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Human Development and Childhood Studies (HDCS)

Overview | Features | Contributions to Contemporary India


Established in 1970, the Department came into being as the Department of Child Development. Over the decades, while retaining this niche expertise, it evolved and broadened its focus to encompass the entire life span hence the name Human Development and Childhood Studies.

The Department has been committed to providing a coherent framework for learning across the curriculum as well as encouraging faculty to retain unique teaching styles and interests. Classroom instruction, professional organisational linkages, community service, and supervised field experiences provide the knowledge and skills necessary for careers in Human Development. Extensive - and meaningful - use of IT provides students with a contemporary educational experience.



Some of the unique features of the Department are:
Develops a multi-faceted understanding of human development
The varied domains of human development are both distinct and inter-related. Nature - in the form of our genetic make-up - does affect what we are. However, what we become is determined as much by the socio-economic, cultural, historical and educational, as well as our own volition and agency. Human beings shape the context for self and others, while also being shaped by it. Our courses explore these aspects in depth and enable a dynamic and forward-looking understanding that helps our students interpret their past and impact their futures.

Combines theory, practice and research Theoretical perspectives that illustrate developmental patterns, appropriate methods of research inquiry along with practical work with children and families form the major constituents of the course.

Takes a multi-disciplinary approach and responds to emerging social trends The description of social, cultural, economic and psychological dimensions educate students of the ideal and real influences on the lives of growing children. The changes in several social configurations have had an impact on the course content and resulted in revisions that take cognizance of plurality in workspaces, new forms of gender images, a growing understanding of relevance of the rights approach to social policy and legislation and the special place of the child in the 21st century. The course also provides changing and progressive growth of legal and economic provisions as well as support for children and youth by GO and NGO efforts.

Has its own Child Study Centre Apart from academic excellence, the Department reaches out to the community through programmes such as the Rajkumari Amrit Kaur Child Study Centre, a counselling cell and an early intervention centre. The Rajkumari Amrit Kaur Child Study Centre a laboratory school has been an integral part of the Department, providing regular hands-on experiences to the students as well as making quality services including early intervention, available to young children and their families. It also acts a space for providing supervision to ECCE trainees from other educational institutions such as IGNOU and Mobile Crèches.

Prepares students for research and people-oriented careers At the Masters level each student undertakes an empirical study under the supervision of the department faculty independently. This provides the experience of planning and carrying out research. Students also master the various aspects of developing print and audio-visual material for varied audiences across the lifespan. These fulfill needs that range from advocacy to education to entertainment. Organisational placements and internships are a compulsory component of the coursework. It prepares students for careers that focus on helping individuals, families and organisations in tackling developmental challenges and life-cycle issues. The multi-disciplinary curriculum draws upon the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology and Education. With people as our subject, learning is enhanced by the application of theory to real world issues.


Contributions to Contemporary India

The Department furthers policy and practice in human development, with an emphasis on addressing children’s development, by
  • Preparing professionals with cultural rootedness and competence to deal with contemporary concerns
  • Undertaking qualitative and quantitative research to deepen the academic understanding of people, contexts, and development
  • Providing academic resource to the social and educational sector – governmental or non-governmental initiatives, and contributing to movements for social justice and human rights
  • Applying academic research to support industry/economy /business


Contact Us

Sikandra Road
New Delhi - 110001
Phone/Fax: +91-11-23711222



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