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Civil Society, Introduction, Evolution, Types, Need and Role

Civil Society

The family and the private sectors are considered to be a part of civil society, which is referred to as the third sector of society and different from the government and business. We can also state that it is a community or a group, such as an environmental organisation, which operates independently of the government and supports a large number of people with social problems.

The Civil Society is an important part of Indian Polity which an important subject in UPSC Syllabus. Students can also go for UPSC Mock Test to get more accuracy in their preparations.

Civil Society Introduction

A civil society is made up of associations and businesses that serve the public benefit while operating outside of the governmental and for-profit sectors. The civil sectors are frequently referred to as the civil society. They join labourers, churches, non-profit civil society organisations, and other service providers in this to create a society that offers services and expects relatively little in return.

According to the World Bank, the civil society is also known as the broad collection or array of organizations, which includes foundations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), faith-based organizations, charitable organizations, some professional groups and associations, and community organizations. These are a few of the civil society organizations and groups.

Civil Society Centre

The goal of civil society is to create a society where everyone has the freedom to live the life they choose and where the political and economic spheres are held accountable. The goal of civil society is to promote social change in society through the general public, work on policies relating to education, employment, and other areas in both the public and private spheres, put these policies into practice, and interact with decision-makers for guidance and improved outcomes. According to the yearly survey published by the University of Pennsylvania in the 2021 global go-to think tank ranking, we are ranked 83rd globally and 5th in India.

Civil Society Evolution

The focus on civil society has its roots in the 1980s, when political scientists first started to discuss a “representation problem.” Social movements, citizen groups, and non-governmental organisations had replaced political parties and labour unions as the preferred methods of engagement for people everywhere.

By the late 1970s, all of India’s institutions had collapsed, giving rise to a number of populist political movements. The fight against child labour, the right to information, shelter, primary education, and food security has all gained traction in civil society. Other movements such as the anti-caste movement, the fight for gender justice, the fight for civil liberties, a healthy environment, and against mega-development projects that have displaced thousands of impoverished tribals and hill dwellers have also gained ground. Through the filing of Public Interest Litigations and judicial activism, civil society was strengthened.

Civil Society Types

Various civil society organisations include the following:

Civil Rights Advocacy Organization

Since it is well known that civil society supports human rights, this organisation advocates for those rights for particular social groupings. They help a variety of populations, including women, sex workers, HIV patients, migrants, the crippled, tribe members, and many others.

Civil Library Advocacy Organisation

As its name implies, this organisation works to advance civil freedoms and human rights for all individuals, not just members of specific communities or classes.

Community-based Organisation

The farmer’s cooperatives or the citizen group are other names for it. This group works to improve public policy issues and public participation in order to raise the standard of living in a particular society.

Civil Society Need

The work of citizens’ representatives may be examined. to draw attention to actions like violating civil liberties and failing to provide individuals with a decent standard of living. The democratic right to protest is protected under Article 19 of the constitution as a part of the right to freedom of expression. Elections and politics shouldn’t be the only activities that are free to participate in. Without this right, democracy becomes an illusion. Therefore, it is impossible to separate civil society from the state.

Civil Society Role

In a sizable developing nation like India, the government has neglected to close numerous gaps in the development process. India’s civic society now is working to close these gaps. Enhancing the government’s effort to provide healthcare to its people and raising awareness of problems like child and maternal malnutrition

Several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as Childline India Foundation, World Vision, and Arambh India, have been instrumental in raising public awareness regarding child sexual abuse. Over the past 20 years, there have been a large number of NGOs working in India to protect the environment.

In order to inform people about the risks of corruption, increase their knowledge, and ensure their involvement by giving them a voice, civil society and the media collaborate. Civil society can have an impact on the creation of policies and projects by participating in committees and presenting memoranda.

Civil Society Issues

The issue is complex, and it is made worse by the fact that India has over a million NGOs with a range of functions, organisational structures, and sizes, as well as the “unorganised” nature of the sector. A list of civil society organisations and their financial backers has been compiled. In order to portray NGOs negatively, funds are stopped, intelligence reports are distributed selectively, and their activities are added on a watch list.

Not all civil society organisations work to uphold the moral consciousness of our culture. Some people are exclusively concerned with getting money from the government or other sources. Some media outlets regularly feel frightened by their corporate overlords and the allure of fame. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs denied 25 NGO licence renewal requests in November 2016 as a result of the Union Home Ministry classifying some NGOs as a security threat to the nation. NGOs like Greenpeace have frequently been charged with being anti-national.

Civil Society UPSC

We can infer from the content that the government and the general public are our most significant sources of information. This is seen as they keep an eye on the acts and policies taken by the government. Together, they cooperate with governmental policies and offer a different approach for a certain area of the institutions and private sectors.

Here, we learn that the purpose of civil society is to bring together institutions and NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to represent the will of the people. The institutions and organisations are separate from the society and the government organisations. An essential component of democracy that creates the conditions for good decision-making is civil society. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Civil Society FAQs

What do you mean by civil society?

Civil society can be understood as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business, and including the family and the private sphere.

What is an example of a civil society?

For example, CSOs can be community-based organisations, village associations, environmental groups, women's rights groups, farmers' associations, faith-based organisations, labour unions, and co-operatives.

What is the aim of the civil society?

The objective of civil society policy is to improve the conditions for civil society as an integral part of democracy.

What is civil society and its characteristics?

Civil society is based on individuals' freedom of choice. People organize activities and services for themselves according to their own hopes and needs.

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