencing diverse kinds of development action spaces as sites of knowledge, experience and imagination. Along with relating concepts, ideas and theories with practical realities, field engagements help students gain practical experience and empathy, give them confidence and capacities to imagine her own ideas and interventions. The approach towards field practice has been developed keeping in mind the revised curricular goals.

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Course and Credit Structure
Core courses (Semesters I and II) : 32 Credits
Electives (Semesters III and IV) : 24 Credits
Field practice (Semesters I - IV) : 12 Credits
Open courses (Semesters I - IV) : 4 Credits

Indian Economy and Development (04) Theories and Histories of Development (04) Elective 1 Elective 5
Ecology and Development in India (04) State, Democracy and Civil Society in India (04) Elective 2 Elective 6
Sociology of Modern India (04) Social Interventions (04) Elective 3 Elective 7
Foundations of Social Research and Reasoning (04) Methods for Social Research and Action (04) Elective 4 Elective 8*
Open Course 1 (02) Open Course 2 (02)
Field Immersion (2 Credits) Summer Field Internship (4 Credits) Winter Field Project (6 Credits)
20 22 15 15

*Students can opt for a Course of Independent study (CIS) in place of an Elective.

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