National Policy on Voluntary Organisation

 A National Policy on Voluntary Organisations (VOs) was announced in 2007. It aims to further strengthen, promote and develop such institutions.

As per this policy, by ‘VOs’ are meant organisations engaged in public service, based on ethical, cultural, social, economic, political, religious, spiritual, philanthropic or scientific and technological considerations. VOs include formal as well as informal groups, such as: community-based organisations (CBOs), non-governmental development organisations (NGDOs), charitable organisations, support organisations, networks or federations of such organisations, as well as professional membership associations.

To be covered under the policy, VOs should broadly have the following characteristics:

  1. They are private, i.e., separate from Government
  2. They do not return the profits generated to their owners or directors
  3. They are self-governing, i.e., not controlled by Government
  4. They are registered organisations or informal groups, with defined aims and objectives.
The specific objectives of the policy are listed below:

  1. To create an enabling environment for VOs that stimulates their enterprise and effectiveness, and safeguards their autonomy.
  2. To enable VOs to legitimately mobilise necessary financial resources from India and abroad
  3. To identify systems by which the Government may work together with VOs, on the basis of the principles of mutual trust and respect, and with shared responsibility.
  4. To encourage VOs to adopt transparent and accountable systems of governance and management.

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