“Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. UPSC 2021, 10 Marks

5. “भारत में सार्वजनिक नीति बनाने में दबाव समूह महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाते है।” समझाइए कि व्यवसाय संघ, सार्वजनिक नीतियों में किस प्रकार योगदान करते हैं। (उत्तर 150 शब्दों में दीजिए)

“Pressure groups play a vital role in influencing public policy making in India.” Explain how the business associations contribute to public policies. (Answer in 150 words) 10

Ans. A pressure group is a group of people that actively promotes and defends their common interest. It brings a change in the public policy by exerting pressure on the government through a liaison between the government and its members. They are interest groups or vested groups.

They don’t capture political power. As they are more concerned with specific programmes and issues that is more confined to the protection and promotion of the interests of their members by influencing the government.

The pressure groups influences the policy-making and policy implementation in the government through legal and legitimate methods like lobbying, correspondence, publicity, propagandising, petitioning, public debating, maintaining contacts with their legislators and so forth.

Techniques Used by Pressure Groups to secure their purposes.

  • Electioneering: Placing favourable persons in public office to promote their interests.
  • Lobbying: Persuading public officers to adopt and enforce the policies that they think will prove most beneficial to their interests.
  • Propagandizing: Influencing public opinion and gaining an indirect influence over government.

The Business Groups – Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Federation of All India Foodgrain Dealers Association (FAIFDA), etc  too have contributed immensely to the formation of the public policies.

Characteristics of Pressure Groups-

  • Use of Modern as well as Traditional Means: They adopt techniques like financing of political parties, sponsoring their close candidates. Their traditional means include exploitation of caste, creed and religious feelings to promote their interests.
  • Resulting out  Increasing Pressure and Demands on Resources: Scarcity of resources, claims and counterclaims on the resources from different and competing sections of the society leads to the rise of pressure groups.
  • Based on Certain Interests.
  • Inadequacies of Political Parties to deal with the situation that needs a better  representation.
  • Represent Changing Consciousness: The stagnation in production leads to fatalism but increase in production leads to demands, protests and formation of new pressure groups.

Functions, Role & Importance of Pressure Groups like the prominent business association.

  • Interest Articulation: Pressure Groups bring the demands and needs of the people to the notice of the decision-makers.
  • Agents of Political Socialisation: they influence the orientations of the people. They provide a two-way communication links between the people and the government.
  • Pressure groups play a vital role in the legislative process as they aim at securing desired laws or amendments in laws and policies of the government.
  • The pressure groups are far and wide associated with the process of rule-making.
  • Pressure Groups are actively involved with the process of administration and also influence the process of policy implementation.
  • They try to use the judicial system for securing and safeguarding their interests. Seek access to the court for redressal of their grievances.
  • They also help in formulation of public opinion.
  • They try to gain public support and sympathy for their goals and their activity by carrying out information campaigns, organising meetings, file petitions, etc.
  • Most of these groups try to influence the media into giving attention to these issues.

Pressure groups help in improving the quality of government as they take rational decisions in a free society. It enhances the quality of the decision making process, improves the quality of government policy and legislation. They are essential to the effective functioning of liberal democracy. They assist in the dispersal of political power and counterweights the concentration of power.

They help in facilitating the social progress and preventing social stagnation. Help improve the accountability of decision makers to electorates.

What needs to be prevented.

  • Narrow selfish interests:
  • Misuse of power: they often end up in becoming tools and implements to subserve political interests.
  • Instability: they are unstable and lack commitment, their loyalties shift with political situations which threatens general welfare.

Conclusion

Pressure groups are indispensable and helpful element of the democratic process. The society is highly complex and individuals cannot pursue their interests on their own. The need is to develop in a way that is more sustainable and helps in the growth of the economy and the society as a whole.

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