Development studies are about understanding the world of development and changes thatintend to study the improvement in people’s livesfrom multidisciplinary approaches to multidimensional developments. It is relatively a young field of academic study within social sciences born as a result of decolonization process of 1950s and 1960s where newly independent nations tried to ‘catch up’ with industrialized ones. Being a liberal education,it supports in changes of economic, technological and socio cultural issues and their speed and impact on human civilization emanating from diverse contexts of global warming, economic global orders, emerging forms of transnational corporations, multiplex information sharing systems, globally connected civil society, and new global economic order.In recent decades, it has also been increasingly recognized that the quality of policy and institutional design to development needs have to be closely studied.
Nepal’s substantial efforts have been to design the policies and institutionalize the processes to deliver services with enshrined principles of decentralization. The recent political set up after the end of a decade long conflict and the new constitution from the general assembly thereafter, envisages to lead to the new structures for development through the federalism aiming towards the strengthening of the local government in every sectors including the quality of education and other social sectors that remained low and highly unjust in the past in inducing poverty. Overriding objective of poverty reduction with a focus on broad based economic growth, social sector and rural infrastructure, human resource development, targeted programs with social inclusion and good governance still remains a far-fetched dream.
Apparently, the academic programs on development studies in today's world therefore, need to seek to strengthen student’s capacity for interdisciplinary analysis of major issues in the theory and practice of integrated rural development. These key features of development studies program include (i) its interdisciplinary framework incorporating concepts and approaches from economics, socio-anthropology, environmental studies and associated crosscutting issues and, (ii) its global and comparative perspective and, its focus on theoretical debates, national level policy formulation, development processes and practices arising from contemporary issues and concerns. The course of development studies is designed to impart the knowledge and skills to:
explore meaning of sustainable development and discover global and local paths that lead to achievement.
understand relationships among many issues that affect development and able to access and use that knowledge to advance development.
develop strategic thought and action and, identify a range of currently feasible options and take into account relationships and consequences over a long term.
able to be effective at local scale and regions where people live and work.
act professionally with several kinds of competence - technical knowledge and skills, an ability to communicate that provide leadership in development.