Can Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen. Discuss the challenges of this alternative model. UPSC 2021, 15 Marks

Q18. क्या नागरिक समाज और गैरसरकारी संगठनआम नागरिक को लाभ प्रदान करने के लिए लोक सेवा प्रदायगी का वैकल्पिक प्रतिमान प्रस्तुत कर सकते हैं?  इस वैकल्पिक प्रतिमान की चुनौतियों की विवेचना कीजिए। (उत्तर 250 शब्दों में दीजिए)

Q18. Can Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations present an alternative model of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen. Discuss the challenges of this alternative model. (Answer in 250 words) 15

Answer:

Civil Society refers to refers to a wide array of organizations, community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations – World Bank.

Role of Civil Societies as an alternative of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen:

  • Civil Society has been widely recognised as an essential “third sector”.
  • Its strength can have a positive influence on the state and the market.
  • Civil society is therefore seen as an increasingly important agent for promoting good governance like:
    • Transparency,
    • Effectiveness,
    • Openness,
    • Responsiveness and
  • By policy analysis and advocacy;
  • By regulation and monitoring of state performance and the action and behaviour of public officials;
  • By building social capital and enabling citizens to identify and articulate their values, beliefs, civic norms and democratic practices;
  • By mobilizing particular constituencies, particularly the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of masses to participate more fully in politics and public affairs; and
  • By development work to improve the well-being of their own and other communities.
  • Educator of citizens on their rights, entitlements and responsibilities and the government about the pulse of the people.
  • Service provider to areas and people not reached by official efforts or as government’s agent.

 

Civil society acts through ‘social capital’— the capacity of people to act together willingly in their common long-term interest. Social capital is strong in a homogeneous, egalitarian society.

The World Bank defines NGOs as private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services, or undertake community development

Role of NGO’s as an alternative of public service delivery to benefit the common citizen:

 “The 21st Century will be an era of NGOs.” — Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General

 

Policy formulation: There exist political NGOs (eg. ABVP) that act as pressure groups to the extent that they are able to educate the public and put pressure on public policy. NGOs play an important role in protecting Human Right through Judiciary and NHRC- They have filed cases, writ petitions and public interest litigation on behalf of victims and public at large, and it has produced results.
Vishaka & Ors vs State of Rajasthan & Ors- resulted in the formulation of the Vishaka guidelines, dealing with issues of sexual harassment at workplace.

Policy implementation: The civil society initiatives have contributed to some of the path-breaking laws in the country, including the Environmental Protection Act-1986, Right to Education Act-2009, Forests Rights Act-2006 and Right to Information Act-2005
Ramakrishna Mission Home of Service: It is an Indian non-governmental organization established in Varanasi , established in 1900 and became a branch of Ramakrishna Mission in 1902. It manages an education program on essential health problems in schools, slums and villages of Uttar Pradesh (India) thanks to auto produced multimedia educational films.

CRY aims to restore children’s rights in India

Policy evaluation: systematic collection and analysis of information to make judgments about contexts, activities, characteristics, or outcomes of one or more domain(s) of the policy process
Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM) or Bonded Labour Liberation Front (BLLF) is a non-governmental organisation in India working to end bonded labour. It has legally been banned in the country.
People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) has taken up hundreds of instances of violations of democratic rights, including issues of general importance- gender equality; rights of forest-dwellers and forest policy; working class rights; agrarian conflict; caste oppression; deaths, rapes and torture in police custody; and undemocratic legislation, in particular the various incarnations of the ‘terrorist act’ (TADA and POTA) etc.

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