Course code EDS272

EDS272 Development Challenges in Rural India

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2021 .

Course responsible: Shai André Divon, Shai André Divon
Teachers: Sunetro Ghosal, Sunetro Ghosal, Elisabeth Molteberg
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in January block.
Course frequency: Biannually (even years)
First time: 2014V
Preferential right:
Students in the B-IEDS program
Course contents:
The course provides an experience of the complexity and challenges of developmental processes in the area around Udaipur, India. The course is structured to allow students to expand their understanding and explore different ideas of development, combining theoretical analysis with a hands-on involvement with interventions. The academic content of the course builds on central and overarching topics and perspectives presented in the various courses included in the B-IEDS program.
Learning outcome:

This is a field course, and will help students to synthesize the learning from various courses in B-IEDS and other courses at NMBU, and experience the interconnectivity and complexities of developmental processes. Participants get an opportunity to apply the academic knowledge and understanding they have gleaned from their studies to practical issues, to reflect on their knowledge, and expand it under guidance from practitioners as well as academics. They will get a first-hand experience with current approaches to development intervention, and develop their skills in researching and analyzing problems. Since the setting of Udaipur and India is used as a frame of reference, the students will experience the significance of the historical, geographical and conceptual situatedness of development processes, and of interventions currently taking place to address these.

The teaching format consists of orientations, fieldwork, and discussions, as well as paper and presentation assignments. Through this, the participants will gain skills of collecting and analyzing empirical data using theoretical concepts learned. They will develop their ability to present and discuss the resulting insights in written and oral form, according to good academic practice. They will develop their ability to plan and carry out an assignment project in cooperation with others. Through their field experiences, they will be sensitized to the need for ethical conduct both in development intervention practice and in academic pursuit of understanding.

Learning activities:

The course approach is to develop theoretical understanding through experience-based learning and reflection on practical issues. Through orientations, excursions and discussions, students receive a basic understanding of sociocultural and material conditions, as well as various development challenges, in rural areas around Udaipur. They then explore a chosen topic further, by doing a small study in a field location.

Students are encouraged to reflect continually on how the course contents relate to contents of other courses in B-IEDS, and to other relevant background the students might have. The combination of theory and practice is designed to provide a deeper understanding of development processes, as well as concepts and theories addressing them. Students are able to exercise an interdisciplinary approach in exploring concrete topics and issues, thereby deepening their understanding of theoretical and thematic interconnections and complexities. They are also given the chance to explore basic field research methods.

Teaching support:
Prior to the course, the students will receive the information needed to help them make the necessary practical preparations. The contact formats will be Canvas, e-mails, and preparation meetings. A syllabus will be posted on Canvas prior to departure, a detailed course schedule will be made available by the start of classes.

Background literature:

Sainath, P. (2000): Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts. Penguin Books India.Jaideep Hardikar (2013). A village awaits doomsday. Penguin Books India.

Additional readings and materials will be provided during the course.

EDS101 or similar
Recommended prerequisites:
Basic theoretical background in coursework related to development studies is strongly recommended. Normally, third-year students in B-IEDS take the course, but second-year students and others with relevant backgrounds may also be admitted.
Mandatory activity:

'Prior to course: mandatory attendance at the second and third preparation meetings. Students will read the two required readings listed in this course description, and be able to to discuss them at these meetings. Submission of motivation letter. Submission of all required information about passport details, flight itinerary, insurance details and health issues by deadlines given. A Noragric vs student liability and responsibility declaration will be presented and must be signed.

During course: All classroom activities, excursions and related lectures, fieldwork

Course examination consists of a group paper based on fieldwork, an oral presentation of the paper contents, and evaluation of individual performance throughout the course. Grading pass/fail. 
Nominal workload:
About 300 hours, comprising classes and excursions as well as independent work. The latter includes reading, fieldwork, and preparation of paper and presentation
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Type of course:
Total appx 150 hours
External examiner will take part in evaluation and grading.
Examination details: Group assignment: Passed / Failed