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Overview:

The Council of Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) is an autonomous body set up by the Ministry of Rural Development to interface between the government and NGOs that seek to improve the quality of life in India’s rural areas. Since 69% of India’s population lives in rural areas, this is a significant undertaking. CAPART’s mission is to extend the reach of the government programs to remote areas and their marginalized people through these NGOs. It has assisted in the creation of NGOs as well as provided existing ones with training and financial support, before securing their help in its mission. Of late, however, experts have questioned CAPART’s autonomy and its efficacy in its present form. The organization depends on funds of Rs. 104.05 crore ($19.5 million USD), wholly contributed by the government. CAPART also lacks consistent leadership: 27 different administrative service officers (top-rung bureaucrats) have led the body during its first 24 years.

more
History:

CAPART was formed through the 1986 merger of People’s Action for Development (India) (PADI)established in 1976 — and Council for Advancement of Rural Technology (CART), established in 1984. Since then, it has collaborated with thousands of grassroots organizations that work towards mitigating poverty in rural India. In the 1980s, CAPART was crucial to the growth of NGOs through funding and training programs for youth. More than half of the present NGOs funded by CAPART come from this initiative.

 

But CAPART never reached its full potential. A study by the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) found that CAPART’s inefficiency mostly derives from the failed merger of two unequal organizations. PADI was a decade old at the time of the merger. It had an established ground network and a much larger staff than CART, which was still in its formative stages.

 

That isn’t the body’s only Achilles heel. Since it’s founding, CAPART has been dogged by serious corruption allegations. In 2011, Anna Hazare, the saintly face of India’s anti-corruption movement, was accused of siphoning off CAPART funds from an NGO he controlled.

 

Until 2012, the Minister of Rural Development was also the president of CAPART. But in January 2012, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh resigned from the post after an Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) report (CAPART: State of the Organization and Roadmap for the Future) suggested that the government should withdraw from the management of the institution and hand it over to rural development professionals. In its almost three-decade existence, the government’s overbearing presence in CAPART was reflected in its Executive Council and General Body, which have secretaries from Ministry of Rural Development and various other ministries.

more
What it Does:

NGOs submit proposals of projects to CAPART, seeking financial support or technical expertise. Special committees review the proposals and decide whether to fund or lend support to the NGOs. Over the years, CAPART has evolved into a networking hub for NGOs, promoting the exchange of ideas and collaborations on technology. It has signed agreements with research institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science. CAPART links these research institutions with the rural population through its network of NGOs, promoting their technologies and products. A few organizations across the country serve as its resource centers. CAPART has also teamed up with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to tap into the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of its member industries and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to align its activities with the government’s fight against climate change.

 

Attached Bodies

M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

One of the technology research centers of CAPART, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to preserve biodiversity, promoting sustainable sources of income for rural populations through biotechnological interventions. It also helps rural areas achieve food security.

 

The organization is led by Professor M.S. Swaminathan, an agricultural scientist who led India’s “Green Revolution” in the 1960s, introducing high-yield varieties of rice and wheat to farmers, along with the use of irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides, and bringing an end to India’s reliance on food imports. He has headed the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and is also a former principal secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. He has also served the government in various key advisory roles.

 

National Innovation Foundation

The National Innovation Foundation is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology. With support from the Honey Bee Network, an international organization promoting fair trade in the knowledge economy, it has created a database of grassroots innovations, collaborating with R&D institutions to validate and enhance technologies and secure patents. The foundation now has 160,000 ideas in its database from more than 545 districts of the country. The foundation is headed by Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, a former director of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Professor Anil Gupta of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

CAPART has funded 1,119 voluntary organizations since its formation 26 years ago. According to the IRMA report, between the fiscal years 1995-96 and 2008-09, it spent up to Rs. 56.96 crore $11.9 million USD on projects in a single year. CAPART’s key achievement has been to rope in NGOs to deliver the government’s development programs. With that objective in mind, it trained youth in setting up NGOs and provided them with start-up funds. This is one of the sources to which the proliferation of the “third sector” has been traced.

more
Controversies:

Anna Hazare Accused of Misappropriating CAPART Funds 

The face of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, Maharashtra’s Anna Hazare has long been heralded for the work in his native village Ralegan Siddhi. In 2011, the IAC persistently campaigned for a bill to institute a Lokpal, an ombudsman to check government corruption. Hazare led hunger strikes in Delhi that drew TV coverage, increased public support and embarrassed the ruling Congress-led UPA, already reeling from allegations of corruption.

 

The Supreme Court heard charges that Hazare and his NGO, Hind Swaraj Trust, misused grants of Rs. 75.25 lakh ($140,000 USD) in 1995 and Rs. 4.99 crore ($930,000 USD) in 2001. The petition cited the report by Justice P.B. Sawant Commission of Inquiry, set up by the Government of Maharashtra in 2003, on allegations of corruption against Hazare and three ministers. The commission eventually failed to prove wrongdoing in connection with the CAPART funds.   

 

SC Issues Notices to Hazare, Centre over Trust Fund (Deccan Herald)

Supreme Court Notice to Anna Hazare Following PIL (Economic Times)

Justice P.B. Sawant Commission of Inquiry (pdf)

 

Corruption in CAPART and Affiliates

A perception of corruption has shrouded CAPART’s well-intentioned activities. By 2009, CAPART blacklisted 833 NGOs for misappropriating its funds. To root out corruption, CAPART shut down all its regional offices and only entertains proposals for projects at its central office through its newly created online system. Prior to the IRMA report, a committee headed by the member in charge of voluntary action in the Planning Commission, Syeda Hameed, was tasked with reviewing CAPART’s functioning and suggesting reforms. Like the IRMA report, the Hameed Committee also recommended slashing the bureaucracy and replacing them with professionals. Unfortunately, suggestions of radical change scared the bureaucrats, who were keen to protect their turf. The executive council has met on several occasions but these suggested changes haven’t tabled since. 

 

Towards Resuscitating CAPART (by Pramathesh Ambasta, The Hindu)

Crippled CAPART to be run Professionally, Jairam Ramesh Quits as President (by K Balchand, The Hindu)

833 NGOs Blacklisted for Misappropriation of Funds: CAPART (Press Trust of India)

more
Suggested Reforms:

CAPART Needs to Modernize

The IRMA report also noted that CAPART has failed to evolve alongside the voluntary sector’s changing landscape. Over the past 17 years, MoRD nearly quadrupled its budget for welfare programs and allowed the Panchayati Raj Institutions to oversee such programs. Yet it simultaneously sidelined CAPART, which didn’t have the capacity to administer such programs, and curtailed its ability to recruit NGOs.

 

The IRMA report mentions the possibility of transferring the regulatory and policymaking roles to IRMA, as most of the funds, from government and the private sector, that now reach villages bypass CAPART. As a result, pundits now suggest that CAPART must modernize its services to remain relevant through replacing bureaucrats with development professionals and adopting the public-private financing models championed by noted philanthropists like Bill Gates.

 

A New Beginning for CAPART (by Mihir Shah, Economic and Political Weekly)

CAPART: State of the Organization and Roadmap for the Future (by Kajri Misra, Debiprasad Mishra, D. Durga Prasad, Institute of Rural Management, Anand) (pdf)

 

CAPART Should Administer RTI and NREGA

The Syeda Hameed committee sees CAPART’s role in ensuring an effective implementation of landmark acts such as the Right to Information Act and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. CAPART could facilitate collaboration between the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the grassroots civil society organizations, the committee says, so as to raise awareness of the rights secured by these legislations and maximize their potential to empower the rural citizens.

more
Debate:

What is the Best Development Model?

Economists are divided over how to improve the lives of India’s rural populace. Some believe that encouraging migration to fast expanding cities should be the focus. When the cities prosper, their thinking goes, the villages will prosper, too. Their idea of utopia involves people in villages moving to cities, experiencing the many perks of the urban lifestyle and sending home money. There are others who feel this development is unsustainable and that the people in the villages should be allowed to lead better lives within the rural framework.

 

India Should Adopt a Trickle-Down Development Model

Public sector reforms so far have focused on areas that pertain to the corporate sector. Ever since the liberalization of 1991, governments have been preoccupied with opening up more segments of the economy to private investment from within the country and abroad. The recent approval of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and entry of giants such as Wal-Mart has been promoted as a win-win deal for both farmers and city dwellers: the farmers get what they deserve for their products and food becomes cheaper in the cities. Similarly, more manufacturing jobs would lure away people from agriculture, allows land consolidation and paves the way for more efficiency in food production.

 

Rural Development

The one-model-fits-all development is relatively new, and an approach tailored to raise the quality of life in rural areas still holds strong. However, while governments strive to make the conditions amenable for businesses to participate in the economy, the same cannot be said about opening up rural development to grassroots voluntary organizations. At present the “third sector” consists of around 50,000 organizations in the field of rural development alone, which range from community-based self-help groups to research outfits. CAPART should make itself more relevant and its resources more accessible to these organizations so that their strengths — their knowledge of the local terrain and culture and their unrivaled reach to the marginalized in society — are exploited to the fullest. With these NGOs by their side, governments would find that their welfare programs for the rural poor are much more effective.

 

Background

Reform Rural India, Too (by Vidya Mahambare, Wall Street Journal)

India's Economic Reforms have Gains for Rural, Urban Poor: Study (The Hindu)

Agricultural Reforms will Transform India’s Rural Economy & Food Situation (by Sandip Das, Financial Express)

Rural Welfare, Not Walmart (by Ashutosh Varshney, Indian Express)

A New Beginning for CAPART (by Mihir Shah, Economic and Political Weekly)

Census Findings Point to Decade of Rural Distress (by P. Sainath, The Hindu)

Made in the United States (by Devinder Sharma, The Hindu)

more
Former Directors:

Ajay Kumar Singh

Dr. Ajay Kumar Singh served as acting head of CAPART for several months in 2012, prior to the selection Vijaya Srivastava in December. Born in 1959, Singh is a 1987-batch IAS officer. He has a degree in medicine (MBBS), an MBA, a master’s in health services administration (MHSA), and a PhD and from Arizona State University. He was previously a director in the department of land resources at the Ministry of Rural Development. He joined CAPART as a deputy director general in March 2010.

 

Official Bio

more

Comments

Atrashu Shukla 5 months ago
I want make member of capart. I want to develop rural area by joining with CAPART

Leave a comment

Founded: 1986
Annual Budget: Rs. 54.82 crore ($10.2 million USD)
Employees: 145 (28 officers + 117 other staff)
Official Website: http://capart.nic.in/
Council of Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology
  • Latest News
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Council of Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) is an autonomous body set up by the Ministry of Rural Development to interface between the government and NGOs that seek to improve the quality of life in India’s rural areas. Since 69% of India’s population lives in rural areas, this is a significant undertaking. CAPART’s mission is to extend the reach of the government programs to remote areas and their marginalized people through these NGOs. It has assisted in the creation of NGOs as well as provided existing ones with training and financial support, before securing their help in its mission. Of late, however, experts have questioned CAPART’s autonomy and its efficacy in its present form. The organization depends on funds of Rs. 104.05 crore ($19.5 million USD), wholly contributed by the government. CAPART also lacks consistent leadership: 27 different administrative service officers (top-rung bureaucrats) have led the body during its first 24 years.

more
History:

CAPART was formed through the 1986 merger of People’s Action for Development (India) (PADI)established in 1976 — and Council for Advancement of Rural Technology (CART), established in 1984. Since then, it has collaborated with thousands of grassroots organizations that work towards mitigating poverty in rural India. In the 1980s, CAPART was crucial to the growth of NGOs through funding and training programs for youth. More than half of the present NGOs funded by CAPART come from this initiative.

 

But CAPART never reached its full potential. A study by the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) found that CAPART’s inefficiency mostly derives from the failed merger of two unequal organizations. PADI was a decade old at the time of the merger. It had an established ground network and a much larger staff than CART, which was still in its formative stages.

 

That isn’t the body’s only Achilles heel. Since it’s founding, CAPART has been dogged by serious corruption allegations. In 2011, Anna Hazare, the saintly face of India’s anti-corruption movement, was accused of siphoning off CAPART funds from an NGO he controlled.

 

Until 2012, the Minister of Rural Development was also the president of CAPART. But in January 2012, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh resigned from the post after an Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) report (CAPART: State of the Organization and Roadmap for the Future) suggested that the government should withdraw from the management of the institution and hand it over to rural development professionals. In its almost three-decade existence, the government’s overbearing presence in CAPART was reflected in its Executive Council and General Body, which have secretaries from Ministry of Rural Development and various other ministries.

more
What it Does:

NGOs submit proposals of projects to CAPART, seeking financial support or technical expertise. Special committees review the proposals and decide whether to fund or lend support to the NGOs. Over the years, CAPART has evolved into a networking hub for NGOs, promoting the exchange of ideas and collaborations on technology. It has signed agreements with research institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science. CAPART links these research institutions with the rural population through its network of NGOs, promoting their technologies and products. A few organizations across the country serve as its resource centers. CAPART has also teamed up with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to tap into the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs of its member industries and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to align its activities with the government’s fight against climate change.

 

Attached Bodies

M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation

One of the technology research centers of CAPART, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization working to preserve biodiversity, promoting sustainable sources of income for rural populations through biotechnological interventions. It also helps rural areas achieve food security.

 

The organization is led by Professor M.S. Swaminathan, an agricultural scientist who led India’s “Green Revolution” in the 1960s, introducing high-yield varieties of rice and wheat to farmers, along with the use of irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides, and bringing an end to India’s reliance on food imports. He has headed the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and is also a former principal secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. He has also served the government in various key advisory roles.

 

National Innovation Foundation

The National Innovation Foundation is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology. With support from the Honey Bee Network, an international organization promoting fair trade in the knowledge economy, it has created a database of grassroots innovations, collaborating with R&D institutions to validate and enhance technologies and secure patents. The foundation now has 160,000 ideas in its database from more than 545 districts of the country. The foundation is headed by Dr. R.A. Mashelkar, a former director of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Professor Anil Gupta of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

more
Where Does the Money Go:

CAPART has funded 1,119 voluntary organizations since its formation 26 years ago. According to the IRMA report, between the fiscal years 1995-96 and 2008-09, it spent up to Rs. 56.96 crore $11.9 million USD on projects in a single year. CAPART’s key achievement has been to rope in NGOs to deliver the government’s development programs. With that objective in mind, it trained youth in setting up NGOs and provided them with start-up funds. This is one of the sources to which the proliferation of the “third sector” has been traced.

more
Controversies:

Anna Hazare Accused of Misappropriating CAPART Funds 

The face of India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, Maharashtra’s Anna Hazare has long been heralded for the work in his native village Ralegan Siddhi. In 2011, the IAC persistently campaigned for a bill to institute a Lokpal, an ombudsman to check government corruption. Hazare led hunger strikes in Delhi that drew TV coverage, increased public support and embarrassed the ruling Congress-led UPA, already reeling from allegations of corruption.

 

The Supreme Court heard charges that Hazare and his NGO, Hind Swaraj Trust, misused grants of Rs. 75.25 lakh ($140,000 USD) in 1995 and Rs. 4.99 crore ($930,000 USD) in 2001. The petition cited the report by Justice P.B. Sawant Commission of Inquiry, set up by the Government of Maharashtra in 2003, on allegations of corruption against Hazare and three ministers. The commission eventually failed to prove wrongdoing in connection with the CAPART funds.   

 

SC Issues Notices to Hazare, Centre over Trust Fund (Deccan Herald)

Supreme Court Notice to Anna Hazare Following PIL (Economic Times)

Justice P.B. Sawant Commission of Inquiry (pdf)

 

Corruption in CAPART and Affiliates

A perception of corruption has shrouded CAPART’s well-intentioned activities. By 2009, CAPART blacklisted 833 NGOs for misappropriating its funds. To root out corruption, CAPART shut down all its regional offices and only entertains proposals for projects at its central office through its newly created online system. Prior to the IRMA report, a committee headed by the member in charge of voluntary action in the Planning Commission, Syeda Hameed, was tasked with reviewing CAPART’s functioning and suggesting reforms. Like the IRMA report, the Hameed Committee also recommended slashing the bureaucracy and replacing them with professionals. Unfortunately, suggestions of radical change scared the bureaucrats, who were keen to protect their turf. The executive council has met on several occasions but these suggested changes haven’t tabled since. 

 

Towards Resuscitating CAPART (by Pramathesh Ambasta, The Hindu)

Crippled CAPART to be run Professionally, Jairam Ramesh Quits as President (by K Balchand, The Hindu)

833 NGOs Blacklisted for Misappropriation of Funds: CAPART (Press Trust of India)

more
Suggested Reforms:

CAPART Needs to Modernize

The IRMA report also noted that CAPART has failed to evolve alongside the voluntary sector’s changing landscape. Over the past 17 years, MoRD nearly quadrupled its budget for welfare programs and allowed the Panchayati Raj Institutions to oversee such programs. Yet it simultaneously sidelined CAPART, which didn’t have the capacity to administer such programs, and curtailed its ability to recruit NGOs.

 

The IRMA report mentions the possibility of transferring the regulatory and policymaking roles to IRMA, as most of the funds, from government and the private sector, that now reach villages bypass CAPART. As a result, pundits now suggest that CAPART must modernize its services to remain relevant through replacing bureaucrats with development professionals and adopting the public-private financing models championed by noted philanthropists like Bill Gates.

 

A New Beginning for CAPART (by Mihir Shah, Economic and Political Weekly)

CAPART: State of the Organization and Roadmap for the Future (by Kajri Misra, Debiprasad Mishra, D. Durga Prasad, Institute of Rural Management, Anand) (pdf)

 

CAPART Should Administer RTI and NREGA

The Syeda Hameed committee sees CAPART’s role in ensuring an effective implementation of landmark acts such as the Right to Information Act and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. CAPART could facilitate collaboration between the Panchayati Raj Institutions and the grassroots civil society organizations, the committee says, so as to raise awareness of the rights secured by these legislations and maximize their potential to empower the rural citizens.

more
Debate:

What is the Best Development Model?

Economists are divided over how to improve the lives of India’s rural populace. Some believe that encouraging migration to fast expanding cities should be the focus. When the cities prosper, their thinking goes, the villages will prosper, too. Their idea of utopia involves people in villages moving to cities, experiencing the many perks of the urban lifestyle and sending home money. There are others who feel this development is unsustainable and that the people in the villages should be allowed to lead better lives within the rural framework.

 

India Should Adopt a Trickle-Down Development Model

Public sector reforms so far have focused on areas that pertain to the corporate sector. Ever since the liberalization of 1991, governments have been preoccupied with opening up more segments of the economy to private investment from within the country and abroad. The recent approval of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and entry of giants such as Wal-Mart has been promoted as a win-win deal for both farmers and city dwellers: the farmers get what they deserve for their products and food becomes cheaper in the cities. Similarly, more manufacturing jobs would lure away people from agriculture, allows land consolidation and paves the way for more efficiency in food production.

 

Rural Development

The one-model-fits-all development is relatively new, and an approach tailored to raise the quality of life in rural areas still holds strong. However, while governments strive to make the conditions amenable for businesses to participate in the economy, the same cannot be said about opening up rural development to grassroots voluntary organizations. At present the “third sector” consists of around 50,000 organizations in the field of rural development alone, which range from community-based self-help groups to research outfits. CAPART should make itself more relevant and its resources more accessible to these organizations so that their strengths — their knowledge of the local terrain and culture and their unrivaled reach to the marginalized in society — are exploited to the fullest. With these NGOs by their side, governments would find that their welfare programs for the rural poor are much more effective.

 

Background

Reform Rural India, Too (by Vidya Mahambare, Wall Street Journal)

India's Economic Reforms have Gains for Rural, Urban Poor: Study (The Hindu)

Agricultural Reforms will Transform India’s Rural Economy & Food Situation (by Sandip Das, Financial Express)

Rural Welfare, Not Walmart (by Ashutosh Varshney, Indian Express)

A New Beginning for CAPART (by Mihir Shah, Economic and Political Weekly)

Census Findings Point to Decade of Rural Distress (by P. Sainath, The Hindu)

Made in the United States (by Devinder Sharma, The Hindu)

more
Former Directors:

Ajay Kumar Singh

Dr. Ajay Kumar Singh served as acting head of CAPART for several months in 2012, prior to the selection Vijaya Srivastava in December. Born in 1959, Singh is a 1987-batch IAS officer. He has a degree in medicine (MBBS), an MBA, a master’s in health services administration (MHSA), and a PhD and from Arizona State University. He was previously a director in the department of land resources at the Ministry of Rural Development. He joined CAPART as a deputy director general in March 2010.

 

Official Bio

more

Comments

Atrashu Shukla 5 months ago
I want make member of capart. I want to develop rural area by joining with CAPART

Leave a comment

Founded: 1986
Annual Budget: Rs. 54.82 crore ($10.2 million USD)
Employees: 145 (28 officers + 117 other staff)
Official Website: http://capart.nic.in/
Council of Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology
  • Latest News