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Sahakar Mitra: Scheme on Internship Programme

  • 13 Jun 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has launched a Scheme on Internship Programme (SIP) i.e. Sahakar Mitra.

  • It is an initiative by the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) for young professionals. It is expected to be beneficial for both i.e. cooperatives as well as for the young professionals.
  • Earlier, the government launched 'The Urban Learning Internship Program (TULIP) Portal' to provide internship opportunities to thousands of fresh graduates and engineers of the country under the 'Smart City' projects.

Key Points

  • Objectives:
    • The Sahakar Mitra scheme will help cooperative institutions access new and innovative ideas of young professionals while the interns will gain experience of working in the field to be self-reliant.
    • It will provide the young professionals an opportunity of practical exposure and learning from the working of NCDC and cooperatives as a paid intern.
    • It would also provide an opportunity to professionals from academic institutions to develop leadership and entrepreneurial roles through cooperatives as Farmers Producers Organizations (FPO).
    • In line with the AtmaNirbhar Bharat (Self Reliant India), it focuses on the importance of Vocal for Local.
  • Eligibility:
    • Professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas, IT, etc.
    • Professionals who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agribusiness, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade, Forestry, Rural Development, Project Management, etc.
  • Financial Support:
    • NCDC has designated funds for the paid internship program under which each intern will get financial support over a 4 months internship period.

National Cooperative Development Corporation

  • Formation: The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) was established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 as a statutory Corporation under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.
  • Headquarters: NCDC functions through its Head Office at New Delhi and multiple Regional Offices.
  • Objectives:
    • The objectives of NCDC are planning and promoting programmes for production, processing, marketing, storage, export and import of agricultural produce, foodstuffs, industrial goods, livestock and certain other notified commodities and services on cooperative principles.
    • The NCDC has the unique distinction of being the sole statutory organisation functioning as an apex financial and developmental institution exclusively devoted to the cooperative sector.
    • It is a major financial institution for cooperatives, and has recently started Mission Sahakar 22, which aims to double farmers’ income by 2022.

About Cooperatives

  • According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise. E.g. FPOs as cooperatives.
  • An FPO, formed by a group of farm producers, is a registered body with producers as shareholders in the organisation.
    • It deals with business activities related to the farm produce and it works for the benefit of the member producers.

Provisions of Indian Constitution related to Cooperatives

  • The Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 added a new Part IXB right after Part IXA (Municipals) regarding the cooperatives working in India.
  • The word “cooperatives” was added after “unions and associations” in Art. 19(1)(c) under Part III of the Constitution. This enables all the citizens to form cooperatives by giving it the status of fundamental right of citizens.
  • A new Article 43B was added in the Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) regarding the “promotion of cooperative societies”.

Way Forward

  • NCDC should develop some techniques to evaluate the performance of cooperatives and encourage them to perform better.
  • The scheme will provide a boost to government-academia-industry-civil society linkages.
  • Further, India needs to learn from technical and vocational training/education models in China, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and Singapore, and adopt a comprehensive model that can bridge the skill gaps and ensure employability of youths.

Source: PIB

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