Immersion lies at the heart of pedagogy of teaching and delivery at IIM Udaipur. The idea behind immersion is to get students dive into real life environment and explore the learning perspectives themselves. A special feature of the first year of the PGP Programme is the course on Indian Social and Political Environment which attempts to provide insights to students about the inherent social and political issues in a developing country like India. The course strives to make students think on their feet about the role which managers need to play in the 21st century and how out of the box solutions can be derived by lessons of management education for the social problems prevalent in economies.
Rural Immersion Programme is a part of the course wherein the students have to visit the tribal villages of Southern Rajasthan in their respective study groups and stay there for a week. The motive of the programme is to provide the students insights about the nature of the challenges in the rural life of India and the efficacy of existing efforts to address them. Students collaborate with NGOs functioning in the areas from a significant period of time. During the course of the programme, students interact with inhabitants of the villages and the local administration, fill in surveys and try to understand the social life and Human Development Indices in these areas. The outcomes which the students are expected to deliver are recommendations of better solutions for realization of optimal health, education and livelihood drives.
The learning is complemented by a change in outlook towards government initiatives like NREGA with better understanding and appreciation for the bureaucratic services functions and the difficulties in design and implementation of development programmes at the grass-root level. The solutions and means of employment generated in the villages also teach about the perspectives of consumers and producers from the bottom of the pyramid. The untapped potential of the Rural Market can be well utilized by the socio-entrepreneurial ventures in which a lot of big and reputed organizations are faring into.
The programme becomes a life changing experience for the students with takeaways of socio-economic problems still prevalent in the society like illiteracy, poor healthcare infrastructure, malnutrition, unemployment, dowry, child marriages, corruption, nepotism et al. The awareness comes from living with the hamlets of families in the villages about the aspects of life like natural environment, mutual sharing of resources, agents of change serving selflessly in NGOs, compassion and power of communication.
The long term vision behind the transformational initiative is to sensitize the students and develop socially conscious managers who can work in future towards collective and inclusive growth of the society.