Generally, there are five types of pressure groups.
- Associational pressure groups are functionally specialised and articulate the interests of specific groups in the society such as management, labour, business, agriculture, etc.
- Non-associational pressure groups are based on factors like class, caste, kinship, ethnicity, religion etc., and they articulate interests irregularly and informally.
- Institutional pressure groups exist under the bureaucracy, army, corporations and departments.
- Ad hoc pressure groups are those which are formed for specific temporary demand and transitory interest which go out of existence with the accomplishment of task like groups demanding creation of a separate state, settlement of river water dispute or boundary disputes etc.
- Anomic Pressure groups are those which more or less spontaneously penetrate into the political system from the society for e. g., riots, demonstrations, violent actions etc., are the activities of anomic pressure groups.
All the five categories of interest groups are found in India. Interest groups are existing in India right from pre-independence days. There were caste-based, religion-based, trade-based and labour-based etc. interest groups in India.
Associational interest groups in India which represent the private capitals are Federation of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) which is the largest and most influential group representing the corporate capital in India. Associated Chambers of Commerce (ASSOCHAM), Confederation of Indian Industries (CM), All India Manufacturers’Association etc, are groups which largely control and influence the government by the might of finance. All the leading news papers in India are also mostly owned by the business houses which act as the mouthpiece for various pressure groups so as to to pressurise the government.
Labour-based pressure groups existing in India are All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Bharat Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), United Trade Union Congress and Hind Mazdoor Parishad etc., which are affiliated to one party or the other. They represent the interests of the industrial labour class in India.
There are also interest groups which articulate the interests of the farmers and peasants and time to time influence the process of policy making by the Government. These are-All India Kisan Sabha, Hind Kisan Panchayat, Revolutionary Peasants Convention and Bharat Kisan Union etc.
Here, it should be noted that there are all kinds of interest groups in India but every interest group does not necessarily become a pressure group or a lobby. Mainly interest groups representing industry, business and commerce use the techniques of pressure groups.