1. NGOs may be called as a product of the perceived and demonstrated inadequacies of the state tied traditional model of development. Discuss.
NGO’s abbreviated as Non-governmental organizations are voluntary and non-profit motive organizations whose main aim to serve the needy and protect their interests. India close to more than 30 lakh registered NGO’s whose growth has been tied to states inefficiencies.
State’s traditional model of development:
· Centralization and top down approach: Every decisions and communications are from top management i.e. central government.
· One size fits all and resistance to Changes: resistance to changes in methods or innovations.
· Not People oriented: They do what they think is best for people.
Due to these there is lack of development because of which NGO’s have taken the interest to fill the gap by their methods:
Nonprofit: They work on non-profit motive.
Changes: they adapt to changing times and needs.
People centered: They interact with common people and carry out work with their involvement.
Niche: They are unique in their methods and adapt to local environment.
Funds: They acquire huge funds from corporates and governments but there is no transparency in there transactions.
Growth and development: In recent years they have been known to disturb peaceful growth and development of country due to there interests.
Not just these, they have been known to be threat to law and order problem in Kashmir by supporting anti-national activities and Rohingya migration. They have taken up the role of state and helped many issues from environmental to development but that doesn’t justify their involvement in anti-national activities and those which affect growth and development of country.
2. The belief that the voluntary sector represents the view of the vulnerable social groups or are sympathetic towards them needs a closer scrutiny. Critically comment.
Recent reports from Intelligence shows that the voluntary sectors are creating issues and stopping India’s development than the so called belief that they are working for growth of development of country.
Issues with voluntary group:
Huge: There are more than 30 lakh registered groups but there operations are away from public scrutiny.
Transparency and accountability: They use funds from public and government but they are accountable for none.
Anti-national activities: They are known to support Naxal and separatist activities in India.
Economic growth: They are known to create trouble in projects meant for nation’s growth and development like Kudankulam nuclear plant, Chelakere Nuclear complex, Sardar sarovar project. Etc
Funds: There source of funds are hidden from public glare and they are known to receive huge funds from groups who are against India’s growth.
Returns: Majority of them don’t file their annual returns to the government and people involved in it enjoy lavish lifestyle but outside showcase as commoners.
Some of them are really involved in development works:
Child rights: Some Ngo’s are involved in child rights and protection like Bachpan bacho andolan.
Self-help groups: To alleviate people in poverty, bring tribal’s to main stream, education rights etc.
Human rights: Many are involved in human rights protection, civil rights, democratic rights protection among others.
Ngo’s have been both boon and bane to our country. So, government should register and scrutinize there workings. They should be under public accountability, there funds and transactions should be available not just to government but public too since it involves there money too.
3. In the quest for financial inclusion, SHGs have played a prominent role in India. Examine the guiding principles of the working of SHGs in the area of financial inclusion.
Self-Help Group (SHG) is a small voluntary association of poor people, preferably from the same socio-economic background. They come together for the purpose of solving their common problems through self-help and mutual help.
How SHGs have played a prominent role:
Providing last mile connectivity: Fills the gap between banks and unbanked population.
By generating awareness not only among its own members but also in the peer groups.
The SHG promotes small savings among its members. The savings are kept with a bank.
Availability of credit to its members.
Employment generation as means of financial inclusion- SHGs promotes entrepreneurship.
They also act as a delivery mechanism for various other services ranging from entrepreneurial training, livelihood promotion activity and community development programs.
Guiding principles of SHGs:
Mutual trust and support
Mutual cooperation and resource pool
Any decision is taken based on consensus, making each member equally accountable.
Productive use of credit.
Caste and gender discrimination
Multiple rules to be followed.
In the absence of access to innovative and beneficial financial products, the SHG members may not be able to make the most efficient use of the inculcated savings habits and financial inclusion.
Women have little financial independence at home. Therefore, women SHGs often fail to augment their collateral corpus adequately. This makes banks reluctant to finance projects lead by such SHGs.
Inadequate Training Facilities for members.
Given the transformative role SHGs have and can play in promoting financial inclusion, the challenges being faced by the institution must be tackled with at the earliest. In this direction recent step taken by NABARD, under its EShakti initiative, to digitise SHGs is a welcome one. Much more like linking SHGs with banks must be done on priority basis.
4. Thrift cooperatives can give dignity and ensure due respect to rural women. Examine. Do you think financial autonomy translates into social empowerment of women? Elucidate.
Thrift Cooperative (TC) is a voluntary association of individuals who come together to meet their savings, credit and insurance needs. This organization provides them savings credit and insurance services through various schemes on the basis of self-help and mutual-aid and on terms and conditions decided by members themselves.
The availability of finance is necessary for small business development. These groups aid social interaction, give financial support and expose members to business opportunities due to their interdependent nature.
The ultimate goal is to encourage thrift among the members and to meet the credit needs of especially women who might otherwise be exposed to exploitation thus ensuring their dignity is intact
Members are known for strong commitment and participation in decision making.
These societies mobilize local savings and administer credit to members, thereby encouraging thrift and entrepreneurial activity.
An additional benefit of thrift groups is the experience women gain in managing their own institutions, which prepares them to assume higher responsibilities in managing their Union
It is difficult for micro entrepreneurs to differentiate consumption from production loans because of the nature of their businesses and families. The societies allow women to use the money the way they want once they are willing and able to repay thus ensuring respect.
Eg: Many famous thrift cooperatives like sahavikasa in Andhra Pradesh, Dairy thrift cooperatives in Gujarat (Anand)
DOES FINANCIAL AUTONOMY LEAD TO SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT??
Empowerment of women means equipping them to be economically independent, self-reliant, in addition to providing positive self-esteem to face any difficult situation.
Financial autonomy for women especially in rural areas can be the aid in social empowerment. It will help her be a more affirmative voice in decision making process in household, a more balanced gendered division of labour.
A leading example of it can be seen in Gir, Gujarat Sorath Mahila Vikas Mandali (SMVM,) an umbrella organization connecting nearly 500 self-help groups (SHGs) who have started Widows recognition program providing them not only with financial empowerment but also removal of social taboos regarding widows, removing caste discrimination etc
Though women have outshined men in every field, they still face discrimination at almost every level of employment, gender discrimination, lack of sanitation facilities, physical and verbal violence according to reports of NHRC and NCRB so financial autonomy is not the only way to social empowerment but must be followed by gender sensitization and state support to ensure equal status to women.
5. Philanthropy in India is a huge phenomenon. However, most of it is directed towards religious institutions. Do you agree? How can it be changed. Why such change is required at the first place? Analyse.
Philanthropy means, the love of humanity, in the sense of caring and nourishing, it involves both the benefactor in their identifying and exercising their values, and the beneficiary in their receipt and benefit from the service or goods provided.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, the temple earned Rs 11 crore last year. The temple’s latest financial records peg its fixed assets at around Rs 75 crore.Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust the Shirdi Temple – its yearly income is Rs 600 crore. The Ajmer Sharif Dargah’s annual income is reportedly above Rs 200 crore. Caritas India, which is the “official development arm of the Catholic Church in India”, earned in excess of Rs 100 crore in the last financial year, according to its annual report.
Religious institutes in India make big money. However, some of the richest places of worship didn’t consider it necessary to donate any of it towards relief work in a neighbouring area, region or country that was recently affected by a calamitous earthquake, flood or draught that did much damage. Clearly, temples, mosques and churches are not quite rushing to helping people in distress.
Going by the visible evidence of the crowds that visit these institutions, a large share of the money comes from lower income groups. These are, in all probability, people going through rough times who hope that a donation to a religious entity will change their circumstance. They are (obviously) given no guarantees and no money-back policy. The practice of exploiting the universal need to strive to improve one’s condition by unaccountable institutions needs to be questioned.
Religious institutions are answerable to society as opposed to the corporations, which hold their allegiance only to shareholders and hence there’s all the more reason for them to plough back the money to the society. Temples often refuse to be audited as well.
Indian philanthropy, especially individual philanthropy, is at a critical point. According to Bain’s “India Philanthropy Report 2017”, India’s philanthropy market has “matured” considerably, particularly when it comes to contributions from individual philanthropists. Indeed, the report finds that the amount of funds coming from individual philanthropists has grown sixfold in the past five years, from Rs6,000 crore in 2011 to Rs36,000 crore in 2016. Contributions from individual philanthropists have also grown faster than those coming from any other source, such as foreign aid, or from corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
The Bain report estimates that India will be short by Rs533 trillion if it’s to achieve its UN-mandated Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Individual philanthropists can play an important role in bridging the gap.
For these initiatives to be effectively realized, the focus has to go beyond the quantum of philanthropy to asking how and where those rupees can be leveraged for maximum impact. From the government’s point of view, this means preparing the ground for greater collaboration with philanthropic foundations. This is already happening at the local level but there’s more scope for cooperation with the Centre. The government also has a role in ensuring transparency and accountability—a Dalberg study found that India has been unable to leverage the philanthropic potential of its diaspora because the latter perceives the development sector to be corrupt and inefficient, and is overwhelmed by regulatory constraints and unfavourable tax policies.
From the donor’s point of view, the crux of effective philanthropy needs to be designing for maximum impact. First, a potential donor needs to decide where he wants his money to be spent—education, healthcare, disaster relief, public policy, arts and culture, etc. In India, a 2013 study by McKinsey found, there are at least 50 sub-sectors that suffer from a funding gap but donor efforts are focused on just seven to 10 sub-sectors, such as disaster relief and primary health and education. In comparison, in the US, where the philanthropy sector is more developed, donor resources cover a wider range of sub-sectors such as public affairs and environment, even though education and healthcare still get the lion’s share of funding.
Need of the hour is that government must start an account in name of philanthropy in every district which will hold the donations from that district, and funds utilisation of these donation has to be declared by the government on annually basis just like our economic survey.
This philanthropy account can be managed by group of sociologist for slum rehabilitation, poverty elimination, educating the poor and other purposes of welfare.
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