The National Cooperative Union of India, (NCUI) is the apex organisation representing the entire cooperative movement in the country. It was established in 1929 as All India Cooperative Institutes Association and was re-organised as Indian Cooperative Union through the merger of Indian Provincial Cooperative Banks’ Association with All India Cooperative Institutes Association and later in 1961 as National Cooperative Union of India. The National Cooperative Union of India has travelled a long way since then to now emerged as the sole representative of the Cooperative movement in the country. Being the apex organisation of the Indian cooperative movement in the country, the NCUI is committed to lend dynamism and vibrancy to the cooperative sector in the twenty first century. To make the voice of cooperation as strong as ever is NCUI’s supreme motto.
The objectives of the Union are “to promote and develop the cooperative movement in India, to educate, guide and assist the people in their efforts, to build up and expand the cooperative sector and to save as an exponent of cooperative opinion in accordance with cooperative principles”. In furtherance of these objectives, the Union may either by itself or in collaboration with other cooperative institutions :
- express opinion on matters of cooperative policy and act as the accredited representative of the Indian Cooperative Movement in the national and international spheres;
- Organise cooperative education and training programmes and popularise the principles and practices of cooperation;
- organise, conduct, collaborate and assist in carrying out research, investigations of cooperative problems and formulation of projects for cooperative development;
- arrange for the production and publication of literature and audio-visual aids including films, filmstrips on cooperation and allied subjects;
- give publicity to the achievements of cooperatives through periodicals, journals, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures, books, films, broadcasts, T.V. and the like for creating favourable atmosphere for the development of the cooperative movement;
- maintain an information bureau and a library;
- convene and hold the National Cooperative Congress and Coopertive Seminars, Meetings, Conferences, Exhibitions etc.;
- select delegates, representative and observes on behalf of the Union for participation in the International, National and State Conferences;
- facilitate the promotion of cooperative institutions and assist the member societies in resolving their problems and difficulties and formulation of programmes and their implementation and preserve and safeguard the democratic character of the cooperative movement in the country;
- confer/honour on the eminent cooperators;
- promote international coopertive relations through active collaboration with ICA, UNO, FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO and other international agencies involved in cooperative development;
- help, promote international marketing on cooperative to cooperative basis by documenting necessary information and to act as nodal agency for the benefit of Indian Cooperative Movement; and
- provide consultancy services to the cooperatives.
The working of NCUI reflects the democratic yearnings of the cooperators and the cooperative institutions involved in cooperative development. The membership of NCUI is broad-based comprising of cooperative institutions at national level, state level and multi-state cooperative societies representing all sectors of the Indian cooperative movement. At present, there are 207 institutions which are members of NCUI.
The supreme authority of NCUI vests with its General Body which meets once in a year to decide the policy and programmes for cooperative development and also elects the Governing Council of NCUI once for a period of five years. The Governing Council meets once in every quarter and functions through the Executive Committee and other functional committees.The President is the head of the organisation and is supported by the Chief Executive who operates through various functional divisions of the NCUI Secretariat.