[Editorial Analysis] Cooperative spirit: On the new Union Ministry of Cooperation

Mains Paper 2: Polity
Prelims level: Cooperatives
Mains level: Role of the Ministry of Cooperation


• Cooperatives play an important role in the growth of a country, although they are rarely the focus of policy planning.

• According to the government, the formation of a new Union Ministry to manage the cooperatives sector will save it from neglect.

What’s the Issue?

• Critics worry that the Ministry’s goal is to consolidate even more authority in the hands of the federal government.

• As market conditions change, cooperatives in states like Kerala have expanded their businesses to include IT parks and medical schools.

• More expansion opportunities, such as insurance, remain untapped, and the regulatory framework must keep pace.

• Because cooperatives are on the Constitution’s State List, the Centre will have to come up with new ways to ensure the new Ministry’s legal validity.

• However, the sector’s distributed capacity can be marshalled by a different Ministry.

Importance of Cooperatives:

• Cooperatives aren’t supposed to follow the market logic of maximising profits, but rather to evenly distribute the advantages to all stakeholders.

• Cooperatives have made major contributions to poverty alleviation, food security, natural resource management, and environmental protection in India, albeit they are not consistent.

• True, the sector has devolved into a tool of favouritism and plunder. In several states, mismanagement and corruption ruined the sector.

• Cooperatives are effective at mediating politics at the local level, outside of the parliamentary system, in addition to helping localities and segments that markets may overlook.


• Despite the RBI’s and states’ regulatory control, the industry has a great deal of autonomy, which is frequently abused.

• The solution isn’t an overarching Ministry or Delhi’s diktats. A cooperative’s concept is that choices are made by people who are affected by them.

• The need for greater openness and efficiency in the sector is compelling; yet, this goal must be pursued not by terrifying the industry’s very soul, but by fostering a cooperative spirit.

• The new Ministry has the potential to be a catalyst, but it must avoid becoming a command authority.


Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the “Matsya Setu” app, consider the following statements:

1. The app was developed by the ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (ICAR-CIFA), Bhubaneswar, with the funding support of the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), Hyderabad.

2. The online course app aims to disseminate the latest freshwater aquaculture technologies to the aqua farmers of the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

Mains Questions:

Q.1) Enumerate the challenges and opportunities for the cooperative sector in India in context of establishment of new Cooperative ministry.

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