Issues for Research on Rural Development in South Asia
There has been tremendous upsurge in writings on rural development during last decade. Incidentally the economic policies followed during this period in various countries of South Asia have intensified interventions has been not to resolve these contradictions, instead to contain them or dilute their implications which might destabilise the social structure. Academists have contributed to this situation but pursuing answers to the social problems defined in the same paradigm in which planners have done so. I have tried to dispute this tendency in rural development research by identifying few key areas in which dominant research paradigm needed to be radically altered. These areas are as follows: a) Rogesian vice in literature on technology generation and diffusion, b) Standardised design of institutions and organizations to serve dissimilar ecological concepts, c) Excessive reliance on credit as instrument of mobilising technological change without in any way modifying the package, d) Neglect of small farming and landless household in dry regions which failed to attract market forces, bureaucracy, academist and political attention, all alike. E) Growth centres bias in investment policies which like other policies rested on the assumption of trickle down. F) Training methodologies which were highly alienated from the real life problem context (as illustrated by excessive emphasis on PERT/CPM) and g) Recnet revival of international concern towards so called ‘wastelands’ and their privatization. Some other areas that need attention are: what should be the structure of district collectorate for 2000 AD, sole of collector and non-official bodies in local level planning. A greater debate is needed on this subject to redefine priorities in research and action.
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