Belonging to the prestigious family of the IIMs, IIM Indore has rarely, if ever, curtailed its efforts to provide its students with a rich, practical and socially oriented approach to learning, irrespective of the precedent set by the other members. This aspect was showcased with the introduction of the Rural Engagement Programme (REP) in 2009 as a part of the main curriculum of the first year post-graduate programme.
Rural Engagement Programme (REP) is a unique initiative that was instituted with an objective to sensitize the budding managers and entrepreneurs of this Institute towards the various schemes undertaken by the government in villages and to study and analyze their execution and effectiveness.
Spread over a week, across several districts in Madhya Pradesh, the programme’s main objective is to be an eye opener as it provides insights on the various dimensions of district level administration, focusing primarily on the policy administration and the execution gaps, while dispelling several stereotypes associated with the rural population at large.
The entire set of participants is uniformly divided into groups of 10 each, based on their own choices. The entire programme is organized in coordination with the Madhya Pradesh Mantralaya, Bhopal.
However, coordination with the Block Development Officers and Nodal Officers about their travel itinerary is left to the students. The entire week is characterized by visits to various blocks in the district where students 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 that are faced in the execution of the schemes while identifying operational gaps that could possibly be bridged through better planning and management strategies.
The students submit a report of their analysis and make suitable recommendations that can prove to be helpful, not only at the rural administration level but also the district level.
Benefits to the participants
The entire programme is oriented towards ensuring that the participants get a chance to apply their classroom learnings to a real-time environment. Additionally, the programme offers the students a chance to explore the rural markets and identify implementation gaps or business opportunities, which can help fill these gaps.
The programme also sensitizes students towards social issues, which are prevalent in such societies and learn that the government might not always be wrong and it is sometimes about getting a different perspective.