Thursday, 25 May 2017



JAIPUR, May 2017— The Rural Development sector today faces complex challenges of growth, equity, climate change, and social & economic security of the poor and vulnerable communities. This context has impressed upon the RD programmes of government and non-government organizations a growing need for intervention strategies that are reflective, robustly designed, and implemented through an innovative and adaptive approach.  It is therefore clear that there is a dire necessity to build capacities in the cadre of rural professionals. To action on the requirement of rural professionals, IIHMR University Jaipur and BRLF joined hands in November 2016 last year to build capacities of 30 students from 6 states of Central Indian Tribal belt. 29 of these students successfully completed their training of their Rural Livelihood Programme and were jointly conferred with certificates by IIHMR University and Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation. 

Dr. Vivek Bhandari, President, IIHMR University Jaipur said, “It is clear that there is an urgent need to address this capacity building challenge by preparing a cadre of rural professionals who are capable of engaging in the rural development sector specially at the sub-district levels; be it through NGOs, government institutions or as elected representatives of the PRIs and/or cluster level federation leaders.  To support this, IIHMR University and Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) jointly announced the launch of the first batch of the Certificate Programme in Rural Livelihoods in November 2016 last year. The programme aimed at combining appropriate knowledge and skill components through a unique yet inclusive capacity building initiative. About 30 students were admitted to the certificate programme which included 8 from Orissa, 8 from Rajasthan, 5 from Maharashtra, 4 from Madhya Pradesh, 1 from Chhattisgarh and 4 from Jharkhand. “

Dr. SD Gupta, Chairperson, IIHMR University said, “About 70-75% population till date lives in Rural area and out of the 133-crore population over 17-18 crore people belong to the tribal belt. The Rural Livelihood programme of BRLF with IIHMR University aimed at training candidates to master the ability to empower oneself by self-teaching, training and learning by doing. IIHMR University is India’s foremost university committed to the health and well-being of people everywhere.  BRLF is an autonomous body set up by Ministry of Rural Development Government of India with an objective to facilitate civil society action for transforming lives and livelihoods in the central tribal adivasi belt in the country initially.  This Certificate Programme is the first among many initiatives of the collaboration between IIHMR University and the BRLF.”

Mr. Pramathesh Ambasta CEO Bharat Rural Livelihood Foundation said, “The partnership of BRLF and IIHRM University has greatly enhanced capacities of these candidates who will ultimately bring in a paradigm shift in the rural development sector. Students of this programme have been exposed to tremendous practical knowledge and have received the best of theoretical knowledge. This exposure has proven livelihoods interventions from some of the most challenging parts of India. Pedagogically, the modules explored the embodiment of the concept of learning by doing. We sincerely thank IIHMR University and 15 knowledge partners under the CB initiative for making the certificate programme possible.  We also intend to allow at least 5 students from this programme to further pursue MBA Rural Management at the IIHMR University Jaipur.”

One of the key mandates of BRLF’s capacity building initiative was to create a pool of rural development professionals for supporting various development interventions of Government, CSOs and community at large. This initiative will be part of a series of capacity building programmes under the BRLF Capacity Building Initiative, designed and implemented as per the needs of target groups and of different institutions currently working in the sector (Government and CSOs). As we complete the first batch successfully, we intend to move on to the next batch as the course has been a game changer in the rural livelihoods sector. The design and delivery of the course has provided a unique opportunity to the tribal youth to learn various livelihoods domains and address the issue of growing shortage of trained human resources in the sector.
The programme was concluded by Dr. Ajay Dandekar ( Professor Shiv Nadar University, New Delhi), “The certificate programme had 16 different learning modules in rural livelihoods domain. Participants of the programme learnt these modules across 12 learning locations in 6 states of Central Indian tribal belt. These rural professionals have potentially engaged at block levels as drivers of positive change within Civil Society Organizations and Government Institutions facilitating effective implementation of social and economic security programmes/projects for tribal rural India.” He further said, “One should not leave their land for one’s own social needs. Its best we create them.”

The program’s most important motive was to focus on the development of capacities of tribal youth from 6 states of the Central Indian Tribal belt. BRLF and IIHMR University have brought together 15 leading organizations in the rural livelihoods sector to facilitate a multi-centre, multi-topic curriculum that cover different dimensions of rural livelihoods. For the first batch, 30 candidates were selected from states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh. These candidates belong to Scheduled Tribes, De-Notified Tribes/Notified Tribes, and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups/communities from across BRLF mandated geographies. The programme featured a rounded curriculum that explicitly recognizes the value of people’s knowledge and is enabled with cutting edge practice support tools.