About the department
This year the department of Development Communication and Extension celebrates it golden jubilee, having completed 50 glorious years since its inception. Etched and defined by the energy, enthusiasm and dedication of its students, faculty and staff for five decades, the department has seen growth, transitions and evolution to become a mature organization responsive to the changing societal trends in higher education and the development sector at large. Established in the year 1964 as Rural Community Extension under the aegis of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of India the course was restructured and the nomenclature Development Communication and Extension came into being in 2007.
The Department through its transitions remains committed to its founding vision and continues to strive towards training cadre of professionals to work as development practitioners and researchers. The Department curriculum provides strong theoretical foundations and experiential learning to meet the existing market demands of the development sector. With a strong emphasis on strengthening participatory processes, the different courses strive to provide a holistic understanding between development issues, programme management, development of media and use of ICTs and BCC strategies for sustainable change.
Synergy across different disciplines provides a broad based exposure to students. Interaction of the students with faculty from other academic institutions in India and abroad provides strength to academic inputs.
The students are trained to be experts in understanding behaviour change communication and developing media and methodologies for the same. The curriculum is designed to build theoretical and conceptual understanding as well as practical skills in participatory methods and techniques. Students are oriented to issues and techniques of advocacy as well as training in methodologies for capacity building and skill development of different stakeholder groups. They also develop proficiency in developing a range of media products both for the commercial and grassroots sector. These include, radio programmes, digital stories, documentary films along with designing a range of print and graphic media. Understanding of the potential and use of Information and Communication Technologies for development along with traditional media equips students to engage with different community groups.
One of the pillars of the department is its strong extension programme, which is built into every course at the PG level. Theoretical and practical training is provided to all the students. Over the years the department has evolved a multi-faceted extension programme, that helps provides experiential learning and holistic training to the DCE post graduates to address the larger issues facing people of different communities. Field experiences are provided to students in diverse ways which include- concurrent field work programme in urban and rural communities; month long placement in development organizations, Government departments and or corporate organizations. For undertaking it extension activities the department collaborates with a number of agencies. Synergy of different organizations strengthens the community activities as well as provides a broad based exposure to students to the agencies and issues involved in development.
Over a period of five decades the department has a vast array of research inputs. The areas cover a broad spectrum of issues, reflecting the needs and concerns of changing times. The researches have primarily focused on development issues, advocacy and communication for sustainable social change. Other important areas of research are gender, media monitoring, audience segmentation and responses, new media technologies as well as analysis of national flagship programmes. Master’s students are guided to take up independent empirical research and write a dissertation as part of their academic programme. In recent years the Department has endeavoured to explore participatory methodologies and innovative techniques for research.
Internships and Placements
The Internship Programme of the Department is organized with NGOs, media agencies, social marketing institutes and research organizations along with government departments and corporate organizations. The field work experience is structured with an interface with established grassroots organizations based in Delhi and neighbouring states. Seminars and workshops conducted by professionals working with training and capacity building organizations help students to acquire appropriate skill sets. Interaction with UN/Bilateral Agencies like UNIFEM, UNFPA, WHO, IPPF, ILO and government departments and organizations like NACO, NCW, NIPCCD, NDDB, Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Social Justice and Empowerment, Youth Affairs helps to build national and global perspectives.
Events and Activities
Annual events organized as per the curriculum mandate include International Youth Day, International Women’s Day, International Literacy Day and Raushini Deshpande Annual Lecture which is delivered by an eminent person in the area of community development. These events provide rich learning experiences to the students.
The Department has also offered a Certificate Course in Radio Management to prepare students for various careers in the radio industry – radio jockeying, program production and editing, music management and client account management.
The Department hosts a Study Abroad Programme with the Department of Human Ecology, Michigan State University (USA). This student exchange programme provides an opportunity to first year Master’s students to attend a four weeks course on American Families and Community Lifestyles with a specialization in Development Communication and International Extension Systems. Students from the Michigan State University are also hosted by the Department.
Careers after Development Communication and Extension
The specialisation of DCE provides students with professional skills in the professional domains of Communication for Social Change and Extension to apply the knowledge and skill gained in promoting development of communities. Several career opportunities are available to students in India and abroad:
Research and Development Evaluation: Several students take up careers in the field of social research, policy formulation and monitoring and evaluation of development interventions. Especially trained in participatory techniques the students are taught to select and use appropriate methodologies for M&E of programmes from a multi stakeholder lens. Using research and M&E insights for development of new communication interventions as well as for monitoring of ongoing ones in both government and non-government organisations working for sustainable social change among grassroots communities remains a popular career trajectory for our post graduates.
Program Management in Development sector: Students, who are keen on administration, human resource management, corporate communication and training, take up positions in Corporate houses, Government departments and national and international bilateral bodies immediately after completing their post-graduation.
Design, Production and Evaluation of Media: The course equips students with skills in design and development of innovative print, audio and video products and several new and community media. They get placements as development journalists, media developers, content writers and editors, researchers and evaluators.
Training and Capacity Building- students are given skills in building capacities and training of different stakeholder groups involved in development processes. With special focus on understanding Gender as a cross cutting concern in development programmes students work as trainers in strategic areas of health, Environment, Life skills development and Poverty in a range of organizations.
Education sector: Many students join careers in the Education sector as faculty either at University, College or school levels. Their experience of mobilising and working with children, adolescent girls, youth and women offers them in depth understanding of these groups. Some students join courses in higher education which include M. Phil and doctoral degrees to be qualified to teach in institutions of higher learning in government and private sector.
The alumnae of the department are working in varying capacities with international organizations like UNICEF, UNFPA, FAO, World Bank, UNIFEM, IPPF, Prince of Wales Foundation and Aga Khan Foundation. Others are working with the Ministries of Women and Child Development, Rural Development, Social Justice and Women’s Empowerment, and national organizations like Planning Commission, Centre for People’s Action, Research and Training (CAPART), Centre for Budget and Government Accountability (CBGA), National Institute for Urban Affairs (NIUA), The Energy Research Institute (TERI), corporate houses like AC Nielson, EQFI, Indiamart and ZMQ Software Solutions. A few alumnae work with research organizations and teaching Institutes like IARI, ICAR, NIPCCD, colleges of Home Science and schools. With the introduction of new courses in communications in the revised curriculum and internship with media organisations, an opportunity has emerged for careers in media content design and as editors, in autonomous institutes engaged in communication for social change and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Others are in freelancing and teaching in media schools
The under graduate and post graduate curriculum has been listed below:
B Sc Home Science (Pass) - 3 years- 6 Semesters
B Sc Home Science (Honours) - 3 years- 6 Semesters,
M Sc Development Communication and Extension - 2 years- 4 Semesters
B Sc Home Science- Pass Course- DCE papers across semester curriculum
B Sc Home Science- Honours Course –DCE papers across semester curriculum
||Fundamentals of Human Communication
||Development Communications and Journalism (Elective I)
- Public Relations and Advertising (Elective II)
||Dynamics of Human Communication
||Communication Systems (Major I)
- Gender and Society (Major II)
||Mass Communication (Major III)
Extension Programme Design and Management (Major IV)
||Training and Advocacy (Major V)
Development Communication (Major VI)
||Sustainable Development (Major VII)
Journalism-Theory and Practice (Major VIII)
Advertising and Public Relations (Major IX)
Projects, Awards and workshops
Study Abroad Programme: The Department hosts a Study Abroad Programme with the Department of Human Ecology, Michigan State University, USA. Students from the Michigan State University are hosted by the Department. MSU study abroad programme provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding about India's culture, caste, class and marriage systems. The programme addresses the key sustainability issues of India including environment, gender, health & nutrition. The students under the programme get an opportunity to interact with experts working with grass root organizations on various issues. They get first hand intense experience working with the communities in India during six weeks internships with grass root organizations. The key feature of the programme is, it is tailor-made as per the visiting student’s aspirations from the programme. Apart from this they also get opportunity to visit key tourist destinations like Agra and Jaipur. Synergy across different disciplines provides a broad based exposure to students. Interaction of the students with faculty from other academic institutions in India and abroad provides strength to academic inputs.
International Education and Leadership Summit Awards 2015:
Best College Award-
The Indo Global Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Pune, India gave Best College Award to Lady Irwin College (University of Delhi) for rendering service to younger generation and exemplary performance and contribution to the work being done by the Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses (SPYM) in the area of substance abuse.
Distinguished Faculty Award-
The Indo Global Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Pune, India gave Dr. Aparna Khanna, Associate Professor, Department of Development Communication and Extension, Lady Irwin College (University of Delhi) in sincere appreciation for nurturing and enriching the learning environment and in recognition of proficient and significant con.tribution in the field of education and social development.
SPYM Parivar Milan Programme: The Department of Development Communication and Extension supported the first contact programme organized by SPYM for drug addict adolescent boys and youth in-recovery who had undergone a rehabilitation program at the SPYM Juvenile De addiction and Rehabilitation Centre in Sewa Kutir Complex, Kingsway Camp, Delhi on 17th and 18th March, 2015. The Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was the chief guest at the event. The event was also attended by several magistrates and members of the Juvenille Justice Board.
As the academic and technical partner of SPYM, the Department has generated many communication materials based on the real life stories of the boys as part of the interventions during the treatment period at the centre. The occasion was marked by the release of four books based on real stories of the boys in rehab. These books comprised of two talking comics, a photobook and a story book describing stories of change shared by the boys. These books are designed to be used as reading materials for neo literates and create awareness about substance abuse. The books are part of training material designed to be used in a Life Skills training module ‘For Today and Tomorrow’ being prepared for the boys.
Students from the Department also launched six short films addressing the problem of substance abuse. The films are designed as advocacy material to be used by various stakeholders across various media. The films were released in a mobile phone compatible format also to spread the message and ensure that it can be easily shared and gains access into every pocket.
Workshop on “Gender roles and violence against women”: A workshop was organized by Breakthrough with undergraduate and postgraduate students of the department on 11th December, 2014. The focus of the workshop was to sensitise the participants about gender roles and violence against women. Students were introduced to the concept of gender, stereotypical roles and patriarchy.