- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.