An exercise done by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to map all registered NGOs in India has revealed that the country has 31 lakh such organisations in all, which is more than twice the number of schools and 250 times the number of government hospitals.
The statistics also indicate that there is one NGO for every 400 people in India as against one policeman for 709 people.
After being directed by the Supreme Court, the CBI had collated information from all states and Union Territories to list NGOs registered under the Societies Registration Act. The investigative body was asked to inform whether these NGOs have filed balance sheets, including income-expenditure statements, to ascertain compliance with accountability norms.
There are a total of around 31 lakh NGOs in 26 states of India, according to the affidavit filed by the CBI in the Supreme Court on Friday. Data from Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana is still to be collected, which means the figure of 31 lakh will easily be crossed.
Strikingly, more than 82,000 NGOs are registered in seven Union Territories alone.
Also, as per the data compiled by the Planning Commission of India in 2011, the total number of schools in India is around 15 lakh. In March 2011, the total number of government hospitals in the country was 11,993, with 7.84 lakh beds. Amazingly, the number of NGOs also exceed the number of policemen in India.
Among states, Uttar Pradesh has the most number of NGOs at 5.48 lakh followed closely by Maharashtra with 5.18 lakh such organisations registered.
Less than 10 per cent of the NGOs have complied with the requirement of submitting necessary account statements with the Registrar of Societies.
The CBI has informed the court that it will complete its exercise in the next two months after data from Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana is also collected.
The court, next week, will also take up a PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma who has sought a CBI investigation into operating affairs of all the NGOs lacking accountability.