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POINTERS 2014 MPOC
Palm Oil Internet Seminar
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Special Focus - India:
Role of NGOs and Its Influence on Policies
By: Mr. Vijay Sardana

Vijay Sardana is well known and experience corporate manager, speaker, writer, author, blogger, corporate trainer and business advisor on subjects related to consumer-agri-food products and rural and bio-economy. He is currently involved in various capacities with various leading organizations including Vice President & Head, Food Security Initiatives & Agribusinesses (Policies and program), UPL Group, Mumbai; Independent Director appointed by Government of India on Kotak Bank Anchored ACE Commodity & Derivative Exchange, Mumbai Director, ARPL Agribusiness Services, New Delhi; Member, Advisory Committee, Forward Market Commission, Government of India;; Director, Strategy management Group, Rasna International etc.

Vijay Sardana is alumni of well-known leading institutes like IIM, Ahmedabad, CFTRI, Mysore Collage of Dairy Science and Indian Law Institute, New Delhi and also acquired professional qualification from WIPO, Geneva and Harvard University, USA with wide global experience of more than 20 years in various leadership positions. He has committed himself for the development of globally competitive, efficient and fair agribusinesses and commodity markets with the deep and insightful knowledge, experience, insight and understanding of complex interrelation between social, economic, technical, legal and political aspects of global bio-economy. He is also in the Management Committee Member of Solvent Extractors Association of India, Life Member of Indian Dairy Association, AFST(I), All India management Association, Crop Care Association of India and Consulting editor and Member of Editorial Board of many magazines on agriculture, agribusiness and food processing, besides members of other important associations and professional bodies.

Vijay Sardana has travelled more than 22 countries and worked on wide range of issues affecting agro-commodities and agribusinesses from almost all agro-climatic situations on various aspects with wide range of business houses, international development organizations and policy making bodies around the world. Mr. Sardana has contributed through his projects, trainings, writings, researches, critical analysis for various stakeholders and during interactions with various committees of policy making bodies, institutions and publications and invited to many national and international forums like WEF, Grow Africa, WBCSD, IGD, etc. His blog, “Vijay Sardana Online”, is read in more than 150 countries and he has contributed more than 500 articles related to agriculture, agribusinesses and related issues. He had authored popular book titled “Guide for HACCP Implementation in Food Industries”. His understanding of complex dynamics of commodity markets and agribusinesses is a great asset for business leaders, equity investors, professionals, executives, farmers and policy makers. He is among the few whose in-depth knowledge and hand-on professional work and views are well recognized in commodity trade and agro-based industries.


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Governments worldwide are beginning to recognize the challenge of sustain¬ability, and this term is being addressed in public policy discussions. Anyone government cannot work in this area alone; it is imperative to work with other governments in order to address the issues in a global context.

Governments need to be able to anticipate rising demand for sustainable products and services. Governments can play a key role in aiding the transi¬tion toward more efficient, less damaging economies. Those governments that can lead to this role would be able to set the agenda for their economies, industries, and citizens.

As we all know that the government has four distinct roles in addressing sustainability concerns. These roles are Policy development, Regulation, Facilitation, Internal sustainability management

Due to various reasons, increasingly, governments are called to form partnerships with various stakeholders for effective results, ranging from the ones with other levels of government to ones with civil society organizations, NGOs and the private sector. In terms of advancing sustainability, the govern¬ment can also play a significant role.

The term NGO describes a range of groups and organizations from watchdog activist groups and aid agencies to devel¬opment and policy organizations.

Usually, NGOs are defined as organiza¬tions that pursue a public interest agenda, rather than commercial interests. NGOs are a complex mixture comprised of alliances and rivalries; businesses and charities; conservatives and radicals. The funding comes from various sources, and through NGOs are usually non-profit organizations, there are some that operate for profit. NGOs originate from all over the world and have access to different levels of resources. “Conflict of Interest: and “credibility issues” are also becoming a serious concern with NGOs and their activities.

The real story is how these organizations have networked and impacted world politics. Global politics have gone through a drastic shift resulting from the growth of nongovernmental agencies. NGOs or CSOs have moved from being in the background to have a presence in the midst of world politics and, as a result, are exerting their influence and power in policy-making at a global scale.

There are various strate¬gies that have been employed. For example, some NGOs organize large-scale protests, capture international headlines, and gain notoriety. There are other NGOs that have organized meetings to challenge the legitimacy of various global bodies.

In response, these efforts forced the governments to figure out ways to involve NGOs in their decision making. Now that their place in world politics is firmly established, the majority of NGOs have moved from street protests to a policy-making a role in the boardrooms and in government bodies.

The author will share what is the implications for the stakeholders of palm oil trade in coming days and what is the way forward.


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Questions & Answers (3) :
Akmal
4 months ago
It is surprising to note that NGOs in India is one of the major stakeholder in the edible oil market. Specifically, how are your NGO roles and functions integrate into India’s edible oil industry especially in relation to palm oil import what do your NGO champion?
Vijay Sardana:
In India, NGOs raise many issues of public interests including quality and safety of food. NGOs make representation to government departments and also file Public interest litigation in various high courts about quality and safety of food in India. They also use newspaper extensively to outreach to masses and influence public opinion. Very often we see articles on edible oil quality, edible oil and health and similar issues in media. These articles do influence public opinion.
4 months ago
Vijay Sardana:
For more information you may watch this on PalmTV, click here: https://youtu.be/qv63GfLmaTo
4 months ago
Akmal
4 months ago
It is surprising to note that NGOs in India is one of the major stakeholder in the edible oil market. Specifically, how are your NGO roles and functions integrate into India’s edible oil industry especially in relation to palm oil import what do your NGO champion?
Vijay Sardana:
In India, NGOs raise many issues of public interests including quality and safety of food. NGOs make representation to government departments and also file Public interest litigation in various high courts about quality and safety of food in India. They also use newspaper extensively to outreach to masses and influence public opinion. Very often we see articles on edible oil quality, edible oil and health and similar issues in media. These articles do influence public opinion.
4 months ago
Vijay Sardana:
For more information you may watch this on PalmTV, click here: https://youtu.be/qv63GfLmaTo
4 months ago
CH Teoh
4 months ago
Q1: Thank you Mr Sardana for your interesting discussion on NGOs in India; having to deal with more than 3.1 million NGOs is indeed mind-boggling! The GoI’s effort in making NGOs more accountable through disclosure of sources of funding and submission of financial balance sheets is commendable. You suggested “governments must ask all NGOs to submit their action on the agenda they are pushing and make them accountable”. The question is how successful has the GoI been in using these approaches to monitor NGOs, especially the 3000+ NGOs who received more than INR 510 billion (USD 7.7 billion) in the past 4 years? C.H. Teoh
Vijay Sardana:
Thank you for your kind words about the article. You raised a very valid point. Government of India is quite successful in cracking down on NGOs violating established rules. The action can be in terms of cancellation of their registration, cancellation of registration to receive foreign funding, they key management personals are made accountable to disclose information as per law and they have to submit their duly audited annual accounts. Some of the big NGOs were asked to shut their operations because they were found violating norms. According to reports, Government has cancelled Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licences of about 20,000 non-profit government organisations (NGOs) ever since it came to power in May 2014. The home ministry, which took the action, has justified it saying these organisations were technically violating various provisions of the Act. Cancellation of license would mean that these NGOs are no longer eligible to receive foreign funds. This is forcing NGOs to fall in line and file their documents as per the law. In fact, Supreme Court of India also Orders Auditing Of All NGOs; Directs Action Against Defaulters.
4 months ago
Vijay Sardana:
For more information you may watch this on PalmTV, click here: https://youtu.be/qv63GfLmaTo
4 months ago
Vijay Sardana:
For more information you may watch this on PalmTV, click here: https://youtu.be/qv63GfLmaTo
4 months ago
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