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  • 21 Jul 2022 GS Paper 2 Social Justice

    Day 11: There is a great number of NGOs which are working with the government as the partner in the process of development in India. Discuss how the government can utilize the services of NGOs for increasing the reach of the social security programmes. (250 words)

    Approach
    • Give a brief introduction about Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).
    • Discuss the efforts of NGOs to facilitate the implementation of the government initiative.
    • Give a fair Conclusion.

    Answer

    Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs):

    • As defined by the World Bank, NGOs refer to not-for-profit organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development.
    • These organizations are not a part of the government, have a legal status and are registered under the specific Act (Societies Registration Act, 1860 in India) of the government.
    • The term NGO in India denotes a wide spectrum of organizations which may be non-governmental, quasi or semi-governmental, voluntary or non-voluntary etc.

    Importance of NGOs in implementation of the government initiative:

    • The government's role is paramount and also most significant in formulating and delivering socio economic development initiatives in a representative democracy.
      • In addition to achieving social equity, gender equality, and enhancing quality of life, development encompasses more than just economic progress. The state alone cannot properly manage such intricate developmental operations.
    • Non-Governmental Organizations consequently provide the government with support on multiple fronts. The emergence of participatory democracy was facilitated by this need. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are a significant component of civil society and are vital to the nation's growth.
    • However, since the early 1970s, NGOs have been able to legally register and be established in India. NGO began to receive more assistance from the government as soon as they were properly established in a number of different ways.
    • With the famous "GARIBI HATAO" slogan, the GOI recognised the importance of NGOs in India's development during the sixth Five Year Plan.
    • In order to encourage rural development, it gave NGOs the task of developing "self-reliance communities" in the seventh FYP.
    • Later in the ninth FYP, the government tried to establish a countrywide network of NGOs.
    • The tenth FYP increased farmers' understanding of various modern farming practises and government programmes meant for their benefit in order to foresee the requirement and significance of NGOS in the development of the agricultural sector.
    • In addition, the government has promoted the expansion of NGOs through assistance and financial aid programmes.
    • By focusing on specific issues like poverty alleviation, children's rights, caste stigma and discrimination, women's rights, child labour, rural development, water and sanitation, environmental issues, etc. NGOs have been able to accelerate their development efforts with the assistance of the government.
    • NGOs have increased their involvement in the development of social areas including education and health over the past 20 years.
    • Particularly in rural areas, NGOs have been instrumental in re-engaging school dropouts and defending the right to an education.
    • Efforts to eradicate leprosy, TB, malaria, and to improve access to water and sanitation are just a few instances of NGO-led health sector development initiatives that have achieved outstanding results.
    • Example:
      • Lok Prahari is an NGO which was established in 2003 and is proactively working with the government in the domain of good governance.
      • Drishti Foundation Trust is a Non-Government and Non-Profit making organization, established to work in the areas of Health, Education, relief of poor, and to provide amenities and facilities to those who can’t afford.
      • Greenpeace aims to safeguard biodiversity in all of its forms, to stop pollution and exploitation of the oceans, land, air, and fresh water on the planet, and to put an end to all nuclear risks.

    Controversies associated with NGOs:

    • The nation's democratic ideals must be preserved since NGOs have aggressively championed the rights of the underprivileged and poor.
    • However, many NGOs in India are currently the subject of investigations, so it is best to approach their operations with caution.
      • This is primarily due to the declining credibility and lack of accountability of Indian NGOs. Even if not every NGO has the red spot, it is true that many NGO's across the nation do.
    • The work of a few NGOs in support of protests against government actions has proven harmful to the growth of the country, according to a new Intelligence Bureau (IB) assessment.
      • Additionally, it stated that the "foreign funding NGOs" caused a loss of 2-3% of the nation's GDP.
      • It is true that NGOs must speak out to defend human rights and protest, it is just as crucial that they provide the government alternatives to assure development.
      • Simple demonstrations and stopping development efforts would be ineffective and harm the process of establishing a nation.
    • Many NGOs obtain money for their operations from foreign sources, which is a well-known fact. It is also true that these NGOs played a significant role in halting the development of coal and thermal power plants, as well as the Konndankulam nuclear project, both of which led to power shortages in their respective states.
      • There have been certain justifications put out by various sources to limit the accessibility of foreign funding in the wake of the IB report. However, it is completely inappropriate to forbid foreign donations in a country like India.
    • The government needs to be more transparent in order to encourage foreign investment, not block it.

    Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will indeed aid India ’s growth system by taking on more responsibility, offering alternative development ideas, and collaborating with the government and market, which is critical at the moment. A National Accreditation Council consisting of academicians, activists, retired bureaucrats should be made to ensure compliance by NGOs. A regulatory mechanism to keep a watch on the financial activities of NGOs and voluntary organizations is the need of the hour.

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