The evolution of RM as a field of study is enigmatic. With time, contradictions have been added; confusions have been brought into this field. The social and economic environment has changed immensely over the last two decades – making fundamental changes in the way we understand rurality. With regulatory changes related to higher education and technical education, the field of management education per se has been facing challenges. The field of RM cannot remain unaffected from such problems. It is high time that the field of RM is consolidated and taken to the next level to face the emerging challenges of societal development.

In this backdrop, the Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM) of Xavier University Bhubaneswar, India, is planning to organize the first International Conference on Rural Management (ICRM) during 16th – 18th November 2017. ICRM will facilitate the congregation of scholars and practitioners from across the world to deliberate and contribute towards the consolidation of the field of RM.

As we know the United Nations has declared 17 aspirational Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as Global Goals, with 169 targets between them to be achieved by 2030 for the benefit of all of humanity. While the earlier Millennium Development Goals were comprehensive in their scope, SDGs are more ambitious and have been framed by the UN General Assembly’s Open Working Group(OWG). They aim to end poverty, reduce inequality, achieve peace and justice, protect our planet, achieve food security, clean energy and good health and well being. The First International Conference in Rural Management (ICRM) 2017 has been designed to link the different thematic areas of Rural Management with the SDGs. In ICRM, we explore how the field of RM can dovetail into the efforts towards the achievement of the SDGs.

Effective management of programs and organizations directly engaged in sustainable development initiatives is crucial to the attainment of the SDGs, and as the organizational landscape for rural development transforms, established ways are increasingly giving way to innovative and emergent strategies and practices. Systematic and critical consideration of these is necessary to develop reliable knowledge and understandings in Rural Management. Papers and cases are therefore invited on contemporary initiatives and practices in all functional aspects and sectors of rural development management such as organizational forms and design, finance, capabilities and human resources, rural marketing and market development, development operations, supply and value-chains, ICT and E-governance initiatives, livelihoods promotion and agribusiness, among others. The focus is particularly on work that dovetails directly into the attainment of SDGs.

BUT THE SCOPE OF ICRM IS NOT RESTRICTED TO SDGs AND CAN COVER A WIDER CANVAS OF TOPICS RELATED DIRECTLY AND INDIRECTLY WITH THE FIELD OF RURAL MANAGEMENT.