Career In Rural Development: Career Opportunities And Top Institutes

Villages were the main drivers of the Indian economy until the liberalisation and privatisation concept erupted in the early 90s. Though the current Indian economy is contributed to by many sectors, economic experts believe that the increase of share from the rural sector is always a good sign for India's growth.

According to the 2011 census, nearly 70% of Indians live in rural places though the urban population is consistently on the rise. Rural development has been our cornerstone since independence and most of the government's schemes and plans are focused on the development of the rural community.

Career In Rural Development Management


Many countries including India started working on a mission to develop the rural regions which resulted in a huge demand for the rural management professionals. With a professional certificate in rural management, one can start working in government and private sectors besides many non-government organisations (NGOs). As this has been inducted into one of the lucrative professions in the recent times, let's explore the rural development career in detail.

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How To Pursue Rural Management Courses

The minimum qualification to take up rural management programmes is a graduate degree from any recognised board. Many pioneer institutes in India also conduct the screening round followed by an interview for an admission to the rural development courses.

Though a graduate degree in any stream is allowed to pursue rural management courses, humanities students will enjoy an edge over others. With pass in class 12, one can pursue a few diploma courses in rural development and management.

Courses In Rural Development

Many academic programmes are offered in rural development by the institutes and universities spread across the country as per the UGC guidelines. Some of the popular courses in rural studies are:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Development
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Finance
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Rural Marketing
  • MA in rural development
  • MBA in rural management
  • MSc in rural development science
  • Master of Rural Studies (MRS) (2 years programme for undergraduates)
  • Master of Rural Studies (MRS) (5 years integrated programme)
  • MPhil in rural studies (one year)
  • PhD in rural studies

Career Opportunities In Rural Development

The sky is the limit for candidates who pass-out with a certificate in rural development. Most of the rural management students get appropriate job opportunities in government departments and ministries besides NGOs.

One can find placements in various ministries such as tribal, labour, minorities, children, etc. The government also recruits candidates on a contractual basis for the implementation of the rural development schemes and programs. Opening are even there in the state-run rural development agencies.

Some of the department and/or institutions where a rural development students can find employment are: National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), rural development banks like NABARD, National Institute of Rural Development, Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), etc.

Many corporate companies are recruiting rural management professionals for their corporate social responsibility desk. There are opening in the development agencies run by the corporates such as Wipro. A few private social/development research institutes also provide employment.

International organisations such as UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, UNESCO, WHO, Aga Khan Foundation, Red Cross Society, USAID, etc. provide employment to the rural development students.

Pay Structure In Rural Development

Most of the students consider this profession as a service because the rural development studies provide an opportunity to uplift the downtrodden sections of the society. Anyhow, the salary for a fresh pass-out from the rural management institute will start with more than 2.5 lakh per annum.

One can reach the higher pay packages with enough experience. Students who get placed in government departments will get attractive salaries besides benefits such as house rent allowance, and medical expenses. The pay packages will touch the sky if you get placed in international organisations.

Top Institutes/ Universities Offer Rural Development Courses

  • Institute of Rural Management
  • National Institute of Management Technology
  • Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya
  • Indian Institute of Rural Management
  • National Institute of Rural Development
  • Xavier Institute of Social Service
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University, (IGNOU)
  • Dr. BR Ambedkar University
  • Bangalore University
  • University of Lucknow
  • Shri Venkateswara University
  • Solapur University
  • Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith
  • Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University
  • Alagappa University
  • Annamalai University

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