II. Organization and Objectives of the Project
In 1959, the Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, Comilla,
was founded as a Government Research and Training Institute
at which civil servants were to be taught about the socioeconomic
conditions of rural areas and about programmes for introducing
social change. It is a semiautonomous institution under a
board of governors consisting of high ranking government officers.
The capital and recurrent costs are covered by the Government
and some grants in aid.
The director and the members of the faculty are government
employees. After initial studies of the area, the Academy
launched a number of action programmes of Pilot projects in
different fields such as rural development, cooperatives,
agricultural technology, local government, work programmes,
etc. In 1960, the Government turned over to the Academy the
Kotwali Thana as "experimental laboratory" to develop
and Lest patterns and Procedures which might be suitable for
developing East Pakistan's agriculture.
Initial studies and experiences of the staff helped to define
in detail the tasks of the Academy:
a) In order to improve the living of the Population, the
Primary need is to increase the productivity of the land by
more intensive cultivation.
b) This requires an infrastructure of roads, flood control,
irrigation and drainage.
c) To introduce more intensive cultivations in order to
improve the living conditions of Farmers, new institutions
to satisfy the economic, administrative and training needs
of the population are required.
d) In order to make use of the underemployed labour potential,
a suitable works programme is necessary to develop infrastructure
and supply additional work and income.
By trial and error rather than preplanning, the Academy developed
a comprehensive approach to rural development which seems
well adapted to the local circumstances and which did not
only prove to be of benefit to the Population but aroused
the interest of social scientists from all over the world.
In retrospective, this approach can be summarized as follows.