What is Cooperative Society?

A cooperative society is usually a voluntary organization formed by the underprivileged or the weaker sections. Such a society is a free and voluntary association that aims at the betterment of its members. This kind of body is formed by like-minded people driven by common goals.

While preparing for the upcoming IAS exam, candidates need to know details of this topic as questions from here are fairly common. Cooperative Society being a scoring topic for UPSC Prelims, it is recommended that candidates learn all the available information by heart.

Aspirants can visit the linked article and get details about the upcoming government exams that comprise current affairs and general awareness as an important topic in the syllabus.

Kickstart your UPSC 2023 preparation now and complement it with the links given below:

Characteristic Features of a Cooperative Society

The UPSC Prelims often questions and probes into the characteristics of a cooperative society. To discuss in brief, the following are the basic qualities of a cooperative society:

  1. A cooperative society does not bind any member in its choice of association with itself. Anyone who wants to voluntarily enroll in such an organization can do so irrespective of their caste or creed. They can end their association with the said group only by serving a notice declaring the same beforehand.
  2. Secondly, any member of the society can join a cooperative society irrespective of their caste, creed etc. the organization does not restrict anyone on the basis of their social or religious background.
  3. In order to work smoothly and towards a common goal, the society forms a managing body by voting among its members. In this way, it is democratic in nature.
  4. The cooperative society, though it works independently, is always under the control of the state government. This means that it has to maintain all records and is accountable for its workings whenever it faces an audit.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The UPSC Syllabus about cooperative societies also includes the needs and disadvantages of having such a group or organisation. The following are a few such points:

Advantages of a cooperative society

  • These societies are directly associated with the producers themselves. It excludes the chance of people working in the middle and thus provides maximum profit to the producers and consumers; hence goods are sold at cheap rates here.
  • Instant and easy loans are provided to the members of these cooperative societies.

Disadvantages of a Cooperative Society

  • As these organisations work with the economically weaker and backward sections of society, the chances of raising monetary capital are quite low.
  • Due to membership of such associations being essentially voluntary, there are scopes and instances of mismanagement and chaos in such groups.

Given below are a few other related links for exam preparation:

Ministry of Cooperation What are Cooperative Societies
Cooperative Housing Movement in India Who can get free legal aid in India?
Directive Principles of State Policy National Development Council – NDC

Cooperative Society Act

An integral part of UPSC 2023 preparation is the Cooperative Society Act, 1950. A few of the rules that this act talks about are:

  • It attributes certain specific meanings to the terminology used to explain this act. Some of these are laws, committees, members, officers and registered society. It also states that the state government is entitled to appoint a registrar to look after a cooperative society’s workings and appoint people to assist the registrar. Any society that decides to work for its members with a common vested interest must be registered under this act.
  • A society will be registered under this act only if it has a member count of more than ten persons who has attained the age of 18 years. The objective of the society is to create funds for its members. The word limited must be in use with the name of such cooperative societies. Any questions regarding the membership, such as whether the society has been created for agriculture or non-agricultural purposes, whether the residence of a member will be a town or village etc., will be taken by the registrar and deemed as final.

While finding answers to what is cooperative society, you will find that though the cooperative movement tried to uphold the ideas of such societies, it could only reach out to a marginal section of such a populated country like India. Too much dependence on the government policies lack of proper judgement and management has made such cooperative societies decline steadily.

For the best preparation strategy for competitive exams candidates can visit the linked article and get detailed study material and preparation tips to excel in the examination.

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Other Related Links
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Previous Year UPSC Prelims Polity Questions With Solutions Indian Polity Questions in UPSC Mains GS 2

Frequently Asked Questions on Cooperative Society


What is the need for a cooperative society?

A cooperative society is formed to uplift the weaker sections of the society by providing monetary assistance. It helps a nation to enhance in terms of competition with mutual help.


Name some kinds of Cooperative societies.

A few kinds of cooperative societies are Client Cooperative Society, housing cooperative Society, Lander Cooperative society etc. These work with different initiatives but aim at the betterment of its members.


What kind of management do these societies own?

A cooperative society is primarily democratic. Every member has a right to vote and elect a board of directors.


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