Need for research in rural development Need for research in rural development
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Need for research in rural development


Need for Research in Rural Development

It is often said that we live in a scientific age. Over the last several hundred years the citizens of most countries have enjoyed the fruits of innumerable scientific discoveries. But the scientific advances that have so profoundly affected the average citizen have been made by an extremely small minority of the population. These advances have generally been accepted without even the slightest idea either of the technical nature of the discoveries involved or of the attitude of mind that made them possible.

If we take as a measure of the influence of science the degree of dissemination of the fruits of science, then we live in a profoundly scientific age. Like the newborn child, research gives us pleasure. It gives us the satisfaction of knowing the unknown. Social research is persistently opening our eyes to the social reality, simplifying the mysterious within the commonplace in social life.

Social science research in developing countries has not made much progress because of their scientists' over-dependence on the conceptual framework and research models that apply to Western social systems. This is because the higher education in these countries is still under the total influence of Western intellectual traditions.

Social research has been recognized as a consistent in a democratic set up in all countries. In Nepal too we see some tangible improvement in the status of rural area. In policymaking, the role of social sciences is coming to be increasingly recognized. The conviction has already gained ground that rural development can contribute to the growth of national output.

In social transformation of Nepalese society, the rural development can provide important role. The dominant concerns of Nepal today are economic growth and equitable distribution of income and wealth among needy people. Research on rural areas can check on population growth, removal of illiteracy and ignorance, health awareness, maintaining ethnic harmony, strident step against Dalits, racial and gender discrimination, strengthening the democratic set up by freeing politics from the clutches of criminals, on the way to resolve conflict problem here which has become the pivotal problem during the decade.

Rural development activities initiated by governments in developing countries are often bringing rural communities into the mainstream of the national or even the international economy, and thus advancing the process of economic restructuring in rural societies.

The need for rural development began to be felt acutely in the late 1950s when it was realized that growth-oriented development models of industrialized countries led to urban bias and mainly benefited wealthier groups and individuals. Various types of rural development programs have been implemented since then in developing countries, including Nepal. These programs include community development, integrated rural development, small-town development, rural industrialization and the promotion of farm/ non-farm linkages, service center development on growth poles, cash crop development, agricultural intensification and modernization using irrigation, chemicals, and high yielding seeds, basic needs fulfillment, income generation through employment and so forth.

All these programs are oriented towards opening up rural areas and integrating them with national as well as international economies. Even though the purpose of these rural development programs in Nepal was to increase the share of rural people in national resources, it has now become an accepted fact that a large proportion of the benefits are retained by a few wealthier people, thus increasing inequality. The beneficiaries are those who control resources and are connected to political power.

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