Berhampur University Trains First Batch of 30 Master Trainers on CBPR Linking Academics and Research with the Community

Community engagement and social responsibility in higher education are emerging as new fields of professional competence internationally. Engaging with the community offers an opportunity to understand the real-life issues and to be able to resolve those issues with the subject expertise of that Higher Education Institution (HEI). At Berhampur University, the HRDC-Malaviya Mission Teacher Training Centre (MMTTC, recognized by the UGC) is geared to prepare a cadre of master trainers in CBPR so as to facilitate experiential learning for students in its PG Departments and affiliated colleges. This week-long (09-14 October 2023) residential training programme was designed in a way that the participants experience a balanced mix of theory and field exposure. Participants will get a first- hand experience of practicing CBPR methods during the field visits. The learning objectives of this FDP were to:
1. Understand UGC framework of “Fostering Social Responsibility & Community Engagement in Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs)”.
2. Understand the principles & methodology of Community-based Participatory Research.
3. Strengthen competencies in use of various methods of CBPR through field practice.

This programme witnessed both classroom and field sessions covering various aspects of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Methodology. The participants learnt and practiced various CBPR methods such as Transect Walk, Social Mapping, Resource Mapping, Focus Group Discussion (FGDs), Oral History, Narrative Enquiry, Storytelling, Collage making, etc. Three different villages, viz., New Buxipalli, Venkatraipur and Dura were taken as sites for testing these CBPR methods. As part of practicing CBPR, participants visited all three villages all three days and engaged with communities. As part of the objectives of this training program seven teams of master trainers are formed who are committed to carry forward and conduct training programs in different affiliated colleges of Berhampur university and other Universities of the State. These planned training programs will facilitate implementation of the 02 Credit course on CBPR as per the mandate of the NEP.

The learning objectives of the above said FDP follows the UGC directive of Fostering Social responsibility and Community engagement in higher education institutions of India as a part of “Unnat Bharat Abhiyaan”. The program agenda was also about the understanding of the principles & methodology of Community-based Participatory Research leading to its strengthening through field practices. The master trainers trained in the FDP will train their co-faculties in their respective colleges and universities to induct and train students to engage with communities through Community Based Participatory Research Methodology. The Berhampur University, with this FDP become the pioneer in the much-needed field of bridging the gap between Academicians and the Community.

The valedictory session was presided over by the Honourable Vice Chancellor of Berhampur University Prof. Geetanjali Dash in the presence of Prof. BC Choudhury, Sr. Technical Advisor, Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), New Delhi as the distinguished Guest, Shri Jagdananda representing CYSD , Shri Binoy Acharya representing UNNATI, Ahmedabad, Dr. Rajesh Tandon, Co-Chair in UNESCO Chair on CBRSR, New Delhi (virtual), Dr. Anshuman Karol (virtual), PRIA, New Delhi, Dr B Anjan Kumar Prusty, HOD , Dept. of Environmental Studies, Berhampur University, Dr. Pragya Choube, from UNESCO-Chair, and other faculty members (Dr. Kabita Baral and Dr. Santosh Kumar Beja) of the Dept. of Environmental Studies and Mr. Agni Kumar Behera of Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication. All the Research Scholars and the Students of the Department collectively joined in this meeting and helped in its overall coordination.

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