Careers with Cooperatives

By Ranjan K Baruah

The first Saturday of July is observed as International Cooperatives Day around the world. Being a democratic process and business with values, cooperatives have been able to bring positive changes around the world. We should be aware that more than 12% of humanity is part of any of the 3 million cooperatives in the world and the largest 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2,034.98 billion USD. Cooperatives employ 280 million people across the globe (10% of the world’s employed population). The earliest record of a co-operative comes from Scotland on March 14 1761. In 1844 a group of 28 artisans working in the cotton mills in north of England established the first modern co-operative business. The Cooperative Movement in India was formally introduced with the promulgation of Cooperative Societies Act in 1904.
Cooperatives are people-centred enterprises owned, controlled and run by and for their members to realise their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations. It brings people together in a democratic and equal way. Cooperatives are found in the fields of health, agriculture, production, retail, finance, housing, employment, education, social services and many other spheres. As various spheres are included, it brings career opportunities for the deserving candidates.
We have to understand cooperatives if we want to make our career in this field. Anyone may start cooperatives but trained and qualified people are always needed to manage and administer the system and process. This brings career opportunities and there are many institutions that offer courses and special training programme related to cooperative management. Courses includes Higher Diploma in Cooperative Management (HDCM), Post graduation courses MBA and graduation courses like BBA and other short term and advance diploma and certificate courses
National Council for Cooperative Training is a registered autonomous society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Department of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India. The Council is responsible for organizing, directing, monitoring and evaluating the arrangements for cooperative training for the personnel working in the cooperative sector in the country. The main objective of the Council is to organize need based training programmes and facilitate the process of human resource development for cooperatives for the country. It also envisages conducting research in critical areas of cooperative movement.
The Council has established its own training structure comprising of the VAMNICOM, Pune at National Level, Five Regional Institutes of Cooperative Management at Chandigarh, Bangalore, Kalyani, Gandhinagar, Patna and 14 Institutes of Cooperative Management located at Bhopal, Bhubaneswa, Chennai, Dehradun, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Jaipur, Kannur, Lucknow, Madurai, Nagpur, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram.
The National Centre for Cooperative Education which was set up in 1958 organises cooperative education programmes for all sections showing its wide reach. While the Diploma Programme in Cooperative Education and Development provides general inputs, the Leadership Development Programmes for the Chairmen/Directors of cooperative movement aims to sharpen the competence of the leaders by imparting modern management skills. Orientation courses in cooperative management for university/college lecturers and faculty members of Junior Cooperative Training Centres are designed to provide them with the latest knowledge in cooperatives.
Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of Cooperative Management (ARGUCOM) is the first cooperative management university in the country established under the Assam Rajiv Gandhi University of Cooperative Management Act, 2010. ARGUCOM is under the recognition of UGC vide No. F.9-21/2011 (CPP-1/PU) dated Feb 27, 2012. It has five Schools that function which includes — School of Entrepreneurship and Management, School of Innovation and Technology, School of Public Policy and Law, School of Culture and Media, School of Ecology and Sustenance offering both graduation and post graduation level courses.

(The author is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected])

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