Non-Governmental organizations are autonomous organization that neither form part of a government nor was originated by any state. Therefore, it is free from government involvement. These organizations are set up or initiated by group of individual or citizens across the globe who intend to serve their members or others in several ways for their betterment. NGOs handle many activities which includes Animal Welfare, Age care, Child Education, Environmental Protection, Women Empowerment, Development of cities and urban areas and many other. Furthermore, you should be aware of the various NGO registration types and their benefits so that you can be more specific about your needs and resource availability for starting an NGO.

History of NGOs in India

India’s culture is based on the concept of ‘daana’ means giving and ‘seva’ means service. Our country believes in phenomenon of Voluntarism intend to provide services to needy, sick, impoverished and are also functional in areas like cultural promotion, education to unprivileged section of society, health services, environmental promotion, providing help during natural calamities. These voluntary efforts keep going during ancient and medieval period which bring many revolutionary changes and which also leads to many developmental Programmes in the history of India. This concept of voluntarism has become a vital part in the progress of India through these revolutions and changes.

Tradition of voluntarism is even older than the era of Independence. During an era of 1980s, these NGOs became more particularized in their working and such voluntary movements are break-up into three groups which are as follows:

  • The aim of first group was to run many literacy programs in the villages, encouraged farmers to adopt new techniques for farming, helped weavers and many more.
  • The second group consist of those NGOs members or groups who explore a particular subject in detail and then try to persuade a politician, government or courts to bring an improvement in the lives of citizens.
  • The members of third group are those who find themselves to be more as reformer than others.

Read to know about Types of NGO Registration in India

NGOs in different times

The focus on the working of NGOs has been shifted with the passage of time which is described below:

  • At ancient times- NGOs were aimed at providing education, health, free kitchens, shelters to homeless during Natural calamities like draught, famines, etc. and also focused on rural development such as digging wells, tanks, planting trees and so on. At this stage the principles of the ruler were confined to the rules of ‘Dharma Shastras’.
  • At medieval times- The concept of NGOs was based on the principle of ‘Shramdaan’ which means performing work with your hands. Schools and various educational institutions were set up by English- educative natives, Zamindars and businessmen. During this phase, the interference of the state was the slightest.
  • At an era of Social Reform Movements- Focus at this era was on eliminating Gender discrimination and evil practices such as Sati, Child marriage, other caste related issues, etc. Also, there were extremely surprising improvement in the area of Literacy, Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Village Justice system, etc.
  • At Gandhian era- Gandhiji promoted voluntarism through his model of non-violence, justice and freedom. He also plays a major role in putting an effort in rural development in the country. Through these NGOs, Gandhiji propounded its ideologies of cooperation, mutual help, self-reliance, untouchability at this era.
  • At Post-independence era- NGOs were given more importance by the government in this era as it plays a major role in development of Indian economy even before independence. During the year 1990s, NGOs started to have their funding from Government which results in rapid revolutionary changes and hence got an upward push in this period. At this stage, NGOs were asked to involved in the upliftment of women and children in Five Year plan which was started by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru.

Significance of NGO Registration in development of Indian Society

The Organizations like NGOs plays a major role in leading social change and development of society in many ways which are stated under:

Significance of NGO Registration in development of Indian Society

NGO Registration in India

Non-governmental organizations often referred to as NGOs, are typically non-profit organizations that are independent of government. However, they are often funded by governments and international government organizations.

The principal objective should be to support the underprivileged. Apart from this, NGO aims at creating awareness of different things that are less talked about in society and are often ignored.

NGOs are active in educational, public policy, social, humanitarian, health care, human rights, environmental, and other areas to effect changes based on their objectives.

What’s the purpose of NGO Registration?

It truly doesn’t matter what kind of NGO you are running or going to commence. The sector you work might differ, but you must have the ultimate goal and inherent desire of helping and supporting others, be it in education, art, skill development, etc.

Once you’re determined to start an NGO, you should have a clearly defined goal and a transparent vision for which it is established and will be operated. Plus, you must also mention the beneficiary which can be either public in general or a set of people.

Kinds of NGOs in India

There are basically three kinds of NGOs based on their registration as mentioned hereunder:

Kinds of NGOs in India

  • Society Registration- Society Registration is governed by Society Registration Act, 1860. It is the Central Act for registration of NPOs. The group of individuals who comes together by mutual consent to deliberate some charitable or any other social purpose can form a Society under this Act. Minimum seven persons who subscribe to the charter document known as Memorandum of Association (MOA) are required to form a Society. Such Charter document shall contain all the required information of the Society like its name, objective for which it is formed, address, Details of the members who have subscribe to it, etc. There are numerous benefits for registration of NPOs as a society. Some of its are as follows:
    • Status of separate legal entity shall be provided to such society.
    • Member of the society are liable only to their own acts and not for others.
    • The liability of its members is limited to their extent of share only.
    • Tax exemptions can be availed by such registered society under Income Tax Act.
  • Trust Registration- Trust Registration is governed by Indian Trust Act, 1882. Before Registration, Trust Deed is a crucial requirement. There are basically two types of trust i.e., Public Trust and Private Trust. Public Trust is created for charitable and religious purposes and there is no separate act which govern formation of these Charitable Trust whereas Private Trust is governed by Indian Trust Act, 1882. There are several benefits of Trust Registration such as:
    • These Trusts are set up to get involved in Charitable activities.
    • Registered Trust shall provide benefits to the needy people by performing many charitable activities.
    • By registering itself, Trusts shall not indulge in any Legal Litigations.
    • Benefit of 80G certificate can also be availed by registered trust.
  • Section 8 Company Registration- Another way to register an NGO is by way of registering a company under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013. Such companies are formed for the purpose of promoting cultural and charitable objectives and also for promotion of science, commerce, art, religion and it aims to apply its income or profits for the promotion of same. Also, it restricts the right to payment of dividend to its members. The License to form such companies are issued by Central Government. Such companies are not allowed to add word ‘Private Limited’ and ‘Limited’ to its name. The benefits of forming such companies are as follows:
    • No minimum capital is required for formation of NGO as per Section 8 Company.
    • Like Trusts, it also enjoys status of separate legal entity.
    • The donations made to the NGOs by donors are also exempted from tax.
    • No suffix is required to be use by such companies to its name.
    • Section 8 companies registered as an NGO are more credible as compared to Trust or Society as Central Government itself provide license to form such kind of companies.
    • Less Stamp Duty is required to be paid on incorporation of Section 8 companies as Government give special privileges to such Companies.

Wrapping it up

NGOs become an important part of an Indian society. It stimulates the gap between Government and the society. NGOs are participating in a diversified activities and these activities are rapidly increasing with the passage of time. Various non-governmental organizations have the capacity to reach poor localities, calamity affected areas and other several areas which are far from the reach of officials. It leads to the development of even backward areas. Working of NGOs are very flexible and hence they are eager to take new risk and adopt new approaches, if required.


Ashita Saini is a CA final student pursuing her articleship at Goyal Mangal & Co from past 1 year. She is well versed with tally, MS Excel, taxation, auditing and is keenly interested in accounting and finance related work of various sectors of economy.

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