Natural Resource Management


Smita Mishra Panda


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Course Name : Natural Resource Management

Code(Credit) : CUTM1243(1-0-1)

Course Objectives

To familiarises the students with the complexities of natural resource management from the perspective of development and environmental protection

To understand the role and contribution of NRM  in economic development and people’s livelihoods and life support systems especially, in the context of increasing depletion of resources and currently with liberalization, privatisation and globalisation.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge: Understanding the complexity of natural resource management

Skills: The ability to contextualize the changes taking place in the natural resource base and suggest strategies/plans in managing the resources.

Attitude: Be sensitive to the natural environment and appreciate the place of natural resources to living beings and the universe in general

Course Syllabus

Module I

Introduction- Characteristics and classification of natural resources and its relevance in the academic programme, State of natural resources in India, Management of Common Property and Pool Resources, Ecological Footprint, Linakges between environment poverty, gender and equity, Gender and Environment Debate

Module II

Role of State, Market and Civil Society – focus on policies and strategies- Reforming the state for NRM, Politics of Water and Water Markets, Civil Society Organisations and Irrigation Management, NRM Policies - National Water Policy, Joint Forest Management, Forest Rights Act

Module III

Gainers and Losers- Costs of Ecology and Equity, Losing Pastures, Privatisation of water and Equity Implications

Module IV

Conflicts in NRM- Conflicts and Governance in NRM, Cases from Water, Forests and Land

 Module V

Watershed Management -Institutions in Watershed Management, Participatory Watershed Management, Critique of Watershed Management

Session Plan

Session 1

Session 2

Linkages between environment, poverty, gender and equity

Linkages between environment, poverty and equity

Session 3

Nature of the problems - Water, Land and Forests

Nature of problems - NRM

Session 4

Role of State in NRM - focus on policies and strategies

Role of State in NRM

Session 5

Role of Market in NRM

Role of Market - Water

Session 6

Role of Civil Society in NRM

Role of Civil Society in NRM

Session 9-10

Watershed Management

Watershed Management Cases


Film - What is Watershed Management - (2.11 mins)

Film - Ridge to Valley - Holistic Watershed  Perspective - (17 mins)


Project Work by Students

Fieldwork in a watershed area, where students will be exposed to the issues, challenges and strategies related to watershed management. Students are expected to prepare a development plan based on their learnings.


  1. “State of Natural Resources in India”, in Natural Resource Management: Sector Strategy Paper,1996-98, Actionaid.
  2. “Introduction”, in Managing Common Pool Resources: Principles and Case Studies, Katar Singh, OUP, 1994.
  3. “Engendering the Environment Debate: Lessons from India”, Bina Agarwal, Feminist Studies, 1992. (pp. 127-153).
  4. “Reforming the State” in Natural Resource Management and Institutional Change, edited by D.Carney and J. Farrington, ODI, 2001.
  5. “The Value and Politics of Water” by V. Paranjpye and “Watermarkets Exclude the Poor” by S. Sharma, in The Value of Nature: Ecological Politics in India, edited by Smitu Kothari Rainbow Publishers, 2003.
  6. Panda, Smita Mishra (2007), Mainstreaming Gender in Water Management: A Critical View, Gender, Technology and Development, 11 (3), 321-328, Sage Publications.
  7. Panda, H., Panda, Smita Mishra and Lund, R. (2013), Environmental Insecurity and Social Friction in Rural Odisha, International Journal of Rural Management, 9 (1): 17-45, Sage Publications.
  8. “Civil Society Organisations and Irrigation Management in Gujarat, India” in Water for Food and Rural Development: approaches and initiatives in South Asia, edited by P.P. Mollinga, pp 247-265., Sage Pub., New Delhi.
  9. Gadgil M and Guha R, 1995, Passing on the Costs in Ecology and Equity: The Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India. New Delhi: Penguin Books.
  10. Watershed Management Concepts and Principles by Suhas P. Wani and Kaushal K. Garg, ICRISAT, Hyderbad (India).




Case Studies

Our Main Teachers

Professor Smita is presently Director Research at the Centurion University of Technology and Management, Odisha. She has a background in Social Anthropology and Development Planning. A gold medalist from the University of Delhi, she has several national and international awards to her credit. She received her Ph.D from the Asian Institute of Technolgy, Bangkok (Thailand) […]