Capacity building of the rural development functionaries of all hues (Panchayat, Govt and Non Govt ) is an integral part of the rural development process. It is an imperative to equip the officials and representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions’ (PRIs), NGOs etc. with appropriate knowledge, skill and attitude. They should be kept abreast of the latest changes in Govt. policies, strategies and programmes.
Government Officials, representatives of Panchayats, NGOs, SHGs, working in the fields of Rural governance and Rural Development particularly those connected with implementation of Poverty Alleviation programme are required to be reoriented towards the changing needs of the situation. In order to give the best of their service they are required to be thoroughly informed of the latest developments in the fields of rural governance and rural development.
The State Institute of Panchayats and Rural Development (SIPRD) at Kalyani, Nadia plays all the important role to build capacity of all rural functionaries-PRI , Govt and Non Govt and keep them up to date with latest developments.
SIPRD was set up in 1961 at Kalyani as "Orientation and Study Centre" under aegis of Government of India in the era of Community Development. It is located 60 km. North of Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal. The Institute was then imparting training to the Block Development Officers, Joint Block Development Officers and other field level functionaries involved in community development programme.Along with officials of the State, trainees from outside ( within the eastern region of the country) also took part.
On 1st April, 1967 the institute was handed over to the State Government as a part of national strategy for strengthening training infrastructures of the state.
In 1988, the Government of West Bengal in the Department of Rural Development restructured the institute into State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) for catering to the needs of training in diversified areas of Rural Development.
Meanwhile, State Institute of Panchayats (SIP), a parallel organization for imparting training to the three-tier-panchayat functionaries was also established at Kalyani about 1 km away from SIRD in the year 1991.
Consequent upon the merger of the erstwhile two Departments - Panchayats and Rural Development into a single department christened as “Department of Panchayats and Rural Development”. the two Institutes merged together to form a single Unit in 1996. Taking both the earlier names into account, it was renamed as “State Institute of Panchayats and Rural Development” (SIPRD), West Bengal. The Institute started functioning with the new name on and from 15.04.1996.
In 1997, a society (Society for Training & Research on Panchayats and Rural Development - STARPARD) was also formed to guide the institute in matters relating to Training and Research. This paved the way for direct financial participation of outside Funding Agencies, such as World Bank in some of the Training and Research programmes of the Institute, as well as conducting of sponsored programmes.