First and foremost, I acknowledge the valuable role played by Dr. J.C. Parikh, my supervisor, whose encouragement and willing support kept me going to the end. His patience with my idiosyncrasies was indeed exemplary and he deserves congratulations on this enviable virtue of his. His promptness in giving me feedback on my rough drafts facilitated the uninterrupted progress of the study.
I would like to thank Director Tushaar Shah of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, for his generosity in extending the Institute's facilities to me for completion of the thesis.
I am grateful to my colleague, Dr. T.R. Madan Mohan, for his constant shock-treatment, without which I would never have ever stirred out of my slumber. His critical comments on my draft are also acknowledged with gratitude. I am also grateful to Dr. P. Thomas for his comments and suggestions on the first chapter and the last.
Dr.N.P. Singh and Dr. Sukhpal Singh critiqued the chapter on Results and Discussion. Mr. B.S. Khanna went through all the chapters in detail and gave me suggestions for improving various aspects of the thesis. My sincere thanks to all of them.
Special mention deserves to be made of my appreciation of the unremitting help and cooperation provided by Mr. S. Srinivas, Chief Librarian, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, in hunting for some of the elusive literature, relevant for the study. I also thank Mrs. Lissy Verghese for her help in my literature search.
I thank Miss Sheelamani, Systems Analyst, Computer Centre, IRMA, for her help in converting some of the results into graphics. The computing help provided by Miss Shefali Patel is gratefully acknowledged. The credit for the print quality belongs to Mr. Seetha Ramam.
I am extremely obliged to Asmi, my wife, Amuda, my daughter, and Asish, my son --
all of whom