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Gopal Ratna Award 2021 bestowed to Kamdhenu Hitkari Manch for Best Dairy Cooperative Society

Gopal Ratna Award 2021 bestowed to Kamdhenu Hitkari Manch for Best Dairy Cooperative Society

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  • GS 3 || Economy || Agriculture || Agricultural Production & Productivity

Why in the news?

  • KamdhenuHitkariManch was bestowed with GopalRatna Award for  Best Dairy Cooperative Society.KamdhenuHitkariManch has about 5,445 active farmer members and is one of the leading societies in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

More in news

  • Union Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, PurushottamRupala honored Madhuri Jangle, a Chhattisgarh animal husbandry, and artificial insemination technician Dularu Ram Sahu, working in the Livestock Development Department, with the prestigious National GopalRatna Award.

Cooperatives in India

  • 1904: The first Cooperative Credit Societies Act was enacted. It was passed on 25th March 1904.
  • 1942: The Multi-Unit Cooperative Societies Act was passed.
  • 1984: The Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 1942 was replaced by the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 1984.
  • 2002: The Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act 1984 was amended and enacted as the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act of 2002.

Types of cooperatives in India

  • Consumers’ Co-operative Societies
  • Producers’ Co-operative Societies
    • Sugar Cooperative
    • Horticulture Cooperative
    • Fisheries Cooperatives
    • Marketing Co-operative
    • Housing Co-operative
    • Co-operative Credit Societies
    • Co-operative Farming Societies

Provisions of Indian constitution

  • The word “cooperatives” was added after “unions and associations” in Art. 19(1)(c) under Part III of the Constitution.
  • The right to form cooperatives may also be interpreted as a fundamental right, Article 14 – (Right to Equality) and Article 19(1)(c) as ‘Right to form associations or unions.’
  • Directive principles of State policy enshrined in Article 43 that-Living wage, etc., for workers.
  • The State shall endeavor to ensure, using appropriate legislation or economic organization or in any other way, that all workers, whether agricultural, industrial, or otherwise, work, living wages, working conditions ensuring a decent standard of living and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities, and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to promote the cottage industry on an individual or an individual basis.
  • The Constitution (97th AmendmentAct, 2011 added a new Part IXB right after Part IXA (Municipals) regarding the cooperatives working in India.

Cooperative movement in India

  • Agriculture and allied sectors-The cooperative movement in India owes its origins to agriculture and allied sectors. By the end of the 19th century, the problems of rural indebtedness and the consequent conditions of farmers created an environment for chit funds and cooperative societies.
  • Pooling of the resources-Farmers have generally identified the cooperative movement as an attractive mechanism for pooling their scarce resources to solve common problems relating to credit, input supplies, and the marketing of agricultural products.
  • Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904- The experience gained in working cooperatives led to the promulgation of the Cooperative Credit Societies Act, 1904.
  • Act of 1919-Under the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919, cooperation became a provincial issue and the provinces were authorized to make their cooperative laws.
  • Act of 1935-Under the Government of India Act, 1935, cooperatives were treated as provincial subjects.
  • National Policy on Co-operatives in 2002
  • The government of India announced a National Policy on Co-operatives in 2002. The ultimate objective of the National Policy is to
    • Provide support for the promotion and development of cooperatives
    • Reduction of regional imbalances
    • Strengthening of cooperative education, training, and human resource development.

About ICA

  • The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) is a non-governmental co-operative union representing co-operatives and the co-operative movement worldwide.
  • A cooperative is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned enterprise.
  • It was founded in 1895 to unite, represent and serve co-operatives worldwide.
  • The ICA represents 313 cooperative federations and organizations in 109 countries.
  • The United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.
  • On the first Saturday of July each year, the ICA coordinates celebrations of International Co-operative Day.

Importance of Cooperative sector for India

  • Credit and loans –The cooperatives play a very important role in India because they are an organization for the poor, illiterate, and unskilled. The importance of the cooperative sector for India is set out below-
  • It provides agricultural loans and funds where the state and private sectors have not been able to do much.
  • It provides strategic inputs to the agricultural sector; consumer societies meet their consumption requirements at concessional rates.
  • It helps overcome the constraints of agricultural development.
  • Further scope-Until now, the cooperative movement has been limited to agriculture and its allied sectors. There are many landless and agricultural occupations in rural areas. Either they will be agricultural labor, or they will have recourse to allied activities. Over the period, agriculture as an occupation has also decreased and land holdings have decreased due to population exposure.
  • It is therefore important to make more and more rural people understand that agriculture is not the only source of income for rural people.

Successful examples

  • Fostering socio-economic growth-Since India has a rich history of cooperative movements, after independence, cooperatives have assumed great importance in the elimination of poverty and fostering socio-economic growth. Cooperatives have been an integral part of the Five Year Plans.
  • Self sufficiency due to revolutions especially in diary sector-There was a green revolution where India became self-sufficient in food grain production. At the end of the 1960s, there was a white revolution and a national dairy development board was established that created the trusted and indigenous AMUL brand.
  • IFFCO
  • The Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has stepped up to 65th position in overall turnover ranking from 125th position in last financial year and now is at the top spot among 300 leading cooperatives in the world.
  • Maharastra and Gujarat as leading examples- Lakshman Rao Inamdar, who made cooperatives an important part of people’s lives in Gujarat and Maharashtra, was an important leader in the cooperative movement.
  • Although there is success in the production of milk and food grain, there is a need to move into new areas.
  • Few states have attempted new areas such as sugar cane production through cooperatives in Maharashtra and Gujarat, a knowledge revolution is taking place where children of the 1st to 12th grade have access to computers through cooperatives.
  • Instrumental role for poor,illiterate and unskilled
  • The cooperatives play a very important role in India because they are an organization for the poor, illiterate, and unskilled. The importance of the cooperative sector for India is set out below:
    • It provides agricultural loans and funds where the state and private sectors have not been able to do much.
    • It provides strategic inputs to the agricultural sector; consumer societies meet their consumption requirements at concessional rates.
    • It helps overcome the constraints of agricultural development.

Challenges

  • Scams and frauds-The future of the cooperative movement is bright, but it needs to be handled with care. Deformities in the cooperative movement have been identified concerning the Chit Fund scam in West Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar.
  • Due to such incidences, the trust of the cooperative institutions has decreased, particularly in the financial sector.
  • Regional imbalances-The movement has not spread to the northern states due to a lack of culture. It’s popular in the south because they don’t have sources and assets. In the north, they have sources such as land and assets that prefer to operate independently.
  • Non-accountability- The government gave too many benefits to cooperatives like reservation of items extra benefits like finance facilities, but then there was no further accountability which led to these cooperatives becoming more and more lethargic.
  • No Competition-Besides as there was no competition they became more and more costly they were not at all efficient and the worst part was that the government allowed them to function like this and pass on the burden of costs to consumers.
  • Quality more than Quantity- This is another major problem faced by different cooperatives who go in for quantity this causes a major problem because they think it’s a quick way to earn money so this affects productivity.
  • No Balanced Growth-The cooperatives in northeast areas and areas like West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa are not as well developed as the ones in Maharashtra and the ones in Gujarat. There is a lot of friction due to competition between different states, this friction affects the working of cooperatives.
  • Political Interference- Now this is the biggest problem faced by Sugar cooperatives in
  • The Politicians use the sugar coops as if they are their personal property and also they use it to their political advantage.
  • This is the biggest problem of cooperatives as they use them to increase their vote bank.

Way forward

  • Since agriculture’s GDP is decreasing and population reliance on agriculture is decreasing due to decreasing agricultural income, it is now time for rural areas to either mechanize the agricultural tasks they perform to increase productivity and thus increase income or empower young people to earn their livelihood.
  • Education, skills development, and cooperatives can play a role in raising rural people’s incomes.
  • The Cooperatives Movement was an awakening movement (as witnessed in the past) for peasants and farmers as well as agriculture and its allied activities.
  • It has immense potential to deliver goods and services in areas where the government and private sector failed to reach.

Mains model question

  • What was the necessity of including the formation of cooperative society as a fundamental right? Substantiate.

References