| Agricultural policy in India: need for a fresh look (1992) |
Implementation of the new agricultural policy outlined here would require that agricultural development programmes be profe-ssionally managed and not bureaucratically administered following a blueprint approach. For professionalising the management of agricultural development, we need appropriately trained agricul-tural development managers. Such professionally trained managers with the requisite traits, skills and commitment are a scarce commodity in India at present. A very large number of such managers are required for managing agricultural development programmes and projects, rural institutions and organisations, rural enterprises and resources.
Management is not value-neutral. Agricultural development managers, besides being good professional managers, should also have values and ethos congenial to rural development, and concern and commitment to serve the rural people. Without these, a professional manager, howsoever well trained he may be, is of no use for agricultural development management. This means that education and training in agricultural development management will have to be different from the conventional education and training in management. A curriculum comprising courses in various functional areas of management, supporting disciplines, special courses in rural environment, agricultural and rural development, rural producers’ organisations, rural resource management, fieldwork in villages and organisational training in rural organisations and institutions is required for training in agricultural development management. Such a curriculum has been evolved and is being used in the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) for training fresh and in-service rural managers. IRMA also conducts short-term refresher courses in agriculture and rural development management for in-service professionals and administrators including the Indian Administrative Service Officers. There is a need to establish many more institutes of rural management on the pattern of IRMA and to reorient the existing institutes of public administration to focus on training programmes in agricultural and rural development management (Singh, 1987 : 71-74). The State Agricultural Universities in India which now number 26 may be persuaded and assisted financially by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research to start post-graduate programmes in agricultural management.