What do you mean by co-operative society?

The meaning and definition of co-operative society.

A co-operative society is a voluntary association started with the aim of service of its members. It is a form of business where individuals belonging to the same class join their hands for the promotion of their common goals. These are generally formed by the poor people or weaker section people in the society. It reflects the desire of the poor people to stand on their own legs or own merit. The philosophy of the formation of co-operative society is “all for each and each for all”.

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Section 4, of the Indian Co-operative Societies Act, 1912 defines a cooperative “as a society which has its objective the promotion of economic interest of its members in accordance with co-operative principles”.


According to Calvert, a co-operative denotes a form of organisation wherein persons voluntarily associate together as human beings on the basis of equality for the promotion of economic interests of themselves.

A co-operative society has been formed behind the following broad objectives.

  • To render service to its members instead of making profits.
  • It encourages a state mutual help in the place of competition.
  • It assures a state of self-help in the place of dependence.
  • It develops a state of moral solidarity in the place of unfair business activities.
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