Trends in registration of non-profit institutions in India

Last year the Central Statistics Office came out with an interesting report on non-profit institutions in India and tried to estimate, perhaps for the first time, the value of output produced by this third sector (which is considered, typically, to be outside the state and market). The report was called ‘Non Profit Institutions in India: A Profile and Satellite Accounts in the framework of System of National Accounts (including State-wise Comparison of Profiles)’ and has a lot of data. One that immediately jumps out is the recent boom in registration of these societies. There was a marked increase in the 1990s but the trend has continued even into the 21st century. The following graph illustrates the trends in registration of societies:

Before the 1970s, the claimed purpose of most societies was ‘religion’ (35 percent) but this has declined substantially over the past few decades and today, majority of the societies are registered with a ‘social service’ purpose. There’s also interesting data on the distribution of governing board members and the report notes, “In both rural and urban areas, the number of male governing body members is significantly higher than their female counterpart. The average size of governing body per society is the same i.e. 10 persons, for both rural and urban areas. The overall male-female ratio of governing body members is 3:1. The male-female ratio is almost same in rural and urban areas.” Note: the employment and financial results are based on a survey which could potentially be biased (as only a small subset of the sample was visited and I couldn’t discern if this was a random sample or not).

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