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Department of Rural Studies


Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Act, 1965 had a provision for Faculty of Rural Studies that would provide programmes in Rural Studies related to Rural Development, Management, Planning and Reconstruction. The Department of Rural Studies was set-up in June, 1970. It addresses itself to the task of training prospective personnel in management of institutions in rural institutions of co-operatives and panchayats, non-government development organizations, commercial and co-operative banks, financial institutions, corporate sector dealing with rural products and services, corporations of the State Government related to rural output and services, educational and research institutions wedded to rural education and research institutions wedded to rural education and research.

The importance of Rural Studies, as a discipline in higher education, has grown over the last two decades. The rural institutions play a prime role in building of nation, is being highly acknowledged. Rural enterpreneurship, the role and activities of NGO's and Self-employment have vital implications on the National economy and require large number of trained personnel. The spread of rural industries and village based co-operatives call for manpower skilled in the intricacies of Rural Studies. The revival of Panchayati Raj, the changing facets of co-operatives and recent developments in liberalized economy have further enhanced the vital importance of its department.

Some characteristics of the department are most distinguished i.e. it has recognized the need of interdisciplinary character of the programme, it has very senior and experienced interdisciplinary faculty and it has made almost a rule to emphasis on "Field visits and experience based academic programmes. It has emphasized on training input leading to develop independent thinking, expression and decision making competence.

The programme in the department is executed by regular faculty, and is further strengthened by involving the expert executives of the corporate sector and leading personnel in Government. For research activities, we collaborate with National and International organizations.

University Grants Commission has granted a GANDHIAN STUDIES CENTRE to the department with special assistance. The Centre is engaged in organizing seminar, talks and symposium on Gandhiji. It is developed as a Centre for Resource Material on Gandhian and Rural Studies. It is also encouraging research in the area of Gandhian Studies. Special fellowship for Ph.D. in Gandhian study is also proposed to be institute. It has also planned the self-financed P.G. Diploma in Co-operative Business Management to be commenced from current academic year.

The department has enrollment capacity of 30 students in Master of Rural Studies (M.R.S.) from any disciplinary including B.R.S. It also enrolls M.Phil. in Rural Studies students for two years Part-time course. It has a facility for Ph.D. in Rural Studies in specific areas concerning Rural studies, until now, it has already produced more than 500 M.R.S. and couple of M.Phil's and 8 Ph.D.'s and equal number of students are registered for Ph.D.

The faculty is having strength of 1 Professor, 3 Readers and 4 Lecturers. The composition of Faculty is interdisciplinary in character. It has a faculty in Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Biology/Zoology, Technology, Engineering and Environment, Agriculture, Extension and Animal Husbandry, Co-operative and Farm Management.

The department has continuously made its efforts in research concerning rural studies. It has completed by now 35 projects of major and minor scale extending the period of 3 months to 3 years and involving the project consist more than 5,000 to 5,00,000 rupees. These projects are sponsored and collaborated by ICSSR, UGC, Department of Rural Development, National Institutions like NIRD, IRMA, IGDRI, Commissions etc. and professional organizations like Indian Institute of Public Opinion (IIPO) and Centre for Media studies (CMS), Delhi. It has also undertaken collaborative project with National and International Organizations such as Indira Gandhi Development Research (IGDRI), Bombay, and East-West Centre, USA (At present it has been engaged with the major research project on "Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of Forestry programme in South Gujarat" sponsored by the Department of Forest under OFCD Aided IFDP programme.

It has also published more than 300 papers and 17 books covering different areas of rural studies and four books are under publication process.

The faculty members have brought the honour to this department by working on experts' working group of Planning Commission of India. Member, Planing Commission, National Commission on Rural Labour, CAPART, Ministry of Rural Development, State Department of Rural Development, DRDA, Department of Forest and Environment and Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA) etc. State Commission on Agriculture and Standing Committee of UGC etc. and even working as the Executive Vice-Chancellor for the short tenure. We had also SBI Chair, Professorship for tenure of 5 years. Faculty Members also awarded with fellowship to visit U.S.A. and Hawaii etc.

The department has organized number of National and Regional seminars with the assistance of UGC, Ministry of Rural Development and Gandhian Centre sponsored by UGC. (it has invited Indian Society of Co-operative studies to hold its 18th National convention in November, 1999 at Veer NarmadVeer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat. It is also planning to hold workshop on "Environmental status, issues and techno-economic alternatives for Eco-Friendly Development in South Gujarat" in March, 2000 with the assistance of Ministry of Environment.

The department has identified number of areas of research which include Tribal studies, Gandhian Studies, Rural Energy, Environment and Rural Technology studies and Rural Industries, Marketing and Rural Enterprenuarship development. It has a plan to undertake innovative extension projects including regular publication of News bulletin for rural people. Counseling centre for NGO's; Panchayat Training centre and training cell for watershed management.



Name & Designation Qualification
Dr. DILIP R. SHAH Professor & Head M.A. (Economics), Ph.D. (Agricultural Economics)
Dr. K.C. Sharma Senior Reader M.Sc.(Agricultural Extension), Ph.D. (Rural Studies)
Dr. Kalpana G. Shah M.A. (Political Science), M.A. (Sociology), Ph.D .(Sociology)
Smt. Smita Shah Senior Lecturer LL.B., M.A. (Economics), M.Phil (Economics)
Shri Sanat Gadhvi Senior Lecturer M.A. (Sociology)
Dr. Vipul Somani Senior Lecturer M.Sc. (Botany), Ph.D. (Bio-Technology)
Shri Nilesh Shah Lecturer M.E. (Environmental Engg./Technology)


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