Pradeep Kumar Panda
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) play a vital role in the socio economic development of the country since from ages of JyothiraoPhule in the pre-independence India. In fact India is a land of villages with diversifying cultures, traditions, religions and wide societal divisions. Mahatma Gandhi has rightly pointed out that “India lives in villages”. Villages comprise the core of Indian society and represent the real India. Rural development which is concerned with economic growth and social justice, improvement in the living standards of the rural people by providing adequate quality social services and minimum basic needs becomes essential.
CSOs are committed to social justice, sustainable development and human rights. The right to communicate freely is a basic human right and a necessity for sustainable development. Access to information is essential to informed decision-making at all levels. They committed to the dissemination of information and promotion of sustainable development initiatives, in response to the needs of under-represented and marginalized sectors of society. For bridging the data gap and improving information availability CSO network is committed to develop and establish an ideal medium for the participation and exchange of a trusted and accurate source of quality information.
CSOs need to start looking at themselves as brands and build a great image of themselves in the eyes of the community. Being visible to the public eye and making themselves known in the community are winning factors for CSOs and their brands, because this creates a certain image of the CSOs; which is ultimately what branding is about – perception. That is why strong brands work hard at making sure that the experience customers have with them is positive at each and every touchpoint and interaction.
Major Role of CSO in Rural Development
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy. MSMEs not only play crucial role in providing large employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost than large industries but also help in industrialization of rural & backward areas, thereby, reducing regional imbalances, assuring more equitable distribution of national income and wealth.
There are a total of around 33 lakh CSOs in country, with their advantage of non rigid, locality specific, felt need base, beneficiary oriented and committed nature of service have established multitude of roles which can affect rural development.
In the long term, CSOs will continue to play a larger role in nation-building. Increasing prosperity and increased focus on corporate social responsibility spending will definitely help in increasing the focus on the disadvantaged sections of society. Those CSOs that are able to adopt best practices and bring about the maximum transparency through auditing and reporting will be best placed to receive a larger chunk of funds in the coming years.
The Make in India Strategy adopted by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi aims to facilitate investment, foster innovation, entrepreneurship, enhance skill development in the country. Entrepreneurship can play an important role in rural development. Agriculture continues to be the backbone of rural society. 86% of holdings are held by small and marginal farmers resulting in overcrowding on the agricultural land and diminishing farm produce. Land being limited and unable to absorb the labour force in agriculture, there is a need to develop rural industries to solve rural unemployment and rural migration to cities.
Growth and development of rural economy is an essential pre-condition to the development of the country as a whole. The gap between rural urban disparities should be lessened. The standard of living of rural people should be increased. Entrepreneurship in rural sector provides an answer to the above problems.
Indian rural sector is no longer primitive and isolated. Therefore, if entrepreneurship encouraged in rural and tribal areas looms large to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, and economic disparity, poor utilization of rural capacity, low level of standard of living and backwardness of the Indian economy.
In India, most of the rural industries are small-scale enterprises and they are given an important place for both ideological and economic reasons. It is well documented that the small scale industries have an important role in the development of the country. It contributes almost 40% of the gross industrial value added in the Indian economy. There are many government policies for development and promotion of small-scale Industries in India. Government has also taken steps to promote rural development and rural entrepreneurship that can contribute to economy undoubtedly.
Schemes of Rural Development in India
The main objective of rural development has been to remove poverty of the people and fill the widened gap between the rich and the poor. Rural poverty alleviation has been the primary concern in the economic planning and development process of the country. Rural development which encompasses the entire gamut of improvement in the overall quality of life in the rural areas can be achieved through eradication of poverty in rural areas. Several poverty alleviation programmes have also been launched by the central and state governments for the rural people.
20-Point Programme, Integrated Rural Development Programme
These schemes also help developing skills of the people and help them to be entrepreneur. Skill India and Start-up-India are the major initiatives of the government. There are various types of rural industries like Agro Based Industries, Forest Based Industries, Mineral based industry, Textile Industry, Engineering and Services, Handicrafts and Services.
Rural entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the economic development of India, particularly in the rural economy. It helps in generating employment opportunities in the rural areas with low capital, raising the real income of the people, contributing to the development of agriculture by reducing disguised unemployment, reducing poverty, migration, economic disparity, unemployment. Rural entrepreneurship finds it difficult to take off is due to lack of capital accumulation, risk taking and innovation. The rural development programs should combine infrastructure development, education, health services, investment in agriculture and the promotion of rural non-farm activities in which women and rural population can engage themselves. Rural entrepreneurship is the way of converting developing country into developed nation. Promotion of rural entrepreneurship is extremely important in the context of producing gainful employment and reducing the widening disparities between the rural and urban. Monitoring rural development programmes by supplying right information at the right time, providing timely and adequate credit and continuous motivation of bankers, panchayat union leaders and voluntary service organizations will lead to the development of rural entrepreneurship.
India has been steadily growing as an economic power in the past two decades and has been able to create the bare necessary infrastructure required to sustain this rate of growth. The connectivity to remote areas has been improved to a great extent both in terms of physical accessibility by road and rail and virtual accessibility in terms of telecommunications and information technology. Combined with this there is a steady growth in the education among the rural population including professional qualifications among rural youth. This presents the ideal situation for enterprises to spring in the rural areas where the cost of operation, labor and availability of raw materials is substantially cheaper as compared to urban parts of the country.
There has never been a better time for India to embrace the digital economy. The advent of digitization has dramatically altered our corporate landscape. Technological advances—in software, mobile markets and information analysis—are continuously harnessing the intellectual capabilities of Indian youth.
One of the defining characteristics of this generation is its affinity with the digital world—technology has dominated a significant part of its lives, and the youth hold the power to adapt to the changes brought forth by the ongoing transformation. This in-demand skill, when added to the surge in aspirations and opportunities, encourages young talent to take the once-dreaded entrepreneurial plunge.
Around 65% of the Indian population is below the age of 35. Over 72% of new businesses in India have been set up by dynamic young founders. Young Indians are confidently entering the country’s booming e-commerce space to compete, using technology as their primary tool. Undoubtedly the schemes of has shown results and needless to say that the 1,200 Indian start-ups so far in 2015 alone are proof of this.
Entrepreneurs turn towards digital platforms to gain direct access to a global customer base, and innovative ways of efficiently setting up and operating new ventures, especially in the healthcare, retail and transport sectors. The likes of Paytm, FreeCharge, Ola and Flipkart are bringing in evolved business models that leverage technology for differentiated, competitive and personalized service delivery.
The inclusion of digital tools in the lives of NGOs will not only make them a mass producer of digital content but will also help make the voices of civil society louder. It is important for NGO to add “e” content in their work. This will help them to be more visible and transparent. The impact of digital media, e-commerce, e-learning, crowd sourcing, mobiles, and apps can be seen making a more equitable society where dependency on government and business is lesser and citizen participation is higher. In times to come, the inclusion of digital tools in the lives of NGOs will not only make them become a mass producer of digital content but will also help make the voices of civil society louder and equal to those of government and businesses.
Various NGOs have been using digital tools—right from the Internet, to social media, mobile, apps, podcasts, video, camera, projector, WhatsApp, messaging and, in many cases, biometrics, e-commerce, social commerce, online fundraising, peer-to-peer crowd-sourcing, and so on. These digital tools increase the organizational efficiency, campaign, outreach, donations and the causes they work for.
The creation of business environments are collaborative, intelligent, responsive and efficient, and are leading to a dramatic rise in productivity and economic values of new ventures. The networked economy has unveiled opportunities for both big and small businesses to enjoy the benefits of a more expansive limitless platform.
While the vision for digital transformation has been paving the way for India’s corporate future, technology adoption is also affecting the manner in which Indian businesses currently operate. Young entrepreneurs are redefining their identities in the midst of accepting a digital facelift. We are witnessing a shift from traditional to hybrid business models to keep up with the operations of our global counterparts.
The Internet of Things, social, mobility, analytics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence are driving corporate India to alter its core business practices in a way that would enable it to leverage technology-led solutions in a data-driven economy.
The government, too, is not far behind. Programmes and missions, regulatory and policy frameworks, economic reforms, financial and social inclusion, digital services and smart interventions to enhance liveability—the pieces in India’s digital jigsaw puzzle seem to be fitting.
Digital India has attracted the attention of almost everyone, both within the country and abroad. This is not without reason. If there is potentially one scheme which can bring about transformational benefits and fundamentally alter almost every aspect of our national life including the way citizens interact with not just the government but with each other, it is the Digital India programme. In a large and diverse country like India, it is not only the introduction of new initiatives, but the ability to rapidly execute and to scale up programmes to reach out to our 1.33 billion citizens, that is central to achieving success.
Many good applications are already in place but their spread and reach needs to be rapidly ramped up. Solutions like digital locker, e-sign, e-hospital and My Gov have proved their usefulness and provide opportunity for upscaling. With power shifting to the youth, the road ahead for India’s sophisticated digital upgrade looks promising. By embracing this transformation, we are shaping India’s growth as a technologically empowered, knowledge-based young economy. Digital transformation is a big deal for India and the world—and is the only way forward.
Civil Society Organisations have increased in large numbers. Through interaction, analysis, and observations of these civil society organizations across India, it was felt that the employees/volunteers of the organizations are putting their tremendous efforts for the betterment of the society. They have great skills to convince the people to engage and involve in development activities. However, there is great need to reflect their activities through CSO Management, Fundraising, Reporting & Documentation and Communications & Leadership. Capacity building of professional working in Non Government Organisation, Community Based Organisation, Voluntary Organisation and Civil Society Organisation is need of the hour. Without knowing basic principles of the development sector, it is very difficult for social workers to work for development of society. Training programs are very much essential to educate and sensitise CSO functionaries to develop effective and well-managed organizations that make best use of their human and financial resources to maintain business sustainability. With great focus on delivering successful strategies, emerging tools, as well as specific skills and tactics, are necessary to build the capacity of volunteers and social workers. Training programmes should empower the functionaries of organizations to better perform internally and towards the community, they serve in a holistic manner with Pareto optimal development and welfare of society. Reporting and Documentation is one of the ways to enhance credibility of the organisation and achieve mission and vision of the organisation. Through interaction, analysis, and observations, it was felt that the employees/volunteers of the organizations are putting their tremendous efforts for the betterment of the society. They have great skills to convince the people to engage and involve in development activities. However, there is great need to reflect their activities through reporting and documentation. Sustainable development of any voluntary organization depends on its resources. The fund is one of the most important resources for an organization.
Every organization needs money to survive, to meet project costs, develop programmes for the future, to pay the salaries and honorarium of its staff and to meet all the office and organizational overheads. Raising fund is not so easy. It requires some techniques, skills and formalities.In recent years, non-governmental organizations have vastly increased in number and scope. They are increasingly influential in communities and grassroots activities, in policy making, planning and implementation. In today’s highly competitive environment with limited resources in the public sector, effective leaders and creative management is crucial. Managing and leading aCSO is becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. A wide range of knowledge, skills and strategies are necessary to achieve results, enhance impact and remain effective.