The  Marathwada region is characterised by illiteracy, poverty, lack of income generation opportunities in addition to poor natural resources. Recently, Marathwada is also in the news for scanty rainfall, drought conditions and increase in farmer suicides. Most people in the region are engaged in farming in small patches of land which are rainfed. These small farmers are barely able to get one harvest in a year if climatic conditions are favourable. In such circumstances, it is important to build capacities of farmers to gain and utilize skills that are required in the village to supplement the poor incomes from farming. It is important therefore that farmers gain skills appropriate for income generation from their own farms through better farm management techniques and through alternative livelihoods without the neglect of their farms.

Vocational education and learning isfacilitated by IIRD to promote such rural livelihoods.IIRD conducts and facilitates formal and informal ways of learning at the community level and at the fully fledged 10000 sq ft vocational training centre – Parrie Centre for Technology (PCT) - in IIRD's 16 acre campus. IIRD's interventions in informal learnings has resulted in increased knowledge on organic farming among more than 10,000 farmers in the Paithan Taluka. This has resulted in mobilizing 4000 committed organic farmers in the district. The institute has also recently started short term courses in trades such as candle making, soap making, biodynamic compost preparation with the objective to transfer the knowledge to community members and supplement the incomes from farming related activities. IIRD, in collaboration with National Council of Rural Institutes (NCRI) and Indra Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), recently has started courses in organic agriculture and water management.The informal learnings have also led to greater civic awareness and empowerment of women in various social aspects.

The details of the courses affiliated to the Yashwantrao Chauhan Marathwada Open University (YCMOU) are described below –

  Name of trade Number of trainees Duration of courses
1 Carpentry 105 1 year
2 Tailoring 2650 Courses of different durations – 1 year, 6 months, and 3 months.
3 Masonry 240 1 year
4 Welding 84 1 year
5 Domestic wiring 140 6 months
6 Motor rewinding 75 6 months
7 Two wheeler mechanics 60 6 months
8 Folk art and music 75 6 months
9 Organic Agriculture and Nursery Management 95 1 year
10 Computer applications 38 6 months
11 Organic Dairy Management 120 6 months
12 Small Enterprise trades – candle making, incense sticks, biodynamic composts, pain relieving balms, etc 3000 2 days to 2 weeks


Besides the courses affiliated with YCMOU, below are the details of courses that were conducted in collaboration with IGNOU-NCRI.

  Name of trade Duration of courses Number of trainees
1 Organic Agriculture 6 weeks 16
2 Water Management 6 weeks 14