IRMA is a unique school. Often, queries are raised including "What is rural management?"and "Is the Institute’s focus Rural Development or Management?" To understand this apparent dichotomy it is essential to view IRMA holistically. IRMA’s purpose is professionalizing management of rural lives. The means it has chosen are education, training, research and consultancy in management, the context being rural development. The latter, viz., management, is the core of the Institute while rural development forms the stage on which it is performed. Together they constitute the core purpose of the school: professionalizing and transforming the lives of rural people through management.
IRMA’s students – potential rural managers whom the rural population looks up to for inclusivity, transformation, development, empowerment and sustainability – need to be instilled with traits like empathy, vision, integrity, commitment, motivation, drive, perseverance, and resilience. While cognitive and technical skills can be learnt in classrooms these traits need to be inculcated through a process of being, experimenting, experiencing, reflecting, and internalizing. These traits cannot be taught but acquired by an active engagement on the part of learners. Such learning requires an appropriate ambience and environment that engages the students in continuous learning. This is where IRMA differentiates itself. IRMA’s two-year learning process is intricately intertwined with the lives of students over their two-year stint. It is almost impossible to view the two separately.
IRMA offers courses to competent rural managers to become employed while making available opportunities to organizations in the context of training their present employees regarding upgrading their skills in rural management. The unique focus, exposure, and interest of IRMA’s faculty in various aspects of rural management makes the Institute a one-stop school for all the managerial requirements of organizations engaged in the rural space, be it development or management.
For scholars, IRMA offers abundant opportunities and facilities for carrying out relevant and meaningful research. An effective educator is one who is conceptually sound while firmly grounded in application and reality. An Institute focusing on the micro-level, IRMA’s emphasis is on application orientation as opposed to conceptual research. However, the faculty is encouraged to contribute to the body of knowledge of rural management, something which cannot be accomplished without adding to the conceptual base.
When one thinks of Indian villages, the first image that comes to mind is a mela. It is a cultural congregation that is full of life, activities, transactions, vibrancy, and happiness. An institution’s culture and responses to its environment impact on the extent of enjoyment and happiness experienced by its constituencies. Structures, systems, and procedures are necessary but not sufficient for ensuring its goodness. Formal and informal inter-linkages and relationships between the various constituencies of the institution determine the culture of the place. IRMA constantly strives to develop a vibrant culture of youth, change, wisdom, excellence, and enjoyment. Profession, work, and activities are just a part of life. At its core, IRMA aims to educate the youth and provide learning for life.