Urban Planning and Development in Open and Distance Learning: Findings from Needs Assessment Study in India
The objectives of this study are two fold – to assess the demand for the urban planning and development programme in open and distance learning (ODL) and to identify the major content to be covered under the programme. The study was undertaken following the survey method and data was collected from 120 respondents. The key survey questions focused on: need and reasons for urban planning and development education through ODL; entry level qualifications; job/career prospects; duration of the programme, and suggestions on broad course contents. The results revealed that, the majority of respondents felt the need for a one year post-graduate level ODL programme on urban planning and development with associated reasons. The important career prospects perceived by respondents include: promotional opportunities in the current job; employment in urban development institutions/programmes/projects, and; self employment. The important content areas suggested by the respondents include: urban development – concept, theories, and evolution; urban development in
India and selected other countries; urban planning and governance; challenges in urban development and management of urban services; urban development policies and programmes; planning, monitoring and evaluation of urban programmes/projects. In the light of the findings of the study and related discussion, it is recommended to develop a post-graduate level programme on urban planning and development in ODL and online modes to meet the continuing education needs of various stakeholders in the urban development sector.