A P P R A I S A L O F S O C I A L W O R K H A N S N A G P A U L * ...
A P P R A I S A L O F S O C I A L W O R K
H A N S N A G P A U L *
S P E C I A L I T I E S
PERSPECTIVE ON EDUCATION IN INDIA
He was successful in persuading the trustees
Professional education for social work in of the Sir Dorabji T a t a Trust to start a
the country may be said to have begun with
training institute which was named as Sir
the establishment of a school of social work Dorabji T a t a Graduate School of Social
in Bombay in 1936 which is now known as the
Work.2 This school did not seek any relation-
T a t a Institute of Social Sciences.
ship with the local University of Bombay
1 But there
were prior efforts in the 1920's to organize as its sponsors felt that such a tie would
short term training courses for those who deny it the freedom of experiment, and even
wanted to render social services by the after thirty-three years it still functions inde-
American Marathi Mission and Social Service
pendently of any affiliation with a university.
League in the city of Bombay and also by Between the years 1939-42, the Institute
certain Neighborhood Houses in other large admitted a small number of students every
cities as well. Actually at this time, it was alternate year. Initially, the teaching staff
the tradition of self-sacrifice and dedication to
consisted of the Director who was an
the cause of the poor which dominated the
American, and two Indian social scientists
preparation of individuals for a life of social
who had their training in the United States.
service, and there was little acceptance of T h e training given now in the Institute is
any organized form of training in social work
of post-graduate level for two years, and
training for positions which offered cash until 1967 the Diploma awarded was in
remunerations.
Social Service Administration. In recent
years the Institute has acquired the University
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
status and will award its own degrees leading
T h e main inspiration for the establishment to the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work
of formal training programmes came from and Social Sciences, the Master's of Arts in
Western countries, particularly the United Social Work and the Master's of Arts in
States of America. It was Dr. Clifford Personnel Management-Labour Welfare-3
Manshardt, an American Director of the
Nagpada Neighborhood House in Bombay,
For ten years between 1936-46, the T a t a
who conceived the idea of organizing a Institute was the only school imparting pro-
post- graduate school of social work in India.
fessional education in social work. In 1946,
*Mr. Nagpaul is currently with the Department of Sociology, Cleveland State
University, Cleveland Ohio (U.S.A.)
1For a brief review of th e development of social work education in India , M. S. Gore,
Social Work and Social Work Education in India (Bombay, 1965) and Hans Nagpaul,
"Social Work Education in India," in S. K. Kinduka (ed.) Social work in India
(Allahabad, 1965), p p . 241-268.
2See Clifford Manshardt , "Educatio n for Social Work, " Indian Journal of Social Work,
June, 1941.
3See Bulletin of the T a t a Institute of Social Sciences (Bombay, 1965-66). In April 1964,
the Institute was declared as an institution of higher learning and was deemed to be a
university for the purposes of the Section (3) of the University Grants Commission Act
1956 of the Government of India.

136
H A N S NAGPAUL
the second school was established in Lucknow
institutions. During this period the
under the auspices of the National Y.W.C.A.
number of schools increased from
of India, Burma and Ceylon with a substantial
four to thirty. In 1950, the University
grant from the Foreign Division of the Y's of Baroda created a full-fledged
of the United States, and the founder-
Faculty of Social Work to provide
director was again, an American. Later, it two years professional training in Social Work;
was shifted to Delhi, and after nearly two in the same year (1950) the Xavier Labour
years of experimentation, the school, in 1948, Relations Institute, Jamshedpur, was esta-
organized a regular two year programme of
blished to offer training in Labour Welfare
training in social work and was affiliated as and Industrial Relations. By 1966, training in
a post-graduate institution to the University Social Work was provided in Bombay,
of Delhi for the Master's of Arts degree in Delhi, Baroda, Lucknow, Agra, Jodhpur,
Social Work. Subsequently, in 1960, the Ahmedabad, Ranchi, Madras, Calcutta,
School was merged with the University and Coimbatore, Dharwar, Bhagalpur and
became, for administrative and financial
Waltair. In addition to the Schools and Insti-
purposes, one of the Departments under the tutes for Social Work and Labour Welfare,
Faculty of Social Sciences. Soon after the a large number of Social Education Centres,
establishment of this school, Shri Kashi Village Level Worker's Training Centres,
Vidyapith, Varanasi, opened an Institute of
Agricultural Institutes for R u r a l Welfare
Social Sciences for the training of social Workers and Family Planning Training
workers in 1947. Like the already established
Centres, primarily under the auspices of the
schools, the Institute set up a two year pro-
Central Government, along with some centres
gramme in Social Work but designated its by voluntary organizations, h a d also sprung
degree as Master's of Applied Sociology unlike
up during this period, which offered courses
the others; the Institute also introduced Hindi
on Social Work based upon the pattern
as a medium of instruction, unlike other followed by the schools of social work
schools, but it continued the use of textbooks
earlier established.
and study material primarily published in
English. Another Institute, i.e. the Bombay C O M P O N E N T S OF SOCIAL W O R K EDUCATION
Labour Institute, was also established in 1947
Broadly speaking, there are three com-
to offer training in the field of labour welfare;
ponents of social work education: social work
it restricted its admissions to the labour curriculum offered in the classroom, field
officers deputed by the employers or govern-
work offered in a social agency a n d research
mental agencies. Between 1947-55, the experience provided by a combination of the
Institute offered both short-term and long-
classroom and field work agency. Within this
term courses of one year and two years re-
general pattern, diversity does exist in terms
spectively; in 1955, this arrangement was of the emphasis given to each of these com-
replaced by a single-two-year course leading ponents at different schools. The availability
to a diploma in labour welfare.
of resources and facilities also exerts a good
deal of influence on the actual organization
In the next two decades (1947-67) the and administration of these components.4
establishment of new schools h a d been fairly Further, within each of these components,
rapid both under the auspices of the existing there are many variations despite some efforts
universities and outside as independent towards uniformity during the last few years.
4See Repor t of th e Review Committee on Social Work Educatio n in India n Universities
(New Delhi, 1965).

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
137
T h e academic preparation is generally whether the field placements should be
centred around courses dealing with (a) method-oriented or field-oriented. Even if
basic social sciences, (b) h u m a n growth and
the schools could find some agreement about
development, (c) social welfare services and
this issue, there will remain at least three
social policies, (d) methods of social work, basic problems with regard to field work
and (e) special areas of study. Increasingly training. These are: (a) that of finding
there has been a trend since 1960 to develop suitable social welfare agencies in which the
a single course in social sciences under the student can get appropriate work experience;
n a m e of M a n and Society with the result (b) that of finding qualified supervisors who
that the coverage given to such themes as can help the student learn from experience;
those of Indian culture, social structure, and (c) that of developing a suitable criteria
social institutions, and social change within for the evaluation of the student's perfor-
the total curriculum has been considerably mance in his field work.5
reduced. At the same time, a greater emphasis
has emerged for courses on h u m a n growth
As regards the third component, it may
and development which has led to an over-
be stated that almost every school of social
riding importance of such methods of social work requires the completion of a research
work as social casework and social group project based on "field investigation" of a
work on the one hand and such specialities social problem or other related areas as one
as family social work, medical social work of the requirements for the master's degree
. a n d psychiatric social work on the other.
in social work. T h e topic of the student's
research project is usually concerned with
Supervised field work is considered an the student's area of interest of specialization.
integral part of the total social work training.
Although the usual practice followed by the
But it is still true that most of the schools schools emphasizes the individual research
themselves have not been able to work out project by each student, some experimenta-
specific goals of field work programmes as tion with the idea of group research projects
yet. There exist marked differences both in is being undertaken at least at one school
terms of field work practices and field work since July, 1960. Almost all schools offer a
content. T h e field work ranges from weekly
minimum of one course on social research
observations of work in different agencies to which is usually of an elementary level. In
fifteen hours per week of regular work some schools the completion of a research
experiences for two years; other practices project is closely tied up with the social
include institutional visits, study tours, work research course itself, which means t h a t the
camps and block field work. In his work, student is encouraged to select the topic of
the student after he is assigned to an agency, his project and to develop his prospectus of
the time spent in observing or learning about
research while he receives formal instruction
problems and services is frequently far more
in the research course. T h e main objectives
than on helping him to learn to use himself as
for the requirement as identified in the
a worker. Actually, there are uneven patterns Bulletins of the schools are: (1) to provide
of field work which have resulted in uneven
some training in the use of research
standards of training. Moreover, the schools techniques, and (2) to collect data about
have not been able to resolve the issue different facets of Indian life to assist social
5For a detailed account of field work practices, see Field Practices in Schools of Social
Work in India (Delhi, 1959), and Proceedings and Papers read at the Seminar on
Field Work in Social Work Education, Association of Schools of Social Work, l964.

138
H A N S NAGPAUL
welfare agencies in planning their programmes
psychiatric social work, institutional and
or to develop teaching material.
correctional administration and community
organization. T h e growth of many of these
An examination of the Bulletins of the areas has been largely influenced by the
different schools reveals that the teaching of
American pattern of social work education,
a single course on social research combined having little regard to the prevailing social,
with elementary statistics can hardly provide cultural, economic and political conditions in
any useful training to the student in the use Indian society. It is an accepted fact that
of various research techniques or methodology
at the present time there are no well-defined
of research. Moreover, the selection of a topic
categories of welfare personnel for which
for research and the designing of the project
social work training is considered essential
by the student require proper guidance from
except in the case of labour welfare.7 As a
the teacher who is usually so much burdened
field of social work, medical social work is
with the teaching and supervising activities practised in not more than two dozen
that he cannot render it. Consequently most
hospitals in the entire country a n d which
of the research projects written at the schools are almost all located in the large metro-
are on topics or subjects which are of little politan cities of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta
importance and do not contribute sub-
and Delhi. In a society where elementary
stantially to new knowledge. From the forms of medical facilities and personnel are
methodological point of view, their still grossly inadequate to meet some of the
deficiencies are even greater.6 T h e T a t a basic health needs and where incidence of
Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay, is the morbidity and mortality is still very high, the
only school where there exists a separate development of medical social work as
Department of Social Research and which developed in the United States and other
offers a programme of specialization extend-
Western societies seems to be completely
ing over a year beyond the regular two year
irrelevant and its acceptance will remain a
programme of social work. In view of the wishful thinking. It is therefore not surprising
existence of this Department, students in the
to note that students specializing in medical
regular programme also seem to receive a social work often find employment oppor-
somewhat better orientation in research tunities in other related fields. Even those
techniques as compared to other schools of
who are employed by hospitals as medical
social work.
social workers are in most cases assigned to
non-professional activities such as milk
SPECIALISED FIELDS OF STUDY
distribution or directing patients to appro-
An analysis of the Bulletins of the schools priate departments in the hospital or helping
of social work indicates that they offer them to form queues in the waiting halls !
training in such specialized fields of study as As a matter of fact it will be fair to say
labour welfare, tribal welfare, rural welfare, that the medical profession in India has yet
medical social work, family social work, to accept medical social work because the
6For details on th e teaching of courses on Social Research in India n Schools of Social
Work, see S. Zafar Hasan, "Social Research, Social Science and Social Work Training,"
Proceedings of the Seminar for Faculty of Schools of Social Work Training held in 1961,
(New Delhi, 1961), and G. G. Dadlani, "Methods of Teaching Research Sequence,"
Paper presented at the Seminar on Teaching Methods in Social Work Education, held
in 1962, Association of Schools of Social Work (Bombay, 1962).
7See Repor t for th e Study Tea m on Social Welfare and Welfare of the Backward Classes
(New Delhi, 1959).

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
139
workers already recruited as medical social medical social worker. Even if one accepts
workers in some of the large hospitals in for a moment that a vast amount of
cities are not being used on the jobs for resources of all kinds would become available
which they possess specialized training.8 It some day through a miracle, the need for
may be pointed out here that in recent years the medical social work to help patients with
many Departments of Social and Preventive their emotional and other psycho-social
Medicine in medical colleges in the country problems will still be debatable. Any type
have begun hiring professional social workers of medical social work based on social case-
as social scientists for undertaking social work technique and therapeutic orientation
researches in the field, which has come to be which will become widespread in our
known as Medical Sociology. T h e social hospitals seems to be rather out of the
workers are however least equipped to do question for a long time and perhaps time
this job by virtue of their training because will never come when all hospitals or a
the schools in general do not offer suitable substantial number of large hospitals will ever,
courses in social research and almost no course
have medical social work services at their
is given in the field of Medical Sociology. disposal. Even in the United States where
Moreover, it is well known that most of the medical social work is fairly well-developed,
Indian hospitals which are run under the it is far from being widespread and not all
auspices of government provide mainly free hospitals have separate departments of
services and are generally very over-crowded medical social service. It is a sheer wastage
whereas few private hospitals exist in which of national resources to create therapeutic
services are usually expensive, though in some
medical social work based upon social case-
cases, private hospitals are functioning on a work technique as a specialised field of study
charitable basis as well. Generally speaking, in our schools of social work.
hospitals are primarily treatment oriented
and very little preventive or rehabilitative
Another specialisation which some schools
work is undertaken by them. Even in terms of social work offer is that of psychiatric
of treatment they are constantly confronted social work. In the United States and some
with chronic shortages in physical equipment, other Western countries, psychiatric social
personnel and medicines. In the context of
work seems to be practised on a wider scale,
the prevailing massive health problems and though it is not defined in precise terms.
inadequate medical facilities, the various roles Psychiatric social work practice, we are told,
of the medical social worker as are often occurs in hospitals, clinics or under other
proposed by our social work educators seem psychiatric auspices and its essential purpose
to be totally unrealistic. As a matter of fact is to serve people with mental or emotional
neither the medical profession nor the disturbances. O'Keefe points out that the
leaders of the society have ever visualized the psychiatric social worker carries responsibility
provision of such extensive social services in in relation to both the patient and his family
the various Five Year Plans which will through all phases of diagnosis, care, treat-
promote demand and opportunities for the ment, and rehabilitation.9 As in the United
8See S. H. Pathak, "Medica l Social Work, " in A. R. Wadi a (ed.) History an d Philosophy
of Social Work in India (Bombay, 1961), pp. 388-392, G. R. Banerjee, "Medical Social
Work in India," Social Welfare in India, (New Delhi, 1955), p p . 375-382, also see
her "Medical Social Work in Children's Hospital," Indian Journal of Social Work,
Vol. 14, p p . 178-184.
9 Daniel O'Keefe, "Psychiatric Social Work, " Social Work Yearbook, 1960 (New York,
1960), p. 454.

140
H A N S NAGPAUL
States, social work is primarily geared to should be to strengthen and improve the
helping the individual or family through existing institutions so as to provide better
social casework, it is quite understandable care and treatment to such patients who are
why knowledge from the fields of psychology, severely affected by mental illness and give
psychiatry and psychoanalysis has proved to lowest priority to psychiatric social work, even
be fruitful in social work practice. In Indian if it is considered an important component
social work literature, we are told, that the of treatment from the point of view of the
first psychiatric social worker was employed Western standard of medical services. Some
in 1937 at the child guidance clinic of the schools of social work have developed
T a t a Institute, which also happened to be combined courses of instruction for medical
the first one of its kind in the country. We and psychiatric social work and offer very
are further told that during the next ten elementary knowledge based upon American
years, not more than three or four psychiatric concepts of social work. It is debatable if
social workers were ever employed and that such courses serve any useful purpose in a
in subsequent years there had been a steady, country where medical as well as psychiatric
though extremely slow, utilisation of the social work are conspicuous by their very
services of psychiatric social workers in absence from the totality of health services
different settings.10 In India the magnitude available at present.
of mental illness is unknown as "no reliable
statistics of any kind are available regarding
It is beyond the scope of our discussion
the incidence of mental morbidity. Neither to examine the applicability of psychiatric
the admission rates nor the number of beds concepts as developed in the West to Indian
occupied in mental hospitals can be settings or to enumerate some of the reasons
considered reliable indices of the actual for the slow development of psychiatric
number of patients suffering from mental services in the country. Two types of forces
disorders in the areas served by these which seem to have played an important
hospitals.''11 True, problems of mental role deserve special mention nevertheless.
morbidity do exist. But it is well known One relates to the therapeutic value of Hindu
that in the field of mental health, our level religion and Hindu psychology which have
of services is extremely poor. As a matter developed several system of yoga practices
of fact, provision for the treatment of persons to promote emotional balance, physical poise
suffering from mental disorders and mental and peace of mind; and the other, which
deficiency is not only inadequate, but there places emphasis upon the indigenous
are scarcely enough institutions and workers medicines to relieve both physical and mental
to provide barely elementary forms of illness. In addition, it may be noted that
custodial care. In this context, the need to the problems of physical health and economic
create a class of functionaries, called deprivation are so overwhelming that they
psychiatric social workers who will study the completely overshadow mental health and
patient as a person in his social situation emotional problems, with the result that the
and analyze environmental factors does not growth of psychiatric social work on a wider
seem to be justified. O u r primary objective scale seems to be improbable. There
10See K. R. Masani an d Indir a Renu , "Psychiatric Social Work, " Social Welfare in India ,
"op. cit., pp. 437-438.
11 M. V. Govindaswamy, "Socio-Psychological and Menta l Hygiene Problems," Social Welfare
In India, ibid., p. 4 4 1 , also see Report of the Health Survey and Development Committee
(New Delhi, 1946), Vol. 1, pp. 130-131.

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
141
are hardly, at present, any out-patient life education and financial assistance.
psychiatric clinics or psychiatric wards for Friedlander reports that in public welfare
in-patients in general hospitals or indepen-
agencies, family casework, as a rule, is offered
dent psychiatric out-patient clinics for adult in connection with the granting of public
or child guidance clinics for children except assistance, particularly in the programme of
in very few large cities. Even in these cities,
aid to dependent children whereas private
we are told, that the psychiatric social worker
family welfare agencies are primarily
"has been regarded as a person who explains concerned with personal problems and emo-
to the families of the patients the tional maladjustment of members of the
psychiatrist's recommendations and finds family.13 Although it is claimed by the leaders
jobs, boarding homes, schools and recrea-
of the American family social work
tional centres. Often she has been regarded that family welfare agencies provide services
as an errand girl attached to a psychiatric to all social classes, yet it will be fair to say
clinic to carry out specific behests of the that these agencies mainly serve persons from
psychiatrists."12 In spite of the fact that we low income groups-
neither know enough about the usefulness
Many Indian social work educators and
of Western conceptions of psychiatry to professional social workers have been advo-
Indian settings nor do we have adequate cating the establishment of family social
services to provide even custodial care to work services during the last ten to fifteen
many of our most severely affected patients, years on the assumption that the basic
our social work educators have been structure of the joint family system and its
advocating the development of psychiatric traditional functions have changed. One
social work and have provided courses of writer has gone to the extent of suggesting
instruction in it at the schools of social work the need to develop marriage counselling
either as a major field of specialisation or as services which in her view are "a long
a subsidiary one.
process of help, right from the adolescent age
to adulthood, including education in sex,
Family social work is yet another specializa-
preparations for marital life and parenthood
tion which is offered by many schools; in some and helping the young couples to play their
cases it is combined with child welfare. In the important and significant roles in the
United States, family social work is well-
upbringing of a new family."14 Another
developed and both public and private social scholar tells us that "a Family Welfare
welfare agencies offer family services. T h e Agency, if run by a trained staff, can be of
main objective of family social work is to immense help in counselling on family
help the individual and members of his relationships, and marital maladjustments
family in attaining harmonious relationships and can also provide financial assistance and
in their family life so as to prevent individual vocational guidance, etc. A Family Welfare
and family disorganization. This is achieved Agency can also be helpful to unmarried
through the use of social casework which mothers, sex delinquents, alcoholics and
includes marriage counselling, family
12G. R. Banerjee, "Psychiatric Social Work, " A. R. Wadi a (ed.) History and Philosophy
of Social Work in India, op. cit., p p . 404-405.
1 3 Walter Friedlander, Introductio n to Social Welfare (Prentice-Hall, 1967) , pp . 349-350.;
1 4 Freny R. Gandhi , "Family Welfare," in History and Philosophy of Social Work in India ,
op. cit., p. 152, also see G. R. Banerjee, "Family Social Service", Social Welfare in
India, op. cit.

142
HANS NAGPAUL
delinquent children in the family.''15 It seems level of social welfare services in the country.
that these scholars forget that the joint Moreover, they do not recognize the complete
family is the central institution in Indian absence of study material on these subjects
society and it is still a great source of security based upon Indian conditions, and inevitably
to its members. Perhaps it has changed they are driven to use American literature,
considerably both in its structure and function concepts and methods derived from the
as a result of increasing urbanization, fields of psychology, psychiatry and social
industrialization and modernization. But work. This practice has introduced unreali-
even today the joint family provides all the stic elements in the training programmes for
services to its members in time of need. social work and one of the heads of a school
Problems of marital conflict, disturbed of social work, while portraying the image
parent-child relationships, fatherless families, of a professional social worker, comments
unmarried mothers, single adults who are that he is a person who has read and learned
separated from their families and the aged much during his two year period of training
may exist in India though little is known but the difficulty arises because he has not
about the magnitude of these problems and been able to perceive any meaningful
no reliable statistics are available. At the same relationship between his own experience and
time, we do know that the magnitude of much of what he has read and hence
these problems is not so great because they knowledge is not yet completely a part of
have neither weakened the existing structure his working apparatus despite the long hours
and functioning of our society nor have they he has spent in attending his field work.
got any recognition in the Indian Five Year Another educator who is now head of
Plans which are aimed at achieving social another school, while he was in the United
and economic development of the country States, had described the professional social
on a planned basis in the years ahead. More-
worker in India as one who was, mentally
over, the existence of family welfare agencies isolated from the dominant cultural folkways
in the sense in which family social work is and mores of his society and who lacked
interpreted in the United States is still un-
the basic orientation to the prevailing
known in the country.
conditions of the country. This situation, he
considered, was responsible for the existence
The proponents of medical social work, of suspicion and hostility between the
psychiatric social work and family social work untrained and professionally trained social
seem to have been highly influenced by the workers at many different levels. The
experiences of Western countries especially recently completed study of the Indian
the United States. Social work education, Conference of Social Work has also indicated
and educators in particular, who advocate that not all graduates get employed in the
the teaching of such courses at the schools
of social work seem to have been fascinated same field of social work in which they
by what has come to be known as social undergo specialised training. The study
casework in American social work. It is further points out that "if this switch over
unfortunate that they fail to take into is of a large magnitude, then it may amount
consideration the socio-cultural and religious to a rejection of the concept of specialisation
values of Indian society and the existing in so far as employment is concerned."16
15D. Paul Chowdhry, A. Handbook of Social Welfare (New Delhi, 1965).
16Draft Report of the Indian Conference of Social Work on the Employment Position
and Functions of Professional Social Workers in India (Bombay, 1967).

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL WORK SPECIALITIES
143
All schools of social work in India place a work is really practised. Accordingly, there
great deal of importance on academic courses are almost no employment opportunities for
concerning social group work and on field social group workers in India in the sense
work practice in group work settings which in which American social group workers are
are mainly recreational centres. In American engaged in group work organizations to
social work, social group work has come to render direct service to the members. More-
be accepted as one of the basic methods over, as specialisations in social work in India
which uses group experience to help are still in terms of fields of practice rather
individuals improve their social functioning. than on the basis of methods of social work
Essentially, "it is a way of serving individuals as in the United States, social work curri-
within and through small face-to-face groups culum is unnecessarily overburdened with
in order to bring about desired changes several courses concerning social group work.
among the client participants."17 This Similarly, field work practice of students in
method is used by social workers with the recreational settings which are usually
children, youth, adults and the aged, with supervised by instructors from physical edu-
the physically or mentally well or ill, with cation provides little meaningful experience
persons whose adjustment to life is progress-
to them.
ing normally or has been handicapped. In
the United States, a large number of group
Another specialisation offered by many
work organizations exists where people are schools of social work is designated as insti-
engaged in group work activities, and offer tutional and correctional administration. The
employment opportunities to social workers care of the destitute, the handicapped, the
who are specialized in social group work. delinquent and the criminal is mainly pro-
Although most of the group work activities vided through institutions, both public and
are recreational and leisure-time activities, private. The ultimate goal of the institutional
American social work claims to make certain care is said to be the prevention of the in-
distinctions in theory between social group cidence of social problems and rehabilitation
work and recreation which are often not of persons who become inmates of the insti-
maintained rigorously in practice because tutions. But if the existing level of social
social work overlaps with such other fields as services is any indication, it is fair to say
adult education, physical education and that even our institutional services are far
camping, and that a large number of social from being satisfactory and are constantly
workers in group work settings do not have experiencing chronic shortages of adequate
professional training in social work even till space, decent housing, proper equipment and
today.
qualified staff. The survey of social welfare
agencies completed by the Central Social
In India the field of leisure-time activities Welfare Board several years ago revealed
falls under the scope of adult or physical that not many agencies had even a single
education, and Indian social work has failed professional social worker on their staff.18
to develop any collaborative arrangements Specifically in the field of correctional ad-
with them, with the result that there are ministration, the impact of professional social
few group work agencies where social group work seems to be insignificant. The level of
1 7 Robert Vinter , "Social Grou p Work, " Encyclopedia of Social Work, 1960, op. cit., p. 715.
18See A Statistical Study of Social Welfare Agencies, Central Social Welfare Board (Ne w
Delhi, 1964).

144
HANS NAGPAUL
services in terms of probation and parole, is fairly well-developed at least in the insti-
separation of the juveniles from the adult tutions which function directly under the
criminal, provision of vocational training and auspices of the federal government.22
after-care and training of personnel for corre-
ctional administration is extremely low even
As regards the specialization designated as
today.19 The Tata Institute of Social labour welfare, historically the rationale for
Sciences, Bombay, organized short term train-
including this field with social work has been
ing courses for prison officers on, an ad hoc due to the fact that industrial labour was
basis. Under its revised training programme, looked upon as an under-privileged group
the Institute has established a master's degree for which special amenities and welfare
in Social Work with a specialization in services were provided through social legisla-
Criminology and Corrections. The schools of tion. The importance of welfare activities for
social work at Delhi, Madras, Lucknow, and industrial workers has been fully recognized
Varanasi also offer some form of specialised in the various Five Year Plans. Even before
training programme in the field of institu-
the introduction of the First Five Year Plan,
tional and correctional administration. The several commissions and committees had
basic orientation of this training programme recommended the intensification of social wel-
seems to be conditioned by American social fare activities in the context of the prevailing
casework approach, with little emphasis lower levels of living in general. The term
upon the practice of social administration. labour welfare has however no precise
Banerjee has presented a case in favour of definition and includes many types of
the introduction of social casework service for activities undertaken for the economic, social,
the juvenile delinquent notwithstanding the intellectual or moral benefit of the industrial
general absence of elementary social services labour. The Factories Act of 1948, requires
for the delinquent in our society.20 the appointment of labour welfare officers
Chaturvedi tells us about the contents in factories employing five hundred or more
of field work in correctional administration workers, and according to the rules framed
by assuming the applicability of American under the Act, for every two thousand
social work philosophy and methods to additional workers, one additional welfare
Indian settings-21 It may be noted here that officer is to be appointed. The rules provide
in the United States itself the professional that a welfare officer should possess a degree
social work has not made considerable pro-
or diploma in social sciences from an institu-
gress in the field of correctional administra-
tion recognized by the State or Central
tion despite the fact that the level of services Government in this behalf. The welfare
19See J. J. Panakal, "Correctional Work, " History and Philosophy of Social Work in India,
op. cit., Chapter 2 1 ; also see selected articles in Vol. 13, Vol. 14, and Vol. 15 of the
Indian Journal of Social Work regarding the training of officers for correctional administra-
tion and introduction of prison reforms; B. K. Dasgupta, "Scope of Application of
Probation in Correctional Work," Indian Journal of Social Work, March, 1959, and
J. J. Panakal, "Classification in Correctional Institutions", Indian Journal of Social Work,
Dec. 1961.
20G. R. Bannerjee, "Social Casework Services an d th e Juvenile Delinquent" , Indian Journal
of Social Work, Vo. 15, p p . 22-24.
21H. R. Chaturvedi , "Content s of Field Work in Correctional Administration" , Seminar on
Field Work in Social Work, op. cit.
22See Curriculu m Study Repor t on Education for Social Workers in th e Correctional Field,
Vol. V, (New York, 1959), and Manpower and Training for Corrections, Proceedings
of an Arden House Conference (New York, 1966).

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL WORK SPECIALITIES
145
officer is appointed and paid by the employer; dominant feature of social work education in
he works under him and can be removed India as much as the Study completed by
by him, though in some cases only by the the Indian Conference of Social Work
approval of the Commissioner of Labour revealed not only the preponderance of those
of the State or Central Government.
respondents who had specialised in labour
welfare but also of those having social work
Since the establishment of the first school training without specialisation in labour
of social work in 1936, formal training for welfare, to have found employment oppor-
labour welfare has developed a close relation-
tunities in the field of labour welfare.24 In
ship with the growth and development of the past decade some institutes mainly for
social work training programmes in the labour welfare outside the field of social work
country.23 As this school was started under have also come into existence and continue
the auspices of the Sir Dorab Tata Trust to function. As a matter of fact, there has
in Bombay which was financed by the House been an increasing trend toward the establish-
of Tata, one of the largest industrial concerns ment of new centres or institutes for
in the country, training for labour welfare specialised training in labour welfare outside
took it roots there. Moreover, some of the social work which includes not only courses
progressive developments in the field of on labour welfare but in industrial relations
industrial labour during the 1920's and 1930's and personnel management as well. With the
had influenced the introduction of welfare changing conceptions of personnel manage-
activities in a few large industrial centres ment, new institutes for training in manage-
by the employers themselves, who had ment have also been established at several
pioneered some form of in-service training places.
for labour welfare officers in such industries
as the cotton textile and the jute industries.
For a long time professional social work
Although the curriculum and teaching has been highly correlated with the field of
material adopted in the first school was labour welfare not only by some of the
categorized as generic and no major areas schools themselves, but by the employers,
of specialisation were created till 1944, yet government officials and leaders of voluntary
the training programme was entirely based social work. The emergence of the fields
upon American social work on the one hand of personnel management and business
and reflected the need for the training administration on the one hand and the
of labour welfare officers on the other. development of social insurance, growth of
The provision for the appointment of trade unionism and social security measures
welfare officers in industries under the and increasing acceptance of welfare activities
Indian Factories Act of 1948, gave a con-
by the employer on the other, have confronted
siderable stimulus to training for labour the schools of social work with fundamental
welfare, industrial relations and personnel dilemma as to whether new roles of industrial
management. The schools which were relations and personnel management belong
established in subsequent years included this to the field of social work. From the descrip-
specialisation as a part of the professional tion of functions, as presented by social work
training for social work with the result that educators, which the welfare officers are
labour welfare specialisation has been the usually called upon to perform today, it seems
23See M. V. Moorthy, "Labou r Welfare", in A. R. Wadi a (ed.) History and Philosophy
of Social Work, op. cit., Chapter 13, and also E. J. S. R a m , "Duties of a Labour
Welfare Officer", Indian Journal of Social Work, December, 1957, p p . 183-190.
2 4 Draft Repor t of the India n Conference of Social Work, op. cit.

146
HANS NAGPAUL
doubtful if these functions belong to the field tions and the contents of training programmes
of professional social work. Gore tells us that for labour welfare, could not come to any
the job of a labour welfare officer as defined final conclusion.28 Recently the Institute,
by the government in recent legislation on nevertheless, instituted a separate degree pro-
the subject can hardly be identified as a gramme for personnel management and
social work job.25 Kudchedkar points out that labour welfare apart from the social work
the designation of the welfare officer in degree, but within its existing framework.
industry is sometimes regarded as a misnomer The other schools are still hesitant to change
because the duties of this officer as laid down the established pattern or to abolish this field
under the Factories Act, not only deal of specialisation from their training pro-
with welfare functions, but also
gramme because this specialisation is the only
substantially cover the increasingly
one for which social work training is
important responsibilities of industrial rela-
statutorily recognized, and for which major
tions and personnel administration at the demand exists among the applicants seeking
factory level. He has further commented that admission to the schools of social work and
the welfare officer is often required to handle for which employment opportunities are
manifold responsibilities in addition to his relatively more available and with better
function of having familiarity with labour salaries. It may also be pointed out here that
legislation and labour case law whose com-
labour welfare specialisation happens to be
plexity is baffling and which are increasingly the field of study for which the schools are
so rapidly changing that the so-called labour generally ill-equipped in terms of training
welfare officer cannot completely cope with because most of the faculty members usually
it and also maintain professional efficiency.26 do not have the requisite experience of work-
The controversy about the training pro-
ing in industrial settings, the field work
grammes for labour welfare as a part of consists mainly of observation and courses of
social work education has received consider-
instruction are not necessarily consistent
able attention in recent years. At the Seminar with the philosophy and methods of social
of the Schools of Social Work in 1961, work.
sponsored by the Technical Cooperation
Mission of the United States Government,
The other specialisations offered by many
this question was debated and the general schools of social work relate to the
opinion of the delegates from the schools fields of rural welfare, tribal welfare
was that the industrial settings could provide and urban community development,
sufficient opportunities for students to practise and at least in one school, specialisation is
social work.27 However, in 1963, the Study provided in social research as well. Almost
Group on Labour Training Re-Organization 80% of the Indian population still lives in
of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, rural areas where levels of living are very
which examined the place of social work in poor and that large-scale programmes of
industrial settings in terms of labour welfare, rural development have been introduced
personnel management and industrial rela-
throughout the country. Although the schools
25See Gore, Social Work and Social Work Education, op, cit., p. 9 0 .
26L. S. Kudchedkar , "Trainin g for Labou r Welfare," Indian Journal of Social Work,
April 1967, p. 73.
27See Proceedings of the Semina r of the Faculty of Schools of Social Work in India , held
in 1960, and K. N. Vaid. T h e Labour Welfare Officer: An Account and Analysis of his
Job and Training and of Social Work Component of Labour Welfare Practice (Delhi, 1962).
28See Repor t of the Study Grou p on Labou r Trainin g Reorganization, T a t a Institute' of
Social Sciences, (Bombay, 1963).

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL WORK SPECIALITIES
147
of social work have been offering courses on
Tribal welfare is considered a major field
rural welfare from the very beginning and of specialisation by at least four schools of
at least seven schools claim to have specialisa-
social work, though Tata Institute of Social
tion, it is a well known fact that the Indian Sciences used to be the only school where
professional social worker has failed to adequate training facilities had existed in the
establish its role in the field of rural welfare. past and even here this specialisation has
The very fact that a large number of centres, declined.30 In all the Five Year Plans, the
institutes and orientation camps are function-
welfare of backward classes including tribal
ing for the training of different categories of welfare has been given special attention.
rural welfare personnel outside the pro-
This is understandable in view of the fact
fessional social work indicates the failure of that almost one hundred million persons are
the schools to assume responsibility for the classified as belonging to backward classes in
training of such personnel. In 1961 Dasgupta the country. The various welfare programmes
wrote that "the time is, therefore, not far specifically established for this section of the
when social workers and institutes offering population require a group of qualified
training in social work should plan to re-
persons to administer them. The study com-
orient their curriculum of studies to meet pleted by the Indian Conference on Social
the coming challenge of the growing rural Work has, however, revealed that the number
society in India."29 The study completed by of social workers working in the field of
the Indian Conference of Social Work in tribal welfare is very insignificant. As a matter
1967 has observed that in the field of rural of fact, out of the total number of 1107
welfare, limited employment opportunities social workers included in this study, only
exist for social workers. In recent years there eight workers, have been listed against tribal
have been some collaborative efforts among welfare. One of the major reasons why social
all the institutions which are training welfare workers do not take up positions in this field
personnel for the field of rural welfare. relates to the fact that the tribal welfare
However, it is true even today, that no settings are generally inaccessible and demand
particular preference is given to social work hard work on the one hand but provide in-
graduates in this field nor do the schools of adequate monetary rewards and little com-
social work have reoriented their basic curri-
forts of life, on the other. Further, a number
culum to the special needs and problems of of Tribal Research Institutes exist outside
Indian rural settings. In the field of rural the field of social work which offer training
welfare, the problems of social administra-
facilities for tribal welfare workers, and as
tion, community organization and develop-
these Institutes are located in such places
ment, directed change and social research where comprehensive programmes for tribal
seem to be the most important areas for welfare have been established, the field of
which social welfare personnel is needed. tribal welfare has not been able to attract
Essentially, it is the administration of rural many social workers. In addition, Indian
welfare programmes which is of prime anthropologists have been also interested both
importance in the context of the prevailing in the study of tribal life and in the provision
conditions in India.
of welfare activities in-as-much-as that the
2 9 Sugata Dasgupta, "Rura l Welfare in India, " History an d Philosophy of Social Wor k in
India, op. cit., pp. 206-207.
30See B. H. Mehta , "Triba l Welfare," History an d Philosophy of Social Wor k In India ,
op. cit., Chapter 17. Since the retirement of Professor Mehta in 1965 from the T a t a
Institute of Social Sciences, the training programme in Tribal Welfare received a setback.
U n d e r the revised plan, the Institute has abolished this specialisation from 1967.

148
H A N S NAGPAUL
Government of India maintains a special have not yet established their specialised
Department of Anthropology for the purpose roles in this field on the basis of their
of research a n d training. Indeed, it is the competence.31 T h e study of the Indian
development and administration of tribal Conference on Social Work has reported that
welfare programmes which demand a group very limited employment opportunities exist
of qualified persons to assume the necessary for social workers in the field of urban com-
responsibilities and it is this area of tribal munity development at the present time.
welfare to which the schools have not given In the context of I n d i a n society, as t h e fields
adequate attention.
of health, education and social welfare co-
exist and often interpenetrate at a local level,
Again, at the present time, one-fourth of community development both in the urban
the Indian population lives in urban areas and rural areas is essentially a multi-dimen-
and cities having 100,000 and more sional activity. Accordingly, any specialisation
inhabitants have been on the increase in the offered in community organization needs to
last two decades. T h e need for specialised be established on an inter-disciplinary basis
programmes of urban redevelopment a n d and which should take into consideration ail
urban community development has been the basic social sciences. The existing courses
accepted in the Draft Fourth Five Year Plan;
of training in community organization at the
social welfare programmes are also being schools of social work rely heavily on
intensified at least in large cities, family American social work and tend to neglect
planning programmes are being introduced on
contributions from the fields of economics,
a wider scale than ever before; a n d slum political science, and sociology and cultural
clearance and improvement programmes have
anthropology.
been initiated to improve the living conditions
in Indian cities. It is true that all schools of
C U L T U R E AND SOCIAL W O R K EDUCATION
social work are offering courses on urban
community development and organization;
Higher Education in India as we know
but the T a t a Institute of Social Sciences is today had its origin in the middle of the 19th
the only school which has a well-established century when it was introduced by a foreign
specialisation in this field. T h e working of political power. This system of education was
the Delhi Pilot Project established by the primarily based on the culture and society
Delhi Municipal Corporation in 1959 to of the West, especially that of the English.
promote the growth of community life and T h e forces of nationalism and the growing
to encourage the development of citizen power of the national leadership which
participation in the programmes of social emerged between the two World Wars pro-
welfare has demonstrated t h a t we need duced some major changes in the system of
several categories of welfare personnel in the education. But the system in practice con-
field of urban community development. tinued to predominate till the Independence
Moreover, the professional social workers of the country in 1947, and in the main it
31See B. Chatterjee, " U r b a n Communit y Development in I n d i a : T h e Delh i Pilot Project,"
in Roy T u r n e r , India's U r b a n Future (Berkeley, U.S.A., 1962), Chapter I V . Evaluation
Study of the Vikas Mandals, First Report (1962) Second Report (1965) issued by the
Department of U r b a n Community Development, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Marshall
Clinard, Slums and Community Development (New York, 1966), Part I I I , and Report
of the Committee on Rural-Urban Relationship, Government of India, (New Delhi, 1966),
Appendix IV. For a critical appraisal also see H. Nagpaul, "A Community Development
for Urban Areas in India," in International Review of Community Development ( R o m e ) ,
Number 9, 1962.

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
149
still exists today, with some modifications educational programmes which would be
here and there. T h e foreignness of higher established in various societies.33 T h e
education was so m u c h all-inclusive that the emergence a n d development of educational
very language in which higher education was
sociology in the United States, which began
imparted or acquired or expressed h a d been
around the First World W a r and continued
foreign. For this reason the higher education
till the Second World War, led to the
system had come to depend completely for publication of extensive a n d significant
its growth and development on the Western
literature on social foundations of the
culture, and it still continues to derive an American educational system. Although
over-riding inspiration from it.32 But nothing American sociologists in recent years have
reveals more clearly the alien aura of higher
preferred to refer to sociological analysis of
education than the m a n n e r in which social education as sociology of education, the old
work curriculum is organized today. T h e theme of socio-cultural foundations of educa-
existing system of social work education is tion continues to receive considerable atten-
largely unrelated to the conditions prevailing tion, emphasizing the educational system as a
in Indian society and there exists a wide gulf
social microcosm of the larger social system.34
between its content and purposes, and the T h e voluminous American literature which
needs of national development.
is available on the subject has, however,
In every society, education at all levels is completely neglected the growth and develop-
highly influenced by its culture and the ment of educational systems in those countries
various dimensions connected therewith. of Asia and Africa which h a d been under
W h a t a society wants its children and young the rule of European powers for hundreds
persons to learn and practise, primarily of years. In such countries, t h e Western
depends on the cultural values it holds. T h e culture flowed all these years, with the result
functions of education therefore rest not only that modern educational systems took their
on the prevailing social, economic, and birth, super-imposing themselves on the
political conditions b u t also on the ideals traditional patterns of education and life. As
visualized and formulated by the society for a matter of fact, the educational system in
its future which are usually reflected in the such countries, especially higher education,
Constitution and legal structure on the one has not become part of the self-reproductive
hand, and in the dominant mores of the process of the domonant institutional system
society on the other. Basically, sociologists and has been unable to free itself from its
regard education as a distinctively social foreign origins and connections; rather it
phenomenon or a social institution, which continues to derive its inspiration from the
like other social phenomena or social institu-
intellectual output which emanates from the
tions, is a product of the culture itself. culture and society of the West. It is un-
Durkheim indicated, long before the modern fortunate that Indian sociologists have under-
sociology of education arose, that education taken little research on the different facets
was something essentially social in character, of their own educational system. For the first
origins and functions. He was emphatic in time, Indian scholars showed some interest
pointing out that differences in socio-cultural in the sociology of education when a Seminar
needs would play a major role in the type of
was organized in December, 1964.
32See Repor t of th e Educatio n Commission in Indi a (New Delhi , 1966) , C h a p t e r 1.
33Emile Durkheim , Education and Sociology, translated by S. D. Fox, (New York, 1956) .
34See William Stanley et al., Social Foundation s of Educatio n (Ne w York, 1956) and
William Cole and Roy Cox, Social Foundations of Education (New York, 1968).

150
HANS NAGPAUL
It is beyond doubt that Indian higher which are attempting to offer professional
education in general is still dominated by social work are essentially social casework
foreign elements, and the need for "India-
agencies in practice.
nization" exists. But social work education
presents a unique case where influence of
The transmission and diffusion of American
foreign elements is almost universal and social work with its psychological frame of
where there is a crying need for its "India-
reference to other parts of the world have
nization". Social work in any society is a been fairly rapid. The four international
product of its culture and is highly influenced surveys on training for social work published
by the prevailing social, cultural, economic by the United Nations fully testify to this
and political conditions on the one hand and fact.35 It is true that these surveys have
by the ideals which the society has for Us emphasized the need for the development of
future on the other. The very basis of social a sociological perspective on social work and
work as a helping activity lies embedded in have recognized the importance of know-
the culture. American social work has ledge about the social, cultural, economic,
traditionally accepted a frame of reference governmental and legal framework of the
based upon the concept of personality for its community in the social work curriculum.
practice, and, accordingly, knowledge from But it is regrettable that even these surveys
the fields of psychology and psychiatry has reflect considerable influence of the psycho-
been sought and incorporated in social work logical frame of reference, with the result
knowledge and skills. Although the need for that there seems to be an imperceptible belief
a sociological frame of reference has increas-
in the practice-oriented social work educa-
ingly been advocated in the United States tion as imparted in the United States. More-
in the last few years, yet what Mills wrote over, these surveys, while admitting the
almost twenty-five years ago seem to be still existence of varied conceptions of social
applicable to the large section of American philosophy in different countries, have
social work which has, of late, claimed to implicitly revealed their bias toward those
have assumed the status of professional social social and political ideals which are held by
work. Mills was critical of the dominant American social work though they may not
emphasis in social work on situational aspects even be widely accepted in the American
of social problems and had deplored society itself. The cultural context of social
its failure to view flaws in the social structure work has received attention more as an
as contributing to pathological situations. article of faith, with meagre sociological
Even today, American social work is primarily analysis of the foundations and conceptions
individual-oriented, and courses on social of social work in different societies. Again,
casework, human growth and development these surveys, by and large, have made no
and other courses connected with the psycho-
attempt to examine the applicability of
logical, psychiatric and psychoanalytical American social work methods in other
findings about human personality over-shadow societies and have instead accepted them as
the role of socio-cultural factors and provide universal without much reservations. Even
the basic foundation of social work pro-
most of the American social work literature
fessional training. As a matter of fact, it will itself is replete with a basic assumption that
be fair to say that most of the voluntary its philosophical tenets, methods and skills are
social welfare agencies in the United States applicable to every culture.
35United Nations, Training for Social Work, International Surveys, 1950, 1955, 1958, 1964.

151
APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
American scholars have not yet presented
purposes, principles and methods of social
a universal philosophy of social work nor
work.
have they demonstrated that the American
model of social work education can meet the
T h e need to develop Indian social work
needs of such societies which have a different education on the cultural foundations of the
religio-philosophical orientation. W h e n we Indian society thus becomes apparent.36 It
attempt to analyze the philosophy of social is from the culture itself that education should
work in any society, we find that it is related be created if it is to become meaningful.
to something more basic which is called Culture embraces philosophy, religion and
culture. It is the setting or framework of the science as well as folklore a n d superstition,
cultural complex of a society which deter-
and it includes moral beliefs, standards of
mines not only the conception of social work good and evil and those of right and wrong.
itself but its knowledge, skills and methods as As a matter of fact, every culture has its
well. Apart from the philosophical, social, distinctive "way of life", which not only
economic, and political elements which reflects the indigenous pattern on the explicit
dominate the cultural complex, social work level alone, but on the implicit, half consci-
is highly influenced by such factors as the ous, emotional and perhaps mythical level as
type of welfare services available and the well. Underlying this "way of life", every
administrative structure of organizations culture has a set of dominant values which
providing welfare services. In this connection exercises tremendous influence on all aspects
the First United Nations Survey rightly of life. Education, too, is immersed in such
observed:
values because it is always normative in
character. All societies must cope with the
There appears to be some measure of task of transmitting their cultural traditions
agreement that the social worker should to the new generation and therefore develop
have an understanding of (a) the cultural formal educational institutions at different
political, social, economic forces affecting levels. These institutions and hence the educa-
the lives of the people he serves a n d the tion cannot become a social institution and
social and economic problems that they an integral part of the culture if there is a
face; (b) the legislation, services, and wide divergence between the dominant
organizations created by the State and the religion-philosophical foundations and the
community in order to promote social and basis of the educational system. In a society
economic well-being; (c) the patterns, both which is undergoing a rapid social change,
normal and abnormal, of the physical and education, in general, plays a vital role not
psychological development of m a n ; ( d ) the only as a socializing process but as a dominant
interaction of psychological and environ-
instrument to promote directed socio-cultural
mental factors in situations of cultural, changes. In this context higher education,
social and economic stress; and (e) the especially higher education in social work,
36In recent years, several India n social work educators have expressed somewhat similar
views, but they have' brought little change in the existing curriculum of t h e institutions
for which they work. See K. D. Gangrade, "Conflicting Value Systems and Social
Casework," Indian Journal of Social Work Jan. 1964, p p . 247-256; M. S. Gore, "Cultural
Perspectives in Social Work in India," International Social Work, July, 1966, pp. 6-16.
Also see Sindhu Phadke, "Values of Social Work and Cultural Impediments in their
Acceptance and Practice," Social Work Forum, July, 1966, and K. Mukundarao, "Social
Work in I n d i a : Indigenous Culture Bases and the Processes of Modernization," International
Social Work, No. 3, pp. 29-39.

152
H A N S NAGPAUL
has to shoulder responsibilities of social work relate to the general cultural beliefs,
statesmanship and to develop leadership, with norms, values, attitudes and traditions built
commitment to social reform and social around different aspects of life. In a society
change. Social work education which main-
where some of the basic problems of mass
tains the traditional conceptions of working poverty loom large, where levels of health,
with individuals, groups and communities education, housing, recreation and welfare
and which is primarily clinically oriented, are extremely low, where religio-philosophical
facilitating and strengthening individual's beliefs and traditions are deeply rooted and
capacity to cope with his problems, seems to where the political system is committed to
have little relevance to Indian society and promote industrialization a n d modernization
culture.
through social and economic planning,
conceptions of social work and social work
SOCIAL ADMINISTRATIVE PERSPECTIVE ON
education which have been formulated and
SOCIAL W O R K EDUCATION
nourished in Western countries, especially in
the United States, have very little relevance.
Every educational system is exposed to a
great variety of forces within the culture
pattern of its society which determine its
In the context of Indian culture and
character and define the problems that the society, we need to develop the social
schools and universities must face. It is the administration a p p r o a c h to social work. T h e
cultural pattern with all its dimensions which scope and methodology of social administra-
determines the scope and direction of educa-
tion are still ill-defined. But, broadly speaking,
tion. People who live differently think it has four major dimensions which may be
differently, perceive differently, believe in described as: (a) administrative process,
different values, adapt different ways to (b) community organization and develop-
similar environment and find different solu-
ment, (c) social research, a n d (d) social
tions to the same problems. Hence, the policy. T h e task of administering social
cultural pattern of different societies differs, welfare services, private or public, is concer-
even though the form of government and the ned with the structuring of programmes,
political ideals may be the same in all. Both services a n d staff in such a way as to
anthropological and sociological studies have facilitate not only optimum efficiency and
abundantly shown that each established production of services but also the collective
group evolves a version of social life that is welfare of people in the society. As a matter
unique to itself, though all versions provide of fact, the nature and objectives of social
such basic arrangements as family, economy, welfare organizations are different from other
religion, technology, health, education and types of organizations, and hence they call
welfare, and which have come to be called for a different approach, though t h e m a n a -
social institutions. T h e existing level of social gerial skills may not differ fundamentally
and economic development a n d the nature of
from that of administrators in many other
strategies and methods acceptable for the organizations. T h e demand for the organiza-
promotion of further advancement of this tion a n d development of new social welfare
level seem to be the two fundamental factors services to meet the ever changing needs of
which should influence the very conception people, especially in a society where directed
of social work in every society. Some of the social change has become a socially desirable
other factors which a r e rather implicit but goal, has to be taken into consideration in
underlie t h e strategies and methods of social social administration. Moreover, in a society

APPRAISAL OF SOCIAL W O R K SPECIALITIES
153
where a large majority of people has little established, their administration h a d rested
tradition of participation in the formulation of
heavily u p o n the nineteenth century British
social welfare programmes, the elite group culture which was dominated by the classical
involved in social administration has a special
school of economics on t h e one h a n d , and
responsibility to promote civic awareness by the premises of colonial administration on
about social problems and to enlist public the other. Moreover, the British approach to
cooperation from different sections of popu-
administration was not rooted in the cultural
lation. Social research provides the basic values of Indian society, and it did not
data not only on the effectiveness of services promote any specific socio-economic goals
but also for such questions as why are they for the betterment of levels of living in the
needed, why do they function in the way country. Further, it has also neglected the
they do and w h a t are their implications for development of democratic institutions at
the social, economic and political systems ?
different levels of administration to enable
Further, the very task of identification of local leadership participate in the planning,
needs a n d problems rests with social research, formulation, and administration of such
and the analysis of social institutions and of programmes which affected the living condi-
social change requires continuous study. tions of people. T h e direction in which India
Again, the subject of social policy must be has moved since the Independence, and is
considered as an integral part of social likely to continue in the years ahead, is
administration because social welfare services reflected through her Constitution and the
are no longer looked u p o n as an accidental Five Year Plans. This direction has been
growth. T h e development a n d establishment reiterated in one of the publications of t h e
of statutory social welfare services have United Nations as follows :
increasingly become important responsibilities
Enshrined in the constitution are the
of the State in every society and require a
national objectives and tasks that the
systematic formulation, planning and analysis
Indian people have set for themselves. T h e
in conjunction with the programming of
country is committed to evolving an inte-
economic development. T h e recent publica-
grated national community, a just social
tions of the United Nations have also strongly
order and harmonious culture, assimilating
emphasized the need for the integration of
the heritage of the past with the compul-
social and economic development pro-
sions of the present. T h e underlying
grammes in the developing countries.
principle of the Indian Constitution is to
T h e need for the development of social
enable people to attain, progressively
administration approach to social work is
higher levels of living m a d e possible by
further strengthened in view of the fact that
developments in sciences and technology.
the field of public administration, as deve-
It is also necessary to ensure t h a t these
loped under the British rule a n d which has
developments are fully compatible with
continued without m u c h modification till to-
fundamental h u m a n values such as justice,
day, had little social orientation in the
liberty, equality, and fraternity. T h e
provision and administration of social welfare
Directive Principles of State Policy under-
services. As a matter of fact, some of the
line the concept of social justice; prescribe
basic social welfare services were lacking for
that ownership and control of resources be
a long time, and, whatever services were
so ordered as to promote the common
" S e e R. M. Titmuss, "Social Administration in a Changing Society," in his Essays on
Welfare State (London, 1960), David Marsh (ed.) T h e Study of Social Administration
(London, 1965).

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HANS NAGPAUL
good; enjoin the recognition of the right
protection to all citizens against unde-
to an adequate means of livelihood and
served want. In short, it has been recogni-
equal pay for equal work; emphasize the
zed that freedom of thought, expression,
need to ensure protection to childhood and
faith, and worship would lose its signi-
youth against exploitation; and prescribe
ficance unless there was also freedom from
the responsibility of the State in providing
want, fear and insecurity.38