Day 28 – Q 2.Are NGOs a security concern? Critically examine.
2. Are NGOs a security concern? Critically examine.
क्या एनजीओ सुरक्षा चिंता का विषय हैं? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।
A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a non-profit, citizen-based group that functions independently of government. NGOs, sometimes called civil societies, are organized on community, national and international levels to serve specific social or political purposes, and are cooperative and not for profit, rather than commercial, in nature.
The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations:
A non-governmental organization (NGOs) acts as the operational arm of the civil society and play an important role in the socio-economic transformation, thus has an important role in the development processes.
- It brings in accountability and transparency to governance and Improves government performance.
- It acts as a human rights watchdog in the society.
- NGOs act as channels for donors to provide international development funds to low-income countries or developing countries.
- They play a vital role in mobilizing public attention to societal problems and needs.
- They enhance the efficiency of the delivery of many services at the local level through the involvement of residents.
- They also improve policy monitoring and evaluation as Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) takes cognizance of reports and social audits by NGOs while preparing its reports.
- NGOs help in constructive conflict resolution. In the international arena Track II diplomacy (involving non-governmental bodies) plays a crucial role in creating an environment of trust and confidence.
- Many NGOs work to preserve and promote India’s diverse culture. For example, SPIC MACAY is a society for promoting Indian classical music and culture amongst the youth.
Security Concerns Attached:
NGOs undoubtedly have been playing a proactive role in protecting the interests of the poor and destitute and are also essential for upholding the democratic values of the country, but there are certain security concerns attached with NGOs, such as,
- 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 and have become detrimental to national development. Ex. NGO Green Peace International in Kudankulam Protest.
- Misappropriation of funds: Religious NGO like Zakir Naik’s IRF is accused of diverting funds for terrorist activities and propagation of radicalization.
- Non-accountable, non-transparent undemocratic functioning: Only 10% of the total registered NGOs under the Societies Registration Act file annual financial statements.
- Absorber of black money: Due to tax exemption they absorb black money as donations and then use it for anti-social activities.
- Money Laundering: Corrupt or unscrupulous NGOs that receive foreign funds may serve as conduits for money laundering and a round trip of money.
- Create Hurdle in the internal security of the country. Ex. AFSPA against militants and LWE, opposed by NGO like Amnesty international for Human rights concerns.
- Political threat: International funding to NGO and Political parties manipulate election is a threat to a free and fair election and undermines democracy. It can even destabilize governments.
- Avoid tussle between the Home Ministry and Finance Ministry by bringing the regulation of NGOs under one head for better monitoring and regulating illicit and unaccounted funds.
- Put in place a regulatory mechanism to keep a watch on the financial activities of NGOs.
- The government should frame guidelines for their accreditation, how these organizations should maintain their accounts and the procedure for recovery in case they fail to submit their balance sheets.
- The government should tighten the scrutiny procedures through Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 to ensure that the recipients of foreign contributions adhere to the stated purpose for which such contribution has been obtained.
The NGOs should work with enhanced accountability in collaboration with the government and society which is the need of the hour, which would further strengthen the development process in India.