The voluntary sector in India has played a major role in rural development, through
mobilizing communities and catalyzing people's initiatives for change, as well as through direct implementation of interventions around specific issues.
Formal recognition of the role of voluntary organisations in the Seventh Plan documented to the formation of the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) in 1986, as a nodal agency for catalysing and coordinating the emerging partnership between voluntary organisations and the Government for sustainable development of rural areas.
CAPART was formed by amalgamating two agencies the 'Council for Advancement of Rural Technology' (CART) and People's Action for Development India (PADI). CAPART is an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860,and is functioning under the aegis of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. Today, this agency is a major promoter of rural development in India, assisting over 12,000 voluntary organizations across the country in implementing a wide range of development initiatives.