EDS272 Development Challenges in Rural India

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Shai André Divon

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Limits of class size:20

Course frequency:Biennial (even years)

Nominal workload:About 250 hours, including classes, field visits, as well as independent work (e.g. reading and group work).

Teaching and exam period:This course is offered in the January block. This course has teaching/evaluation in the January block.

About this course

This is a four-week field course developed by Noragric in partnership with local partners in Udaipur, India. The course will take place in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

The objectives of the course are twofold:

  • To help students understand the complexity of practice in the development processes at the landscape level;
  • And to help students acquire skills to identify the multiplicity and contradictions in development practice.

Through the course, the students will learn about challenges and opportunities in local realities and across cultures. The students will have the opportunity to experience the relationship between theory, method, and practice through a combination of classroom discussions, field visits, and development and application of field research. We will explore and experience different ideas, adaptations, and solutions to environment and development challenges and opportunities.

The academic content of the course builds on central and overarching topics and perspectives presented in various courses on global environment, development, and landscape.

Course activities will include:

  • Introduction to India and Rajasthan with lectures by subject experts on specific themes;
  • Field visits related to subject themes and continuous discussions.
  • This knowledge will then be used by students to develop a research agenda with continuous guidance, support and training in the application of field data collection methods.
  • Finally, the students will apply their field research methods to experience challenges and opportunities in local realities in an intercultural context.

Learning outcome

Knowledge and Competence:

  • Identify the relationship between global environment, development and landscape processes, contextual histories, culture, and local realities.
  • Understand local environment and development opportunities and challenges, link those to global environment and development discourses, and identify strategies applied in local contexts to address those.


  • Formulate a research topic linking global and local environment, development and landscape issues, design and apply field methods for data collection.
  • Conduct an analysis, formulate, and present results combining theory, local realities, and field data to explain the relationship between global environment, development, landscape challenges, and the on-the-ground strategies to address those.
  • The course combines theory, practice, and application of research skills in an intercultural context. Students are encouraged to reflect continually on how the course content relates to other courses in their study program, and to other relevant backgrounds and experiences that the students might have. The combination of theory and practice is designed to provide a deeper understanding of development and landscape modification processes, as well as concepts and theories addressing them. Students are encouraged to exercise an interdisciplinary approach in exploring concrete topics and issues, thereby deepening their understanding of theoretical and thematic interconnections and complexities. Students are also given the opportunity to explore basic field research methods.
  • Both teachers will be present with the students in India throughout the duration of the course. The students will have continuous access to course teachers for guidance, support and feedback.
  • EDS101, GLA301 or similar
  • The final evaluation (Pass/Fail) is based on the following: A group paper based on fieldwork, and an oral presentation of the paper contents; continuous assessment of individual performance throughout the course.

    Final Grading: Pass/Fail.

  • An external examiner will take part in the evaluation and grading.
  • Students who would like to participate in this course must attend an information meeting in September 2023.

    Mandatory activities during the course: participation in all classroom activities, excursions, related lectures, and fieldwork.

  • Total appox.150 hours
  • Second-year students in the B-IEDS program and students in the M-GLA program.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)