Stakeholders – Civil Society Organisations

According to national policy on volunteer organizations …to be considered part of the non-profit sector the entity must be

  • Organisational– an institution with some meaningful structure and permanence;
  • Non-governmental– not part of the apparatus of government;
  • Non-profit-distributing– not permitted to distribute profits to its owners or directors. They are required to be ploughed back in the organisation
  • Self-governing– not controlled by some entity outside the organisation; and

The Indian Constitution provides a distinct legal space to social capital / civil society institutions:

  • through its Article on the right to form associations or unions – Article 19 (1)(c);
  • through Article 43 which talks of States making endeavor to promote cooperatives in rural areas;
  • through explicit mention in entries made in Schedule 7.

The presence of Civil Society Organisations ensures

  • depth and resilience in civil society
  • expression to citizens’ voices
  • enables them to take responsibility for how their society is performing
  • allows them to talk to their government in organised ways.
  • It can help to scale up productivity and competitiveness.
  • It can contribute to inclusive wealth creation.
  • Enhance the people centricity of the government.
  • Alternative perspectives
  • Committed expertise
  • An understanding of the local opportunities and constraints
  • Capacity to conduct a meaningful dialogue with communities, particularly those that are disadvantaged.

Civil society groups in our country can be classified into following broad categories:-

  • Registered Societies formed for specific purposes
  • Charitable Organisations and Trusts
  • Local Stakeholders Groups, Microcredit and Thrift Enterprises, SHGs
  • Professional Self-Regulatory Bodies
  • Cooperatives
  • Bodies without having any formal organisational structure
  • Government promoted Third Sector Organisations

Different types of civil society organizations

  1. Civil rights advocacy organizations:to promote human rights of specific social groups e.g. women, migrants, disabled, HIV, sex workers, Dalit people, tribal people, and the likes.
  2. Civil liberties advocacy organizations:to promote individual civil liberties and human rights of all citizens, rather than focusing on particular social group.
  3. Community based organizations, citizens’ groups, farmers’ cooperatives:to increase citizen’s participation on public policy issues so as to improve the quality of life in a particular community.
  4. Business and industry chambers of commerce:to promotion policies and practices on business.
  5. Labour unions:to promote the rights of employees and workers.
  6. International peace and human rights organizations:to promote peace and human rights.
  7. Media, communication organization:to produce, disseminate, or provide production facilities in one or more media forms; it includes television, printing and radio.
  8. National resources conservation and protection organizations:to promote conservation of natural resources, including land, water, energy, wildlife and plant resources, for public use.
  9. Private and public foundations:to promote development through grant- making and partnership.
  10. Also the Civil society includes– Political Parties; Religious Organizations; Housing cooperatives, slum dwellers and resident welfare associations.



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