Topic: Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.
3) The role played by NGOs in protecting and promoting human rights in India is exemplary. However, they pose an equal security concern in recent days. Critically examine the paradox. What measures are needed to regulate the NGOs?
Why this question:
The question is based on the active role of NGOs in India and the recent controversies and blacklisting of few NGOs by Home Ministry.
Key demand of the question:
Answer must discuss the role of NGOs in Indian society and the challenges that they face /issues involved in their functioning in detail along with suggestions as to how can we overcome and address such issues.
Critically examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we have to look into the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.
Structure of the answer:
In a few introductory lines explain what are NGOs.
What are NGOs and their key features –
- As defined by the World Bank NGOs refers 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 they are registered the specific Act under which they have to be registered.
- The term NGO in India denotes wide spectrum of organizations which may be non-governmental, quasi or semi-governmental, voluntary or non-voluntary etc.
With suitable examples, discuss how they have upheld the human rights and spoken vociferously about the human rights violations in India.
Discuss the various challenges posed by NGO –
- Accreditation remains a big challenge as it is very difficult to distinguish whether an organization wants to work for the cause or has been set up only for the purpose of receiving government grants.
- Over dependence on funds from the government dilutes the willingness of NGOs to speak out against the government.
- NGOs have acted as a cover for organized crime in past and are often seen as fronts for fundamentalist causes. Foreign funded NGOs have been responsible for organizing agitations and scuttling development projects in India.
- NGOs are often seen as encroaching on centuries-old tradition and culture of the people, and lead to mass protest at times. Ban of Jallikattu, after the PIL by PETA is one such example.
Now discuss the measures needed to regulate the NGOs.
Conclude with way forward.