[Answered] NGOs and Governments need to compliment each for for inclusive and sustinable growth; they cannot be in tension with each other. Discuss in the light of recent events of tightening government scrutiny of NGOs. What steps would you suggest to resolve this tension?

NGOs are non profit making agencies constituted by a group of likeminded people, committed for humanitarian or cooperative objectives and pursuing activities of common interest for the public. Democracy and civil society are twins, integrally related to each other.

In the recent past there has been a tussle between NGO and the government. Instances like NGO’s non compliance with FCRA, tax evasion by non-filing of annual returns (Eg: Greenpeace India in 2015), seeking foreign funds for development work with hidden political agenda – this led to cancellation of registration of NGO, blacklisting of activists, freezing of bank accounts. NGOs have been brought under the ambit of Lokpal.

Way ahead:

  • Focus should be on specific trouble makers who have suspicious agendas.
  • The present law needs to be changed to more democratic law – laying simple rules that create transparent system for grant givers and receivers.
  • Regulatory framework work for civil society that is as good as the one for corporate sector and bringing the NGOs on board by creating a new regime.

NGOs are vital cog in the wheel of participatory governance and to uphold trust of public they need to evolve regulatory mechanisms for better operational and financial accountability

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