Development Process various groups and associations,donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders
Voluntary sector in development
Voluntary Organizations play a vital role in the shaping and implementation of participatory democracy. Their credibility lies in the responsible and constructive role they play in society. They have been contributing immensely for quite sometime towards various development programmes. They work at grassroots level even in remote areas and, therefore, their reach is much wider. They are closer to ground realities and know the needs of the communities. Their approach with target group is direct, emphatic and therefore they are able to draw more contextualized plans of action. They also manage to develop intimate contacts with the people and develop confidence among them.
The voluntary sector has contributed significantly to finding innovative solutions to poverty, deprivation, discrimination and exclusion, through means such as awareness raising, social mobilization, service delivery, training, research, and advocacy. The voluntary sector has been serving as an effective non-political link between the people and the Government. This policy recognizes the important role that the voluntary sector has to play in various areas and affirms the growing need for collaboration with the voluntary sector by the Government, as well as by the private sector, at the local, provincial and national levels.
India’s national voluntary sector policy
In the Policy, voluntary organizations (VOs) mean to include organizations engaged in public service, based on ethical, cultural, social, economic, political, religious, spiritual, philanthropic or scientific & technological considerations. VOs include formal as well as informal groups, such as:
- Community-based organizations (CBOs)
- Non-governmental development organizations (NGDOs)
- Charitable organizations
- Support organizations
- Networks or federations of such organisations
- professional membership associations.
The independence of VOs allows them to explore alternative paradigms of development to challenge social, economic and political forces that may work against public interest and to find new ways to combat poverty, deprivation and other social problems. It is therefore crucial that all laws, policies, rules and regulations relating to VOs categorically safeguard their autonomy, while simultaneously ensuring their accountability.
Voluntary organizations may be registered as societies, as charitable trusts, or as non-profit companies under Central or State laws. Some States have adopted the Societies Registration Act (1860), with amendments, while others have independent laws. Similarly, laws relating to charitable trusts vary across States. Over time, many of these laws and their corresponding rules have become complex and restrictive, thus leading to delays, harassment and corruption. As the nodal agency for interface between the Government and the Voluntary Sector, the Planning Commission will encourage State Governments to review prevailing laws & rules and simplify, liberalise and rationalise them as far as possible. In order to facilitate registration of non-profit companies, the Government will examine measures to simplify procedures under section 25 of the Companies Act (1956), including those for license, registration, and remuneration to member-employees.
The Government will also examine the feasibility of enacting a simple and liberal central law that will serve as an alternative all- India statute for registering VOs, particularly those that wish to operate in different parts of the country and even abroad. Such a law would co-exist with prevailing central and state laws, allowing a VO the option of registering under one or more laws, depending on the nature and sphere of its activities.
There has been much public debate on the voluntary sector, particularly its governance, accountability, and transparency. It is widely believed that the voluntary sector must address these issues through suitable self-regulation. The Government will encourage the evolution of, and subsequently accord recognition to, an independent, national level, self-regulatory agency for the voluntary sector.
At the same time, there is need to bolster public confidence in the voluntary sector by opening it up to greater public scrutiny. The Government will encourage Central and State level agencies to introduce norms for filing basic documents in respect of VOs, which have been receiving funding by Government agencies and placing them in the public domain (with easy access through the internet) in order to inculcate a spirit of public oversight.
Public donation is an important source of funds for the voluntary sector and one that can and must increase substantially. Tax incentives play a positive role in this process. Stocks and s hares have become a significant form of wealth in the country today. In order to encourage transfer of shares and stock options to VOs, the Government will consider suitable tax rebates for this form of donation. The Government will also simplify and streamline the system for granting income tax exemption status to charitable projects under the Income Tax Act. At the same time, the Government will consider tightening administrative and penal procedures to ensure that these incentives are not misused by paper charities for private financial gain.
Role of Civil Society in development process
civil society is recognized as encompassing far more than a mere “sector” dominated by the NGO community: civil society today includes an ever wider and more vibrant range of organized and unorganized groups, as new civil society actors blur the boundaries between sectors and experiment with new organizational forms, both online and off.
Over the last two decades, civil society has evolved significantly. Viewed at a global level, civil society is flourishing. Technology, geopolitics and the markets have created opportunities and pressures, spurring the creation of millions of civil society organizations around the world, giving rise to exciting models for citizen expression both online and offline, and generating increasing involvement in global governance processes.
Their positive role and contribution to the developmental activities in the country are evident in the various people centric and sustainable movements. For instance, Narmada Bachao Andolan fighting for displaced villagers of the villages submerged under the dam and the Niyamgiri Hills agitation against mining by the tribals in Orissa. NGOs like Rotary International and Gates foundation have also contributed to the success of the Polio Eradication initiative, vaccine development while the contribution of Medicine Sans Frontieres (MSF) is exceptional in providing medical aid and treatment for diseases like TB, AIDS and Malaria.
Pressure Groups & their role
Pressure group are the interest groups which work to secure certain interest by influencing the public policy. They are non-aligned with any political party and work as indirect yet powerful group to influence the decision.
Pressure groups play following roles in the process of development:
- Trade/ Employment based pressure groups: these entities represent the citizens working in any trade related activities and influences government moves by its demands or concerns. All India Trade Union is one such instance. These groups demands for changes in the developmental activities concerned to them, mainly oriented towards pay, equal opportunities at work, bonus, leave policy etc.
- Student based Pressure groups provides for the concerns associated with the students, Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishat ABVP is one such instance, they attract the government by means of projecting there demands wrt to changes in education policies be it is related to sports, teachers, exam schedule, freedom of expression of students etc.
- Agricultural based Pressure groups influences government policies by directing it to understand the plight of farmers, debts, subsidies, support on equipment’s, loans, waivers on it etc. Akila Bharitiya Kisan sangh, Karnataka raita sangha are such instances.
- Business related pressure groups mounts pressure on government and influences to address its concerns, be it changes in tax policies, amending corporate policies, providing soaps for the sector, etc. FICCI, CII, NASSCOM are such examples.
- Media are one such pressure groups, either be it, print, visual or audio mode, it provides for non partisan coverage and effectively lays the facts in front of the masses to understand the ground situation as it is without distorting or manipulating the news.
Role of donors in development
Many Donor organizations and countries of the world have been donating or lending billions of money as aid for long time in many third world countries and underdeveloped and developing countries for organising various types of social and economical development programs including poverty alleviation. Many countries do their development works by using the foreign assistance. There are many NGOs and Government Organizations establish for doing various types of development activities including poverty alleviation programs or works.
We know, the aid expectant organizations prepare several project proposals and generally donor organizations or countries approve those proposals doing some changes or not to do any changes and give them fund, donation or debt to implement those programs/projects. After getting fund, those organizations or authorities try to finish their project within the project tenure and they publish a beautiful and good looking project completion report and send it to funding organizations and many others organizations and authorities desiring further assistance for upcoming another projects.
Roles of charitable organizations
A wide range of philanthropic giving takes place in India, ranging from individuals making modest gifts to international foundations hoping to influence the development and direction of civil society. Broadly, philanthropic resources can be classified under the following categories, each of which is described in more detail below.
- Individual giving
- Foundations and trusts
- International foundations and charities
- Regranting organizations
- Religious philanthropy
- Corporate philanthropy
The foregoing overview of philanthropic investors and investments in India shows a commitment to promote just and equitable development in the country through the use of “private resources for the public good.” These efforts should be recognized, applauded, and held up as exemplars to others. But in truth, current levels of philanthropic resources in India are severely limited when compared to either the challenges facing the country or the ability of the wealthy to engage in addressing them. To have a true impact, more actors and greater resources more strategically invested are required.
India’s long and commendable heritage of ‘Merchant Philanthropy’ has occupied an important place in the development of Indian society. Business sector contributions have supported issues ranging from relief in times of natural calamities and epidemics, to building and supporting temples, rest houses, water tanks, bathing ghats and wells, to supporting education initiatives and even dowries for poor girls.
This tradition has grown over the last several decades. Corporations are increasingly interested in social investment and corporate social responsibility. The presence of a large number of multinationals (including finance, insurance, and telecommunications companies) have led to increased investments in the development space. Nevertheless, the potential of the corporate sector to promote true social change remains largely untapped.
For Tata Sons, concern for the community came from its founder, the late Jamsetji Tata and has continued; Tata Sons are considered leaders not only in their industrial endeavors but in philanthropic activity as well. Today Tata Sons, comprising 60 companies, operates six trusts distributing approximately Rs. 120 crore. The Tata Trusts fund projects on progressive education, public health, rural reconstruction activities, as well as running hospitals, educational institutions, and cultural institutions.
The Birla Group also has a solid philanthropic reputation. The K.K. Birla Foundation has an annual income of Rs. 90 lakhs, made up of interest on corpus funds and donations from companies operated by K. K. Birla. Most of the welfare work is done.
by the Trust itself, though occasionally ad-hoc grants — in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50.000 — are given on humanitarian grounds. In addition, the Birlas are pioneers in building state-of-the-art temples all over the country.
The Bajaj Group has also been a leader in corporate philanthropy in India working in the areas of the education of women, abolition of child marriage, education, promotion of forestry, and the popularization of khadi and village industries. In 1942, The Jamnalal Seva Trust was set up with an initial corpus of Rs. 500,000; representing Jamnalal Bajaj’s entire share in the family wealth. After Jamnalal’s death, his wife also surrendered her wealth for development and relief efforts.
The Citibank India Community Support Program was launched in June 1997 to focus on micro-credit organizations working to empower under-privileged urban women through income generation. The program is based on the ‘Banking on Enterprise’ program and builds on Citibank’s extensive experience in supporting NGOs that serve the under-privileged across the world. The program is based on the philosophy of selfreliance and volunteerism. Citibank works with five local NGOs to implement the program. Citibank India’s Micro-credit Community Support Program has been acknowledged as a ‘unique example of public-private partnership’.
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