1 EDITORIAL The subject of rural development has had a long history and continues to be relevant both as an academic discipline and as a field of multi-disciplinary interplay of forces. In an ideal situation, rural development should be a process by which a set of technical, social, cultural and institutional measures are implemented with and for the inhabitants of rural areas with the aim of improving their socio economic conditions in order to achieve harmony and balance both in regional and national development. Rural development is a comprehensive development of rural areas and it involves the transformation of the rural community into a socially, economically, politically, educationally orderly and materially desirable condition, with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the rural population. It is known that a high proportion of the income of rural people in developing nations is derived from self-consumption and they are correspondingly isolated from market shocks. Under current conditions, it will take several years before many developing nations will be able to take a substantial step forward in sustainable rural development. Although sustainable impact is an attractive goal of rural transformation, multi-focal direct interventions are needed to broaden the benefits of such growth to the poorest segments of the population and improve their living standards. In this light, rural development must not only address occupational issues, but also, infrastructural needs of the rural areas. The simultaneous provision of electricity, potable water, health centres and formal schools will facilitate the sustainability of any programme of rural transformation.

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