Development as a word and idea structures so much of the world which we live in. Its agendas shape the way we access the basic necessities of everyday life and view the world. But it is a concept fraught with conflicting viewpoints.
How do we begin to understand it? Many approaches have emerged over time in the evolution of development as a domain of knowledge and practice. We see development as the creation of conditions that can improve the quality of human life.
We think that the most important aspect of development needs to be in the creation of a life of equity, dignity, happiness and justice, for present and future generations of people who live in this country.
We believe in equipping you with the ability to call into question current trends, think of long-term perspectives, and envision a desirable future.
To understand the nuances of development
We ensure that you understand the complexities of development and its diverse meanings and practices, especially the complex challenges of development in India in the twenty-first century. We equip you to contribute to India’s growing need for individuals who can engage with challenges to further pluralism, democracy and justice.
To work with a diverse and experienced faculty
Our faculty and research staff come from diverse backgrounds: social justice movements, development management and academics. They engage in research and projects across different agencies in areas concerning the development of India’s futures. Your time in the classroom is enriched by their extensive experience in the field.
On the ground with Azim Premji Foundation
You will benefit from working in close association with Azim Premji Foundation which has been working with six state governments in India in shaping and implementing policies and programmes at the grassroots.
India has daunting developmental challenges. We face malnutrition, public health crises, poor quality education and agrarian distress. Intervention in many of these challenges require a holistic understanding of Indian society, its institutions, policies and the ways in which developmental challenges have been dealt with elsewhere. There are a number of meaningful work opportunities you can choose to engage with after you graduate.
A variety of organisations: from NGOs to CSRs
You can work in a variety of organisations: non governmental organisations, community based organisations and civil society organisations. There are national and international campaigns, social movements, banks, philanthropic foundations, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) units of corporate bodies and of course, government missions and United Nations’ organisations.
At local, national or international levels
Development interventions take place in multiple sites and scales. They can be local, national, or international. They can be in the shape and form of policy, programmes, movements, campaigns, institution, model buildings and so on.
Your role can vary from directly mobilising communities for behaviour change, building lasting community institutions, district level programme oversight, to policy analysis, programme design and evaluation.
Be a social entrepreneur
We need social entrepreneurs capable of innovative thinking are needed to ideate, create and implement path-breaking solutions to social problems.
Our courses are structured to help you synthesise different approaches to development. You will use tools to work in multiple settings – whether with government bodies, social movements or grassroots organisations.
Our programme will help you articulate a historically and socially grounded understanding of India’s development experiences and understand the evolution of development thought, practices and critiques.
Your time in this programme will not be restricted to the classroom: we encourage you to engage with the complex lived realities of individuals and communities as sites of development knowledge and practice.
Our core courses draw from selected disciplines for you to develop a deep understanding of the nature of development. They will set the context for key debates and equip you with the basic skills required for effective action.
You will learn the pattern and history of what came to be called ‘socio-economic development’. You will critically appraise policies and practices of development that have emerged in the last seven decades in India. We throw light on India’s development experience and experiences of individuals, communities, civil society and the state in influencing these processes.
Sociological approaches to modern India.
The Indian economic development story through a historically informed understanding.
Foundational aspects of research by using examples from developmental research and debates in India.
The history and socio-economic impact of development interventions on ecological systems.
The modern Indian state in the postcolonial context and its institutional, political and economic architecture
Histories and theories of development across contexts, tracing changes in the meaning of the practice of development.
What are the leading social interventions that have deepened democratic spaces and values in development practice?
Learn how to define a problem, design research, collect data and present findings.
Building on the core courses, the second year of the programme offers you the chance to deepen your understanding and competencies in a wide range of issues. We offer a large set of courses that help you deepen your understanding of theoretical, practical or procedural aspects of development.
We offer perspectives on globalisation, employment, nutrition, land, disaster, sustainability, agriculture and livelihoods. Ours is a model of study that is conceptual, analytical and action-oriented.
Our electives vary from semester to semester and across academic years. Check in with your teachers about what is on offer at the beginning of your course work.
This is an indicative list.
How does political power determine the economic gains of different social groups?
Do gains in human health status come at the cost of future generations?
What are the forces that shape the way we formulate policies on health in a globalising world?
Apply key frameworks of gender equality for development action and policy interventions.
Explore utopian ideas for a vision of a sustainable future.
How is the physical phenomena of energy related to a sociological process like development?
What are the economics of creating a sustainable world?
What is the institutional architecture of financial institutions in India?
Who are the people involved in India's largest occupation and who is a farmer?
What is environmental justice and how is it made real in India?
What is the nature of informality in work in India?
How do people make a living?
Explore the notions of mental health and well-being.
The ‘field’ is a diverse set of social and cultural contexts and lived realities across the country. These are areas where development activities and actions routinely intervene. As part of your study, you will step out from the domain of theories and ideas in the classroom and into the field to learn of practical realities and gain experience of participative and empathetic action.
You will relate concepts you learn in the classroom with the lives of different communities and places.
The third component of the field practice occurs over eight weeks following the 3rd semester.
Participate in a development intervention.
A two week exploration of the life experiences of different communities
Why did Esperanto emerge as a language? What goes into the making of a documentary film? And have you ever wondered whether bamboo is a grass, food, or a tool for furniture?
Learn the history and evolution of cinema as art forms, watch film noir, or appreciate the music of Indian films. Walk through the city to experience it with a new lens or understand the built world around us in a class on architecture for non-architects to. Talk about Indian classical dance in dialogue with a dancer. What wrought Carnatic music into the form it exists in today? Listen to music, read science fiction, star gaze, write poetry, or explore the city in which you live.
In our open courses, you can explore one or two courses outside of your main progamme. You will work with visiting faculty who are artists, writers and experts in the field spanning literature, the fine arts, cinema, science, and history.
We offer creative courses for you to choose from every semester. Courses are updated each year.
Total 72 credits
Aruna Bhattacharya Chakravarty
Ashok Kumar Sircar
Edward Premdas Pinto
Pallavi Varma Patil
Shreelata Rao Seshadri