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IASSI Quarterly
Year : 2005, Volume : 23, Issue : 3
First page : ( 107) Last page : ( 126)
Print ISSN : 0970-9061.

The role of Co-operatives in Socio-Economic Development in India — A review

Bhole L.M., Professor of Economics

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. Email: bhole@hss.iitb.ac.in


The Co-operative from of business organization has been developed and it has existed in many fields of activities across the globe for more than 150 years now. But the performance of Co-operatives all over the world appears to have been below the expected mark. The objective of this Paper is to examine the meaning, evolution, and principles of co-operatives, to review their working, and to discuss their problems abroad and in India. It shows that certain limitations of the principles, motivations and the goals of Co-operatives would come in the way of their development into an Alternative Social Paradigm such as the Co-operative Commonwealth, which really can solve the problems of poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, social conflicts, and so on. In practice, the co-operatives are often riddled with a host of problems such as concentration, State-dependence, top-to-bottom approach, lack of spontaneity, commercialization, power-politics, corruption, etc. The institutionalization of the principle of co-operation has perhaps tended to result into the ideology of cooperativism.

Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.

Henry David Thoreau


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