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Centre to Computerise 1,851 Agri & Rural Development Banks, State Cooperative Registrars – News18


Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the Union Minister of Cooperation, has taken, in what is being seen, as a landmark decision. (PTI File)

“On the lines of computerisation scheme of all Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACs) in the country, a centrally sponsored scheme has been approved for computerisation of 1,851 units of ARDBs of 13 states through a national unified software and computerization of offices of Registrar of Cooperatives of all States/Union Territories similar to Central Registrar,” the government said

Registrars of 28 states and eight union territories, along with 1,851 Agriculture and Rural Development Banks (ARDB) operating in 13 states, will now be computerised, at a total estimated expenditure of Rs 225.09 crore.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the Union Minister of Cooperation, has taken, in what is being seen, as a landmark decision.

In states, cooperatives are governed by the Registrar Cooperative Society (RCS). “On the lines of computerisation scheme of all Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACs) in the country, a centrally sponsored scheme has been approved for computerisation of 1,851 units of ARDBs of 13 states through a national unified software and computerization of offices of Registrar of Cooperatives of all States/Union Territories similar to Central Registrar,” the government said, in a statement.

Additionally, a ‘Central Project Monitoring Unit’ (PMU) will be established, which will work towards the successful implementation of the scheme.

An official in the cooperatives ministry informed that these steps have been taken after consultation with all the states and states will also have to bear part of the expenditure of this centrally sponsored scheme. The official further said the existing process in the 1851 ARDBs was manual and they did not have any online operations.

ARDBs operate at the state level, have their branches and at the district level, there are the PCARDBS. This is the first phase and will be expanded later. The official added that the computerisation of the ARDBs was a long-standing demand of the sector. The NAFCARD (National Federation of Agriculture and Rural Development Banks) had voiced this need for computerisation.

In August, the online portal of the Central Registrar of Cooperative Societies was launched. Now, on similar lines, the State Registrar Office will be computerised. Pointing out that every state has different cooperative laws, the official in the ministry of cooperation explained that computerisation is extremely uneven across different states and once SRCs are computerised, there will be common features in the software, so that all offices have uniformity. The big advantage is that the process of registrations can become online, making it easy for people.

Computerisation of the registrars of all states and union territories and the 1851 Agricultural and Rural Development Banks is expected to bring “transparency and uniformity” in the function of these offices, making them more efficient. The move is also expected to enable people to “quickly access services provided by the Cooperative Departments of the states and offices of ARDBS”.

This is just the latest in a battery of decisions that the Union Minister of Cooperatives has taken – beginning with reforms in the model bylaws, expanding the scope of activities of cooperative societies, bringing the nearly 63,000 functional and viable cooperatives onto one operating system and linking it to the National Software Network for the first time, pushing through amendments in the Multi State Cooperatives (Amendment) Act, 2023, giving various kinds of tax reliefs to the cooperative sector to bring parity with the corporate sector and electoral reforms. The central government has also set up three multistate cooperative societies to deal with production, marketing and distribution of seeds, organic produce and exports.

There are more than eight lakh cooperatives with a membership of 29 crore or one-fourth of India’s population. Of these, 1,600 are multistate cooperative societies, while the rest come under the sole jurisdiction of states.



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