Cooperative Movement in India owes its origin to the sponsorship of the Government. The first important Report on the subject that of Sir Frederick Nicholson (1885), stressed the role of “enlightened cooperative leadership”. Machlagan Committee (1915) attributed most of the deficiencies in the cooperative societies to the ‘lack of teaching both before and after registration’. The Royal Commission on Agriculture (1928) stressed the need for ‘patient and persistent education of members in the ‘principle and meaning of cooperation’ as well as for training the staff entrusted with the duty of building up the cooperative movement.

Several other committees appointed by Provincial Governments also underlined the importance of member-education and staff training.

It was only after the acceptance in 1935 of Malcom Darling’s scheme of central assistance by the Government of India that these activities received an impetus. The Presidencies of Madras, Bombay and Bengal, United Provinces, Punjab, Bihar and Central Provinces set up cooperative training institutes, organized educational tours and undertook other activities to educate members of cooperatives.

Saraiya Committee on Cooperative Planning in 1945 reviewed these developments. It recommended not only the establishment of a Cooperative Training College in every state but also a Cooperative Training Institute for Advanced Study & Research at the Central level. However, much progress could not be achieved in this direction and thus, during this period, cooperative training and education was left largely to the initiative of Provincial Governments. There was no specific central agency to promote cooperative training and education actively, although some assistance and frequent exhortations were provided by the Provincial Governments.

1935 saw the birth of central agency in the form of Central Committee for Cooperative Training (CCCT). It was first constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for establishing Regional Training Centres for senior and intermediate level personnel of cooperative institutions and other related functions. It was adopted by the Government of India for organizing and supervising the training of Block Level Cooperatives Extension officers and other cooperative personnel of subordinate category as well as for advising generally on promotion of cooperative training and education in the country. 13 Regional Cooperative Training Centres were jointly established by RBI and Government of India for imparting training to intermediate, higher and subordinate level cooperative personnel respectively.

The Central Committee encouraged the All India Cooperative Union registered in 1956 to take up education of members and elected office bearers of cooperative societies.

In 1960, the Government of India appointed a Study Team on Cooperative Training under the leadership of Shri S.D. Mishra, the then Parliamentary Secretary to review the performance and progress of cooperative training facilities under the CCCT. The recommendations of the Committee in 1962 marked the beginning of the third phase of Cooperative Education and Training in India. The bye-laws of the National Cooperative Union of India provided for the constitution of a Committee for Cooperative Training (CCT) to supervise and implement the training programmes for the cooperative movement. Consequently, CCT under aegis of NCUI was formed in July, 1962 to which all the 13 intermediate cooperative training centres were transferred by the RBI.

In 1967, the National Cooperative College and Research Institute and Central Institute of Management of Consumer Business were amalgamated to establish Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (VAMNICOM) Pune.

The informal Expert Group on Cooperative Education, Training and Research (1974) under the Chairmanship of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan had recommended the establishment of a Central agency to be called “Council for Cooperative Education, Research and Training (CCERT).

The Zainul Abedin Committee (1975), which was appointed to advise on the implementation of the recommendations of the Swaminathan Committee, suggested that the Central Agency may be located within the NCUI as a separate wing to be called “National Council for Cooperative Training (NCCT)”. Thus NCCT was brought into existence which replaced CCT.

In the year 1976, CCCT was replaced by NCCT-a body constituted under the bye-law 16-A of National Cooperative Union of India with the prior approval of the Government of India.

Various other committees, as listed below evaluated the working of NCCT

  • One Man Evaluation Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri M. Ramakrishnayya, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • Expert Committee under the Chairmanship of Joint Secretary (Cooperation), Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi.
  • Evaluation by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

According to the amended Multi State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 and in terms of the bye-law 16 (A), NCCT has to be constituted by the NCUI with the approval of Government of India so long as Government of India provides grants to NCCT. According to this bye-law,

NCCT shall have the following functions :-

  • To formulate overall policies and plans relating to cooperative training;
  • To organize and direct arrangements in regard to the training of personnel employed in the cooperative departments and cooperative institutions in the country;
  • To assess periodically the needs of training for cooperative personnel to facilitate planning and designing of training arrangements (such assessment may preferably be for the Five Year Plan periods);
  • To keep effective liaison with and coordinate the activities of Government of India, financing institutions, universities including agricultural universities, University Grants Commission, international agencies like the International Cooperative Alliance, etc., in matters relating to cooperative training;
  • To establish and manage cooperative training institutions;
  • To identify the problem areas of cooperative requiring research and organize research studies, to establish and manage cooperative research institutions;
  • To arrange for training of teaching staff of cooperative training institutions;
  • (viii) To ensure maintenance of high academic standards in cooperative education and training in various institutes in the country and suggest syllabi and standards of examinations for different courses;
  • To promote education in cooperation in schools and colleges and for this purpose to suggest syllabi and standards of examination and arrange publication of standard text books on cooperation;
  • To explore the possibility of obtaining recognition for Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management as an institution of national importance or explore the possibility of its recognition as deemed to be university;
  • To evaluate the various courses in cooperative training and suggest measures for improvement;
  • To arrange for provision on consultancy services to cooperatives particularly on problems of management and
  • To raise funds by way of grants, fees, subscriptions and contributions from Central Government, Cooperatives and other Institutions.

(A Grant-in-Aid Institution under Ministry of Agriculture, Government Of India)