Solved Ethics Papers

Q14. The Challenges of An NGO

Q14. Saraswati was a successful IT professional in USA. Moved by the patriotic sense of doing something for the country she returned to India. Together with some other like-minded friends, she formed an NGO to build a school for a poor rural community.
The objective of the school was to provide best quality modern education at a nominal cost. She soon discovered that she has to seek permission from a number of government agencies. The rules and procedures were quite confusing and cumbersome. What frustrated her most was delays, callous attitude of officials and constant demand for bribes. Her experience and the experience of many others like her has deterred people from taking up social service projects. A measure of government control over voluntary social work is necessary. But it should not be exercised in a coercive and corrupt manner. What measures can you suggest to ensure that due control is exercised but well-meaning, honest NGO efforts are not thwarted? (300 words)
 
Answer
The two activities that require government approval in this case are the registration of the NGO and the recognition of the school. While it is true that many NGOs are working sincerely and selflessly for the welfare of the people, there are many NGOs which are created mainly to receive grants from the government organisations and other parties. Schools have become a big business nowadays in India and often businessmen open schools to make money rather than to serve the society. They often don’t provide adequate infrastructure or appoint competent teachers to ensure quality education to the children.
 
The following measures are suggested to ensure compliance of law as well as to facilitate the process of approval:
(i) All procedures for registration of NGOs should be made online with the clause of deemed approval within a month unless serious infirmity is found in the application and the applicant is informed within the specified time.
(ii) In respect to schools, the government can set minimum standards. These standards may include provision of playgrounds, labs, teacher–student ratios, etc.
(iii) If an organisation fulfils these requirements, a time-bound automatic approval may be done by the government and the claims made by the school administration must be made available in the public domain.
(iv) Schools may be asked to upload pictures and necessary information online on the government websites so that the compliance monitoring can be done by the officers from the office itself.
(v) There must be surprise inspections to check the functioning of schools and severe punishment may be prescribed on the promoters if the given standards are not complied with.
(vi) The government can also provide a helpline or an SMS-based grievance redressal system for the registration of a NGOs and the recognition of the school. The appropriate authority must resolve all issues quickly and effectively. (306 words)
 
Q14. The Challenges of An NGO
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