In spite of more than a quarter century of unprecedented changes and progress in the developing world, millions of individuals continue to be trapped in absolute poverty, especially in rural areas. Multi-level planning as method of decentralization of the planning process is increasingly seen as a major strategy for ameliorating poverty throughout the third world. And yet, throughout the developing world there is a severe shortage of professionals and training institutions in development planning and management. It, therefore, becomes imperative to prepare qualified professionals who have studied a wide range of subjects from both the social and natural sciences, which impinge on development planning, management and administration. School of Development Planning (SDP) is concerned with filling this gap by creating a cadre of professionals who have the skills, knowledge and sensitivities in the areas of planned change at the local level, while not losing sight of pluralism in planning. The basic area of concern is integrated regional development with an emphasis on decentralized governance and participatory management of common property resources. The courses conducted by SDP, then, while focusing on rural and regional development, emphasize the inter-disciplinary nature of critical issues (such as socio-economic, political and technical) pertaining to development planning and management.

SDP started its work in 1977 pioneering development planning / management / administration studies at the professional level in South Central Asia

SDP trains development planners through a two-year Masters degree course (M.A./M.Sc.) in Development Planning and Administration awarded by the University of Pune. In addition to the Masters Degree, SDP offers its own Masters Diploma in Development Planning. This is, especially to encourage and facilitate development practitioners to undertake this unique course.
M.A. / Development Planning and Administration
This is a full time masters degree course


The course is made up of three semesters, Rural Planning, Urban Planning and Regional Planning, followed by the final semester, fully devoted to writing a masters dissertation by each student independantly under a committee of faculty guides. Knowledge from 7 major areas isintegrated into the subjects tought in this course. These are Agriculture, Economics, Geography, Managament, Public Administration, Research techniques and Sociology. The fundamentals of theory and techniques are introduces early on in this course.These subjects are supported by three seminars focusing on issues of poverty and inequality. A laboratory project in each semester focuses on preparation of development plans based on fieldwork. Each student undertakes a village project after the first semester.

Masters diploma in Development Planning


The Masters Diploma in Development Planning has been designed for students who are not eligible for the M.A. / M.Sc. course due to the University of Pune rules. The same content as the three semesters in the M.A. / M.Sc. course is tought for the Diploma as well, dividing the content in three Certificates, viz. Rural Planning, Urban Planning and Regional planning when it comes to the certificate course.

Special need based training programs
SDP also conducts need based training programs for personnel sponsored by governments, voluntary organizations and other agencies. It has conducted a special program for the Royal Government of Bhutan through which a national cadre of rural development planner - managers has been created in that country.