Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship Programme (PMRDFS)

Locations: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Sponsor: Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) Government of India (GoI)

The Prime Minister's Rural Development Fellowship (PMRDF) is an initiative of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) Government of India (GoI), implemented in collaboration with State Governments. The focus of the programme is on reduction of poverty and improving the lives of people in rural India. The PMRDF programme was formally launched in September 2011 with the objectives of:

  • providing short-term catalytic support to the district administration in IAP districts to improve programme delivery.
  • developing a cadre of committed and competent development leaders and facilitators, who are available as a resource for rural development over the long term.
  • engaging with many stakeholders such as the government, public sector institutions, and civil society actors in promoting the efficiency of social protection programmes.

The PMRD Fellows are selected through a pan-India process through All India Common Entrance Test (AICAT), which is followed by a written exam and personal interviews. During two-years of the fellowship, PMRD Fellows work closely with the District Collector of the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) districts in improving programme delivery and interface with marginalised sections of the population with the aim of reducing developmental and governance deficits. Immediately after successful completion of the two year fellowship, a PMRD Fellow is required to spend one year in public service as a paid full-time employee of the State Rural Livelihood Mission in the State to which she/he is assigned.

The first batch had 140 Fellows who were placed across 83 districts in nine states, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. In 2014, the fellowship was expanded to include 7 more states covering North-eastern region as well as Jammu & Kashmir.

As the knowledge partner of MoRD, TISS provides holistic support to Fellows to acquire knowledge, professional skills and capabilities required to engage in transformative development work with the people, the state and non-state institutions. In order to support the Fellows at the districts and with their academic work, the Institute has set up PMRDF Support Cell in Delhi, Raipur, Hyderabad, Guwahati, and Mumbai.