Agrarian India: Past and Present | Humanities & Social Sciences

Agrarian India: Past and Present

Course Number: 
HUL 372
LTP structure: 


Any TWO courses from HUL2XX category
HUL271, HUL272, HUL274 HUL275, HUL276, HUL286

Course Objective

The course will use interdisciplinary texts to give students a historical overview of agrarian India starting from the colonial period, plantation and export economies, recurring famines, community development programs and land reforms after independence, the green revolution, and the neglect of rainfed / dryland regions. It will explore various dimensions of development in agriculture including the advent of the agricultural sciences and the birth of the agricultural extension system. The myth of the ignorant farmer and the self-sufficient village will be discussed. Case studies on the historical roots of globalization and agricultural commodity chains related to new technologies, and the linkages between the market and the state in contemporary agriculture will be discussed. The growing social and geographical disparity with ecological distress and the threat of climate change, farmer suicides, and debt spirals on the one hand, and a risky but rewarding cash crop economy on the other, will also be explored. Finally the course will discuss aspirations of rural youth, opportunities for livelihoods, and gender and caste dimensions of the growing urbanization of rural centres.


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