A pressure group is a group of people who are organised actively for promoting and defending their common interest. It is so called as it attempts to bring a change in public policy by exerting pressure on the government. It acts as a liaison between the government and its members. Example: All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), etc.
Role Played by the Pressure Groups are as follows:
Improve governance: Pressure groups improve the quality of governance. Consultation with affected groups is the rational way makes government more efficient by enhancing the quality of the decision making process.
Freely operating pressure groups are essential to the effective functioning of liberal democracy in three main ways: they serve as vital intermediary institutions between government and society. they assist in the dispersal of political power. they provide important counterweights to balance the concentration of power.
Pressure groups enable new concerns and issues to reach the political agenda, thereby facilitating social progress and preventing social stagnation. Example: Lok Satta, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), etc.
Promote social cohesion: Pressure groups increase social cohesion and political stability by providing a ‘safety-valve’ outlet for individual and collective grievances and demands.