Source : VANI, Forus member in India 

To effectively address twin problems of reforming the regulatory regime and ensure sustainability of the sector; Forus member the Voluntary Action Network India (VANI) held a series of joint meetings with the think-thank of the Government of India The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI AAYOG) across the country. In its meetings with NITI AAYOG, the GoI’s Policy Think Tank is looking towards soliciting ground level inputs from VANI members in its efforts to reform the current regulatory regime. 

In total 5 regional meetings have taken place, which saw a vibrant representation of grassroot Voluntary Organizations interfacing with NITI AAYOG’s committee and feeding their concerns. As a culmination of these meetings, a roundtable with Standing Committee Members of NITI AAYOG was held on 15th March 2019 through the support of Civic Engagement Alliance and Population Foundation of India where sector leaders and experts presented their suggestions. At least 30 prime Voluntary Organizations made their representation at this forum with many keen to interact and discuss. 

The consultation comprehensively discussed the need for streamlining and harmonizing the Voluntary Sector laws in order to facilitate an eased regime for voluntary organizations. As a follow-up, VANI will be initiating a roadmap for engagement with the NITI AAYOG to discuss implementation strategy and open spaces for collaboration with the Government and Voluntary Sector for its enabling environment. To promote a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ecosystem where there is qualitative partnership between Voluntary Sector with CSR groups; VANI organized a roundtable with Government of India representatives which was graced by the Additional Secretary Dr. Madhukar Gupta, Department of Public Enterprises and Joint Secretary Shri. Gyaneshwar Singh, Ministry of Corporate Affairs aimed at fostering a robust dialogue with sector leaders and experts on how CSR can be utilized for development initiatives of Voluntary Organizations. Noting the need for Civil Society’s critical role in addressing gaps in CSR utilization Shri.Gyaneshwar Singh requested VANI to present a white paper and assured the Ministry of Corporate Affairs keen interest in using the expertise of the sector for expanding CSR’s scope. 

A holistic discussion also followed on how Public Enterprises can be linked with Voluntary Organizations for implementing their CSR activities and Dr. Gupta underlined on the need to work closely with VANI to gain connect with credible organizations across India. The Civic Engagement Alliance and Population Foundation of India supported this endeavor which churned a trajectory for dynamic cooperation between the Government, Private Sector and Voluntary Sector that will help in realizing a collective vision for channelizing CSR for development.