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A large number of universities and colleges all over the world organize semester long courses in developing countries in order to expose the undergraduate and graduate students to practical environments and field placement. The enrolling students stay for a semester in destination country and are thus prepared for future professional or research careers. Semester Course fulfills the credit requirements of the university or college they belong to. At the same time such Semester Course helps build the excellence of the universities, colleges or departments. Thus in order to meet the academic goals, it is imperative that the College/University also strives to develop strong external relationships with field based programs and practitioners in developing countries.

Who to Organize Semester Course

University Departments or Centres and Colleges outside India or within India may organize and coordinate this Semester Course for their students. The Grassroots Institute will host this course and fulfill all necessary academic, practical and logistic requirements. We invite various universities, colleges, centres, institutes and departments to coordinate with us for organizing this course.

The Semester Course hosted by Grassroots Institute is an invaluable opportunity for students to apply their classroom knowledge in practice, as well as gain experience in the field. Grassroots Institute provides the opportunities for Diploma or Degree students to undertake the following Semester Course:


Objectives of Course

  • To provide students with practical field experience in a specialized practice setting;
  • To help students further develop skills or competencies learned in the academic program by applying them in a specialized practice setting;
  • To provide a means for acquiring practical skills that are useful to students’ corresponding professions and are not available through academic instruction;
  • To link academic training to the core functions of specialized practice;
  • To understand the political, economic, social and organizational context within which professional or research activities are conducted;
  • To gain exposure to an organizational and/or community context for future professional or research activities.

Tentative Curriculum of Course

  • Indigenous People, Community and Society
  • Mountain Ecosystems and Biological Diversity
  • Bio-Cultural and Traditional Resources
  • Knowledge and Traditions of Living in Harmony of Nature
  • Traditional Housing and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Traditional & Religious Practices of Forest Conservation
  • Sacred Conservation Sites: Ecosystem Dynamics & Environmental Changes
  • Kingdom of Deities as Traditions of Spirituality & Conservation
  • Traditional Healing & Herbal Medicines
  • Natural and Social Justice System
  • Traditional (Natural) Farming and Agro-biodiversity Conservation
  • Local Wisdom of Food & Nutrition Security
  • Transhumance in High Altitudes and Traditional Knowledge
  • Nomadic Pastoralism and Adaptation to Changing Environments
  • Juaru System of Community Cooperation
  • Local Water Conservation on Critical Ecosystems (e.g. cold desert)
  • Cultural Protection of River Origins & Basins
  • Polyandry and Rural Resource Management
  • Local Self-Governance and Management of Natural Resources
  • Local Institutions of Commons Conservation

Locations and Area

The studies will be undertaken in the districts of Kullu, Chamba, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti of Himachal Pradesh, with the Base Camp in Great Himalayan National Park (GNP) and Special Camp in Pin Valley National Park (PVNP). Further information about the areas may be accessed from

Base Camp will be located in Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). GHNP is about 25 km inside the from Delhi-Kullu/Manali highway. Before 24 km of Kullu city, there is eastward diversion from national highway. Tirthan is the main river that is famous for trout fish. Traditional communities have intricate linkages with the nature, and nurture the ecosystems especially agro-ecosystems. People practice natural religion; they have extremely rich culture. Violence is just zero in the area, rather it is most peaceful in the country. People are caring, friendly, humble and hospitable. One can see further details on

Specialties as Host

Grassroots Institute offers the following specialties as Host of Semester Course:

  • Grassroots Institute provides base to the students for planning and development opportunities in the local rural environments.
  • Grassroots Institute enables the students to develop further and apply specific skills or competencies learned in the academic degree program— assessment, program planning, evaluation, management, data analysis, policy development, etc.
  • Grassroots Institute affords the students regular contact with field and community practitioners.
  • Grassroots Institute offers a uniquely valuable practical experience.
  • Field experience at Grassroots Institute is considered a laboratory for the curriculum.
  • Grassroots Institute serves as a structured and significant educational experience that takes place under the supervision of Supervisor and with the guidance of the student's Faculty Advisor or Course Coordinator at his/her respective University/College/Department.

Accommodation & Food

The students will stay in villages in Ecozone of Great Himalayan National Park as paying guest of identified families. Grassroots Institute has already identified such families who will host the students. 5-10 students will stay in a village. The accommodation to be provided to the student will be separate room in family house. Toilet bath will be separate. Host family will take care of cleaning, washing and maintaining the room. Traditional and delicious food will be served by the host family in breakfast and dinner. 

In Country Transport

On arrival of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, Palam Domestic Airport or any of 3 main railway stations of Delhi, a pre-paid taxi will take the student to any hotel of his/her choice. The booking of the hotel in Delhi may be done by the student through online booking system. After 1-2 days break/rest in Delhi, the student may travel to Kullu from Delhi by AC Delux or Volvo Luxury Bus. The booking of the bus will be done by Grassroots Institute on request. This bus journey would be overnight journey to Aut (locate en route to Kullu). From Aut to Banjar (24 km) the student would be picked up by the taxi, provided the student informs us in advance. Otherwise, the taxis or buses are available from Aut to travel to Banjar. 

On completion of the Semester Course the students will be free to go back home or to travel India as per their own plans.