Rural Management (RM) as a profession and field of study remains enigmatic, with confusion over its intent, content, scope and focus. Conceptualized at inception for the application of man-agement science to development initiatives like the dairy cooperative movement, it has delivered well-known successes, both in its initial focus areas as well as in wider tasks of rural development organizing. But changes in the socio-economic environment have powered fundamental changes in the way we understand rurality, approaches to rural development, and nature of organizations and initiatives in this domain. Regulatory changes in higher and technical education have also impacted RM education and institutions and eroded its unique value and content. The valuable field of RM demonstrably needs concerted effort towards consolidation and institutionalization, particularly as the task of rural development it was intended to address remains as vital, and expanded to include additional issues such as environment and climate change. In short, the unique development and rural management competen-cies of this field are critical to meeting the challenges in attaining the SDGs, but the field/ disci-pline itself needs revitalization if it is to engage productively in this effort.
In this backdrop, the Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM) is organizing the first International Conference on Rural Management (1st ICRM), focussed on “Rural Man-agement for Sustainable Development: Towards the SDGs”, on November 23-24, 2017. The event is the first in a series aimed towards consolidation of the field of RM by assembling knowledge in the RM domain, from research, perspectives/essays and cases presented by schol-ars, practitioners, policy-makers and students. It is intended to take the best and most important contributions of the series to publication, and thus build the core knowledge that is key to the anchoring and development of a field.
The 1st ICRM focuses on exploring how the field of Rural Management, and its thematic areas intersect with and underpin the efforts towards sustainable development. Clearly, effective management of programs and organizations is crucial to attainment of the SDGs; but as the organizational landscape for rural development transforms, established ways are increas-ingly giving way to innovative and emergent strategies and practices. Systematic and critical con-sideration of these is necessary. Papers and cases are therefore invited on innovative and initiatives and practices in all functional areas and sectors of rural development man-agement. We welcome original perspectives, thematic reviews and status papers, and re-search/practice-based presentations and cases. In addition, senior practitioners and academ-ics in RM will present their perspectives on the focus and trajectory of Rural Manage-ment as a profession and education.
Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, GoI, has kindly consent-ed to grace the occasion and inaugurate the event.
For conference related updates, please visit: http://xsrmconference2017.xub.edu.in/