Rural India, consisting of 72 per cent of the Indian population, is different from the urban segment of the country. The Indian village plays a very significant role in the progress of the whole nation; it is a source of art, culture, literature, religion, human values, philosophy, economic wealth and agricultural produce. It is also a storehouse of abundant human resources, though the majority of these resources are underdeveloped, undeveloped, unused, underused and overused, as well as inefficient and poor in quality. Rural India is also characterized by the presence of high birth, death, and infant mortality rates, low life expectancy, malnutrition, hunger, illiteracy, ignorance, unemployment, poverty, poor sanitation and housing conditions, water scarcity and many such stubborn problems of human resource development.
Human resource development is a continuous process of promoting quality of life for all people of an area. According to Gupta (1998), human resource development is the complete physical and mental growth of individuals. Rao (1999) emphasizes the importance of human resource development and states that it involves getting the right kind of people, creating a culture that nurtures and retains talent, providing avenues for competence development at all levels, ensuring utilization of talent and aiding in the renewal of various productive human processes. Nadler (1994) defined human resource development as a planned continuous effort by management to improve employee capacity levels and organizational performance through training, education and development programmes.