One-Week Rural Engagement Programme commences for 644 participants
PGP, PGPHRM, and IPM participants to interact with 109 Gram Panchayats in 13 districts of MP
The orientation of the Rural Engagement Programme (REP) of IIM Indore was held on October 14, 2022. Launched in 2009 (as the Rural Immersion Programme), the REP aims to provide its participants with a rich, practical, and socially-oriented approach to learning. The programme aims to sensitize budding managers and entrepreneurs towards the various schemes undertaken by the government in villages and to study and analyze their execution and effectiveness.
The programme was inaugurated by Prof. Saumya Ranjan Dash, Dean (Programmes), IIM Indore. Shri Vivek Dave, Joint Commissioner, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana, Shri Anil Kochhar, Deputy Commissioner, Pradhan Mantri Pohan Shakti Nirman, Prof. Shrihari S. Sohani, PGP Chair, and Prof. Bhavani Shankar, REP Coordinator and Faculty, IIM Indore were also present.
This year, the participants will study three schemes, namely, the SHGs: Social empowerment, addressing distress economic needs and livelihood enhancement possibilities, Impact assessment of Pushkar and Amrit schemes, and the PM Awas Yojana: Response to change in implementation strategy and success rate.
During the inaugural, Prof. Dash, in his address, mentioned that this year, after a gap of two years, our participants are participating in the programme in an offline mode. He said that the REP is well-aligned with IIM Indore’s mission, to be a contextually relevant business school and help develop “socially conscious” managers, leaders and entrepreneurs. The shift from the observant approach in the Immersion Programme to the participative approach in the Engagement Program was emphasised. Prof. Dash also focused on the concept of “mindful learning” as a benefit of REP. He brought into perspective the importance of context-relevant ideas that one needs to work on when dealing with the complexities of life, be it in the corporate world or while dealing with the pressing concerns of rural India. The participants were advised to experience the rural way of life, expose themselves to the functionalities of the government, and apply the knowledge gained in real life. He also encouraged the participants to come up with advisories and make a significant and genuine contribution in the development.
REP is an imperative programme since it aids the participants in understanding ground realities and enhances their social consciousness, sensitivity, and managerial and decision-making skills, he mentioned.
Shri Vivek Dave sensitized the participants on the contextual differences between Urban and Rural India. He elaborated on how the Rural Development Initiatives were broadly divided into four categories, namely, infrastructure development, natural resources management, livelihood promotion, and institutional setups. Shri Vivek talked about the agriculture-based economy and the large portion of the rural population engaged in the unorganized sector. He advised the participants to research the number of SHGs, their impact, engagement, and dynamics. Further, he urged them to study the outcome and accessibility of the other two schemes and how these translated into the ease of living, health and social status of the beneficiaries.
Mr. Anil Kochar gave details about several government schemes and the current status of these in the rural context. He talked about the impact on individual, social and economic levels. He elaborated how PM Avaas Yojna instilled a sense of ownership among the beneficiaries, who became more conscious of their houses and used them in a befitting manner. His insights on the current performance of these schemes gave a sense of confidence to the taxpayer that his/her money was being well-utilized.
Giving an introduction to the REP, Prof. Bhavani Shankar noted that IIM Indore had taken intense steps to increase the engagement of participants with a noble cause of making a difference in the lives of rural people. ‘The change in rural landscape is a daunting task; however, the participants will have a constructive engagement with the villagers during this week. He encouraged the students to utilize this time in the best way and hoped that they continue to bring accolades to the institute through REP.
A total of 644 participants from the first year of PGP and PGPHRM and the fourth year of IPM will interact with 109 Gram Panchayats in 13 districts in Madhya Pradesh. These include Alirajpur, Barwani, Bhopal, Dewas, Dhar, Harda, Indore, Khandwa, Khargon, Ratlam, Sehore, Shajapur, and Ujjain.
The entire week is characterized by visits to various blocks in the district, where participants critically analyze the execution plan of numerous government schemes and survey villages to observe the actual level of implementation. Through this process, they assess the challenges faced in executing the schemes while identifying operational gaps that could be bridged through better planning and management strategies.
The participants will then submit a report of their analysis and make suitable recommendations that prove helpful. The participants would submit a report on the topic of the study, a 5-minute video on the village they studied, and a short report on their individual experiences while staying in the village.