The prestigious Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) has spurned Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh’s offer to help restructure and professionalise the 25-year-old crippled CAPAR

It is a government agency that was set up specially to fund non-profits working on rural development. But of late the Council for People’s Action and Advancement of Rural Technology (CAPART) has been plagued by allegations of corruption and inefficiency. After a few failed attempts to reform CAPART, the government has now decided to overhaul the agency which has close to 12,000 NGOs associated with it.

The 2007 National Policy on the Voluntary Sector aims at creating an enabling environment for voluntary organisations and facilitating their partnership with the government. But it suffers from a major lacuna in that it fails to comprehensively address the central aspects of autonomy, credibility and the nature of partnership itself. Instead of assisting the voluntary sector to take on roles distinct from and complementary to the state's development agenda, it encourages activities commensurate with state approaches. April 19-25, 2008

a planning Commission expert committee recommended early in March that an autonomous body under the Union ministry of rural development (mord) be professionalised. The autonomous body