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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What is the sectoral composition of employment in India?

If you were to consider a simple dual sector classification of industry groups in India, so that workers can either be working in either (a) agriculture and allied activities, or the (b) non-agriculture sector then you can observe a clear contrast in the composition of labour force. While some people may not be surprised to find that the agriculture sector is predominantly concentrated in rural India, it is interesting to note the the agricultural sector employs women labourers more intensively. On the other hand, the non-agricultural sector is mostly urban and comprises of relatively more males.

The following table (taken from the NSS report on informal sector) details the distribution of workers:

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If you are wondering what goes into making of the agricultural sector, then the short and less boring answer is that it comprises of activities such as growing crops, farming of animals, forestry, fishing and service activities related to these. Non-agriculture sector is everything that is not considered in the above definition. The technical answer is that NIC groups 011 [growing of crops; market gardening; horticulture] and 013 [growing of crops combined with farming of animals (mixed farming)] form the agricultural sector (also known as AGGC); NIC groups 012 [farming of animals], 014 [agricultural and animal husbandry service activities, except veterinary activities], 015 [hunting, trapping and game propagation including related service activities], division 02 [forestry, logging and related service activities] and division 05 [fishing] form what is called the AGEGC sector ([ag]ricultural sector [e]xcluding only [g]rowing of [c]rops, market gardening, horticulture and growing of crops combined with farming of animals); and NIC division 10-99 form the non-agriculture sector. Note: I have clubbed AGGC and AGEGC when making the dual sector comparison. Also, note that the NIC classification referred above is the old one [link to NIC 2004]. I do so to maintain consistency with the NSS report [Link to report 539]. If you want to use a NIC classification please refer to the latest one here [Link to NIC 2008].