RAIPUR: 'Digital India' has become the buzzword after Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, but reply to a query under Right to Information (RTI) has revealed that Modi himself does not have an official email ID.
Chhattisgarh-based India CSR Group's Rusen Kumar had filed an application with the Prime Minister's Office under the RTI Act, seeking information on the e-mail ID being used by Modi or his representatives. The PMO replied to Kumar stating that Modi does not have any official email id.
The RTI reply said that any form of information, feedback, suggestion or complaint addressed to PM and his office can be sent through the url: http://pmindia.gov.in/en/interact-with-pm/. This link is available on the PMO's official website.
"I am surprised. The Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy does not have an email id," Kumar told TOI, adding that an email is one of the simplest means to communicate with people.
He also claimed that the link provided by the PMO is not very user friendly. "To use this url, a visitor has to first create an account. This is a lengthy process," he said.
Andhra Pradesh accounted for most of these "dubious" NGOs followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Of the 14 NGOs blacklisted by the home ministry in Andhra Pradesh, eight are engaged in minority welfare. While seven of these are Christian institutions, one is an Islamic education association.
Of the 12 NGOs banned in Tamil Nadu, four are Christian organizations while one is Islamic. In Gujarat, of the five organizations banned, all except one is engaged in Muslim welfare.
Across the country, 15 organizations each engaged in Muslim and Christian welfare have been banned from receiving foreign funds. The information was shared by minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju in reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Home ministry regularly reviews and audits flow of funds in NGOs from abroad and issues notices to those not filing their returns properly. It also initiates action against those not following FCRA regulations while receiving foreign funds and blacklists those suspected to be working against the interests of the country. NGOs in India receive foreign donations in excess of Rs 10,000 crore annually from over 150 countries with the US and Europe being top donors apart from United Arab Emirates.
Registrations of 4,138 associations under FCRA were cancelled for non-submission of annual returns from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Among these, Tamil Nadu accounted for the maximum NGOs (794) followed by Andhra Pradesh (670) and Kerala (450).
Recently, more than 31,000 NGOs were served notices by the government for not filing annual returns on their foreign donations. In 2011-12, notices were sent to 21,493 associations which had not submitted annual returns under FCRA for the years 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09. In 2014, notices were issued to 10,343 associations which had not filed annual returns from 2009-10 to 2011-12.
Rijiju had earlier informed Parliament that adverse reports were received from intelligence agencies against NGOs such as Tuticorin Diocesan Association; East Coast Research and Development Trust, Thoothukudi; Centre for Promotion and Social Concerns, Madurai and Greenpeace India Society, Chennai.
"Based on inspections/investigations, the FCRA registration of Tuticorin Diocesan Association and Centre for Promotion and Social Concerns were suspended and their bank accounts frozen. FCRA registration of East Coast Research and Development Trust was cancelled," he had said.
The Narendra Modi regime has mounted greater scrutiny on the activities of NGOs and their funding. In a report leaked last year, Intelligence Bureau claimed a host of NGOs, including Greenpeace India, were working against the interests of the nation at the behest of foreign powers and that their activities had cost the country 2-3% of GDP.
The government recently prevented Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai from flying to London to address a gathering on environmental concerns of mining.
New Delhi: A total of 69 NGOs have been blacklisted by the government from receiving foreign funds, Minister of State (Home) Kiren Rijiju told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
69 NGOs including 14 from Andhra Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, five each from Gujarat and Odisha, four each from Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala and three from Delhi, have been prohibited from receiving the foreign funds, informed Rijiju.
In July last year, the new NDA government had decided to keep a tab on the flow of funds to all such NGOs against whom an adverse report has been provided by Intelligence Bureau
Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation were already under scanner and it was mandatory for them to take permission from home ministry before pumping any funds in India. Earlier Intelligence reports alleged that protests against development projects.
An IB report alleged that protests against development projects are propelled by certain foreign-funded NGOs that had presumptively affected India’s GDP by 2 to 3%.
Government had sought a sensitization programme to be initiated for NGOs to coax them to follow FCRA regulations.
A string of NGOs including Greenpeace India, Cordaid, Amnesty and Action Aid as those fuelling such protests through a network of local organizations such as PUCL and Narmada Bachao Andolan among others had been named by IB.
Government had sought a sensitization programme to be initiated for NGOs to coax the NGOs to follow FCRA regulations.
Indian NGOs receive over Rs 10,000 crore as foreign donations annually from over 150 countries.
“The areas of action of the foreign-funded NGOs include anti-nuclear, anti-coal and anti-GM organisms protests, “alleged the IB report
Apart from stalling mega industrial projects including those floated by Posco and Vedanta, these NGOs have also been working to the detriment of mining, dam and oil drilling projects in northeastern India, it said.
NEW DELHI: The government has blacklisted 69 NGOs from receiving foreign funds, junior home minister Kiren Rijiju told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Rijiju said among those NGOs which were prohibited from receiving the foreign funds include 14 from Andhra Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, five each from Gujarat and Odisha, four each from Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Kerala and three from Delhi.
In July 2014, the new Modi government had decided to closely scrutinize flow of funds to all such NGOs against whom an adverse report has been received from Intelligence Bureau. By then the government has already put Greenpeace International and Climate Works Foundation under scanner and made it mandatory for them to take permission from home ministry before pumping any funds in India.
An IB report had then alleged that protests against development projects fuelled by certain foreign-funded NGOs had caused a presumptive loss of 2 to 3 per cent to India's GDP. It had also named a string of NGOs including Greenpeace India, Cordaid, Amnesty and ActionAid as those fuelling such protests through a network of local organizations such as PUCL and Narmada Bachao Andolan among others.
Government had also asked for a sensitization programme to be initiated for NGOs to coax them to conform to FCRA regulations.
NGOs in India receive foreign donations in excess of Rs 10,000 crore annually from over 150 countries. The IB report alleged that the "areas of action" of the foreign-funded NGOs include anti-nuclear, anti-coal and anti-GM organisms protests.
Apart from stalling mega industrial projects including those floated by Posco and Vedanta, these NGOs have also been working to the detriment of mining, dam and oil drilling projects in northeastern India, it said.
Bala Vikasa PDTC is extremely happy to design a three day Training Program on "NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming & Conflict Resolution" from 17-19 March, 2015 at Bala Vikasa PDTC premises exclusively to help the members of Non-Governmental Organization to understand the tools and methods on NLP to improve our relationships and resolve conflicts both at personal and organisational levels.
NLP is a powerful tool to achieve growth both at personal and community level. It works faster with lasting effect. NLP teaches us how to motivate ourselves and others to change behavior to achieve excellence in any endeavor. NLP teaches us to generate new possibilities and opportunities in life. NLP teaches us to understand our unconscious mind, the treasure house of unlimited power that could be accessed in need. NLP helps us to build lasting relationships with others in the family and community.
NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming. Neuro refers to the nervous system. Our experience of the world enters the brain via the nervous system through our five senses. We process this sensory experience and translate it into conscious and unconscious thought. Linguistic refers to language which we use to give meaning to experience. We communicate our unconscious and conscious thoughts both verbally and non-verbally. Programming indicates the ways in which we consistently think or behave. NLP can reveal the programmes we run and the results they produce. It also gives us means to change our own and other people’s programmes to produce the results we want.
· To enable the participants to discover the hidden potentials
· To enable them to understand self, others and world reality in a better way and respond to them accordingly.
· To equip participants with NLP tools and techniques to improve relationships in the community and motivate the community towards achieving the desired goals.
Course Contents: Accessing personal strength and resources, Empowering beliefs of NLP, Creating your own personal state of excellence, Changing unwanted behaviours into positive ways and Solving problems at unconscious level, methods to understand and resolve conflicts both at personal and organisational levels.
Course Language: English
Training Methodology: The emphasis would be on participatory learning methods. The training will be imparted through lecture-cum-discussion, simulation exercises, demonstration, brain storming exercises, group discussion as well as audiovisual films.
Resource person Dr.Magimai Pragasam: He has over 30 years of experience in the field of Development communication. He is a certified Master Practitioner of NLP from Federation of NLP, Florida, USA. He is a professional journalist, film maker, trainer and researcher. He completed his communication studies at the University of Leeds, UK, Social Communication at the University of Lyon, France, Film studies at Xavier Institute of Communication, Journalism and Sociology at University of Mysore. He offers training on development and communication, produces films and engages in research in development communication and media education. He has produced several short films and written books in Communication.
Award of Certificate: The participants will be awarded a certificate of participation on conclusion of the course.
Program Cost: The total program cost is Rs.5000. But in order to encourage and support NGO’s we are providing 50% scholarship. You are requested to pay only Rs.2500 towards Registration and program fee. This fee includes food and Accommodation. This amount should be sent by DD drawn in favour of “Bala Vikasa People Development Training Centre” and dispatch the same by post / courier.
Contact : Ms. Sunitha Reddy - Program Manager :: 91-9849844868 / 9849165890 or 91-870-2453255. Please fill the attached application form and send it to email@example.com, to register for this training.
Are you a youth led organization working in India? Do you have an idea that promotes sustainable urban development? If yes, then India Youth Fund will provide you the platform to make an impact! The India Youth Fund, an initiative of UN-Habitat and Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation is currently seeking applications from youth led organisations in India. The Fund aims to advance youth empowerment in India through the provision of small grants of up to INR 8 Lakhs to youth-led organisations.
The India Youth Fund is part of the Global Youth Fund by the UN-Habitat Governing Council. By now, the fund has awarded grants to 67 projects led by young people from all over the world. The Global Youth Fund was created to promote the poverty reduction aims of Millennium Development Goals and the Habitat Agenda for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities.
Projects must contribute to sustainable urban development within one of the following areas:
1. Urban Land, Legislation and Governance (Creating youth space & youth friendly cities)
2. Urban Planning and Design (Employment, job & business training)
3. Urban Economy (Training in governance & democracy)
4. Urban Basic Services (Recycling, water, sewage and IT services)
5. Access to Health Information and Facilities (Improving health status of urban youth)
6. Housing and Slum Upgrading (Lobbying for access to affordable housing, training in construction)
7. Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation (Life skills training & services for youth at Risk, drugs, alcohol & prostitution)
8. Research and Capacity Development (Training, building networks & research)
§ The annual budget available for projects and/or organisations is INR 8 Lakhs.
§ In addition, the project co-ordinators are trained in project management, financial management and monitoring, and evaluation in the Asian regional training session for the Urban Youth Fund.
§ “South Asian Forum for Environment” for the Proposed Project- Vertical Greens in Urban Environments as Career Corridors for Disadvantaged Youth.
§ “YP Foundation” for the proposed project -Active Citizenship and Governance. The foundation has worked directly with 5000 young people to set up over 200 projects in India over the last 8 years, reaching out to 3,00,000 adolescents and young people between 3-28 years of age and promotes, protects and advances youth’s human rights by building feminist leadership, and strengthening youth led initiatives and movements.
§ “Youth Movement For Active Citizenship YMAC” for the Proposed Project- Building Slum Youth Leadership. The organisation is an initiative that seeks to engage the youth in social, economic and political processes so as to advocate for policy change, from local to national. The initiative is founded on the premise that the potency of research can be used to empower marginalised, urban youth.
§ “Light Innovative Organization For Rights” that aims to address the issues of the excluded and discriminated Transgender Community. The organisation received grants for its Proposed Project-Risk Empowering and Rehabilitating Transgender Youth.
§ Applicant organisations must be led by young people aged 15-32, and the projects must be based in cities or towns in India.
§ Applicant organisations must be legally registered for at least one (1) year by the relevant national, regional or local authority.
§ Applicant organisations must involve girls and young women in decision-making at all levels of the organisation. This includes senior management level and board.
How to Apply?
Interested applicants can apply directly through the online application system available on the website.
Non governmental organisations working in the country received more than Rs 11,028 crore from foreign countries in 2012-2013. Rs 3,772 crore came from different sources in the United States, which leads the list of countries from where money came to the NGOs. It is followed by Germany (Rs 1,086 crore) and United Kingdom (Rs 1,061 crore). The other countries that gave funds to the NGOs working in India include Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Canada, Australia, France, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, UAE etc. The top 10 NGOs that received maximum funding in 2012-13 were World Vision of India (Chennai), Indian Society of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Delhi), Rural Development Trust (Ananthapur), Caruna Bal Vikas (Chennai), Action Aid (Bangalore), Compassion East (Kolkata), Plan International (Delhi), Aga Khan Foundation (Delhi), SoS Children's Village of India (Delhi) and Pratham Education Foundation (Mumbai). This information was provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs in response to an RTI filed by a social activist.
There was uproar in the country last year following an Intelligence Bureau report, identifying several-foreign funded NGOs which are negatively impacting economic development. The report revealed that a significant number of Indian NGOs, funded by foreign donors, were using people-centric issues to create an environment which often stalled development projects.
The Centre monitors the receipt and utilisation of foreign contributions received by any person, including NGOs in the country, as part of the Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act (FCRA) 2010. The Act provides for NGOs to receive funds after registration or prior permission. Every application made by the NGOs is decided after getting inputs from the concerned security agencies. The NGOs receiving foreign funds are required to submit annual returns of their accounts. These are scrutinised from time to time. As per information, registrations of as many as 4,138 associations under FCRA were cancelled as they did not file their annual returns during 2006-07 to 2008-09.
So far, as many as 24 cases have been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), while 10 cases have been referred to the state police for investigation. Some of the NGOs against which CBI cases are pending are Tamil Nadu Muslim Muneetra Kazagham (Tamil Nadu), Reach (Tamil Nadu), Abdul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre (Delhi), Khwaja Khushal Charitable Trust (UP), Anjumane Hussamia Educational Association (Hyderabad), says the MHA reply to the RTI query.
We are pleased to inform you that the online programme on NPO Governance which began in 2012 has successfully graduated four batches, while the fifth batch is in progress. The registration for the sixth batch is open and interested participants can register.
NPOs are a noted component of civil society in the various fields of social development. The emergence of NGOs as formalized, structured institutions has been relatively recent. Further, with the introduction of CSR, the opportunity for the NGO sector has increased in terms of work, outreach, funding, sustainability etc. as most of the CSR activities are being administered through private NGOs. This has also resulted to the proliferation of NGOs which are often informally organized, unaudited, and operate with little governance. One of the areas on which the NGOs are assessed is its governance structure. Thus, governance is one of the key focus areas for an organization.
With this background, we wish to inform you that the NPO Governance Programme would provide an overview of the major issues involved in NGO Governance such as;
· Various Governance mechanism in NPOs
· Governance Structures & Processes
· Roles and Responsibilities of the Board Members
· Governance Controls required for an NPO
· Common myths and misconceptions in the Governance of NPOs
The course is web-based and comprises of four modules. The course materials on all four modules can be accessed online by the students. Further the program is open to participants across the globe.
Who should apply?
o Personnel working in mid-level, senior management level positions in NGOs, resource sharing agencies or any other development organization
o CEOs, CFOs or Executive Director of NGOs
o Individual serving in Board of NGOs, resource sharing agencies
o Consultants involved in the review and evaluations of NGOs
Based on data available at FCRA site, SRRF has undertaken an analysis of FCRA returns. This shows following state-wise position of Foreign Contribution received. Total contribution received is Rs 12,930 crores for FY 2013-14. This compares to Rs 11,066 crores for FY 12-13, indicating an increase of 16.8%.
State-wise data of FCRA funds received for FY 2013-14 and FY 2012-13 with data for number of organisations who have not filed their annual return. Key findings are: Top 5 states constitute around 66% of overall FCRA funds rec’d during FY 2013-14. Details and comparison with previous year are as follows: Delhi : Rs 2828 crores (22% of total FCRA funds rec’d during FY 2013-14), Increase in funds over FY 2012-13 : 25%. Tamilnadu : Rs 1752 crores (13.5%), increase in funds rec’d during FY 2012-13 : 6.6% Andhra Pradesh (undivided) : Rs 1338 crores (10.3%), increase over FY 2012-13 : 15% Karnataka : Rs 1323 crores (10.2%), increase over FY 2012-13: 17% Maharashtra : Rs 1293 crores (10.0%), increase over FY 2012-13: 22.6% However what is a matter of concern that a large number of NGOs are still not filing annual return. It is observed that of 39087 entities registered with the FCRA Dept only 16868 NGOs have filed their annual return (FC6) with the Dept, in other words almost57% have not filed the annual returns. This is really serious since this could result in further tightening by the FCRA Dept. putting a number of genuine organisations who otherwise follow the procedures at backfoot too. It may be noted that the above analysis is for only those organisations which are registered with FCRA Dept and does not cover organisations which have prior permission. Thus it is quite likely that the amount of FCRA funds received could increase further.
Council of Information and Broadcasting, having office at Rex Business Centre, SF-17&18 First Floor, Adjacent Dominos, Aditya Mega Mall, Karkarduma Court Road, New Delhi-110032 Phone: 011-22308179- Nodal Agency for Implementing SPGM Foundation - Health Sector Council training program.
We are looking for NGOs, Nursing Institutions, ITIs, Colleges for running Health Sector Council's Skill Training program.
Pre-Requisite for Health Sector Council -NSDC Approval for Training Partner:
We are glad to announce that Team NGOBOX along with a bunch of dedicated Googlers is organising theGoogle Ad Grants; a Workshop for the NGOs
The idea is to create a learning platform to explore the abundant opportunities in the online advertising that you may capitalise on and make your organisation more visible, also explore newer ways of funding, and whats more its Free!
It's happening this month on February 26th at the Google office in Gurgaon from 2:30 to 5:00 pm.
The focused area of the workshop would be how to utilise Ad Words, a dedicated tool of Google Advertising to facilitate in your organisational objectives. The training team would comprise dedicated Googlers who have the right expertise in the Google advertising. Some of them include Shirly Nagrani who is the Account Planner for Google, Anuraag Khandelwal an Account Optimizer for Google and Munaf Kapadia who is the Analytical Lead for Google among others.
Google Ad Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords, Google's online advertising tool.
It empowers nonprofit organizations, through $10,000 per month in In-Kind AdWords advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages.
To register you have simply to fill the form available here , and the Team NGOBOX will get back to you about your confirmation.*
The invitation is for two people from each organisation. At NGOBOX be firmly believe that technology can provide a great leverage to your cause, and hoping that you will take full advantage of this opportunity.
Though people are passionate to serve society, it’s time they also understand the importance of communication and acquire necessary skills to communicate
While the number of NGOs in India vary between one and three million and several of them receive funds running into millions of rupees from the government and from abroad, not all NGOs are serving the needs of the people they are garnering funds for.
Recently, NGOs came under the Supreme Court’s scrutiny. This was the aftermath of the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) submitting that only 10 per cent (out of 2.2 million) NGOs had filed annual income and expenditure statements.
When this correspondent met British national Murray Culshaw, an independent development worker, who has been working with NGOs in India for over two decades, he pointed that it is as important to have a lens on NGOs, as it is vital for the health of a democratic society for NGOs to thrive, communicate and advocate their cause.
Passionate about social issues, Bangalore-based Murray claims he often meets people doing amazing work desperately needed by individuals and communities. And that they manage to do it “in the very challenging situations all around us in the beautiful yet twisted and torn world we live in.” The interview:
KHALEEJ TIMES: What exactly is your work like?
MURRAY CULSHAW: I rarely use the word ‘work’ for what I do. In the vast range of opportunities, which exist, I concentrate on encouraging NGOs to communicate their work and raise resources to improve and expand their services.
How did it all begin?
I came as a carpentry teacher to India to be in a Christian technical school for youth (without academic qualifications) to learn skills to earn a living; I became interested in the management of technical institutes and NGOs working on development subjects like education and vocational training in rural areas.
This provided opportunities to travel and work as a freelance consultant for international agencies like the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and ActionAid in countries such as Kenya, Palestine and India. Then, I was responsible for Oxfam’s work in India and was based in Delhi for five years. During this period I became aware of the plight (isolation and shortage of income) of NGOs in urban and rural areas, tied to the ‘grant system’.
What exactly is the grant system and how does it work?
The grant-system has arisen from two sources. The first source is where good-hearted people collect money from like-minded people for a cause. This is done through an organisational structure for distribution to NGOs, who have submitted ‘proposals’ or ‘projects’. Sadly, NGOs are forced to spend precious leadership time convincing a few people for grants and often little thought goes into building understanding of and support for their cause in wider society. On the other hand, thousands of people offer money by way of this system, but they do not know to which NGO it goes.
Grant making organisations prefer giving grants for specific works — like running a school or digging a well, but do not care for the NGOs need for communication. This leaves NGOs with no money to communicate their work to society. The same situation prevails wherein the second source, that is grants from the government, is concerned. So neither grant making organisations or the government provide funds to help organisations communicate their work to society, even though it is vital.
You believe things could improve for NGOs if they were able to communicate to the society?
Creating a new brand of toothpaste may not be easy; but responding to people faced with disease, disabilities, lack of shelter, clothing and food, abused and denied rights, is even harder. So, if NGOs were to communicate how they were responding to people’s needs, society would certainly respond in all sorts of practical ways and NGOs and their services would become stronger. But the hurdle is both finance and manpower.
Apart from financial crunch, isn’t a shortage of skilled staff the reason for lack of communication?
Most certainly. Though people are passionate to serve society, it’s time they also understand the importance of both communication and the necessary skills to communicate. There are a few very short training courses. However, training alone cannot solve the problem. People with right intentions and good communication skills such as listening, speaking, writing and designing, have to be recruited. Such people do exist, but they may not have heard of opportunities or the need for their skills. If the need is understood by the NGO and ‘communicated’, a steady stream of youngsters could be recruited into communication teams, even if it means an NGO having to reduce so-called ‘programme’ work, to start with. Hiring one person and gradually expanding the team does work.
Most NGOs in India are said to be corrupt. What has been your experience?
Yes, some are corrupt. But I believe most corruption in NGOs comes from the ones who seek grants from the government. For many, it is a terrible dilemma. To get a grant sanctioned and then to get it disbursed, there is very often the ‘need’ to pay a bribe. Some do, but others refuse at the cost of not getting the grant.
Sadly, there is no research and, therefore, no facts to back up these statements. But ask any NGO if it’s true and I am confident they’ll verify it.
With the Supreme Court observing that NGOs hide facts on funds and making it mandatory for them to submit annual income and expenditure, you think it will make a difference?
Not just the NGOs, everyone, including political parties, private companies and individuals hide facts, even though submission of income and expenses is already mandatory! The problem is with the regulatory institutions, which are absolutely inadequate to report and analyze information. Though it is getting better now, one hopes that with improved computerisation the issues around financial transparency and accountability will reduce.
What else is required?
There’s a need to analyse a number of aspects of NGO finances, especially the salaries of CEO’s. A sample from a recently published US report reads: “The worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row — UNICEF. The CEO receives $1.2 million plus use of a Rolls Royce and an ‘expense’ account. Only $0.14 per dollar goes to the UNICEF cause.” So, if we could gather such facts in India, it could trigger some debate!
Any causes that you feel people are unaware of and could support?
I am associated with an organisation that works with the deaf-blind (people who may be born both deaf and blind, born blind and subsequently lose their hearing power, or born deaf and become blind). Many people have not even heard of such a condition. Few would be aware that there are around 500,000 estimated cases of deaf-blindness in the country.
Similarly, there’s an endless list of causes: the plight of children of mothers who have been put in prison; eye cancer; leprosy still being discovered everyday; abused children, various and dangerous forms of child labour; widows with no homes and elderly with no support — that need to be made known. That’s why I emphasise the need for NGOs to communicate their cause and build a solid base of people who understand and support.
The Centre may act against some of the 188 NGOs red-flagged by the Intelligence Bureau for alleged misuse of foreign funds, suspected extremist links and proselytization.
These non-government organisations were reported by the internal spy agency and a list sent to the home ministry, documents accessed by HT have revealed.
The country’s top tax body the central board of direct taxes (CBDT) and enforcement directorate (ED), which tracks foreign funds and money laundering, have been alerted. But, it is not clear how many of the NGOs have been referred to and to which agency.
At a November 21, 2014 meeting, the government’s economic intelligence council expressed concern over misuse of funds received from abroad by some NGOs. Stringent action, including cancellation of registration, was called for, the documents revealed. The council also suggested “sharing of the relevant cases” by home ministry “with CBDT and ED for further action”.
The NGOs have been reported by the IB for a range of activities -- violation of the foreign contribution regulation act (FCRA), links with Left-wing extremists (LWE), “conversion” of tribals to Christianity, and association with organisations such as Students Islamic Movement of India and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
The reports were compiled over seven years, beginning 2006. Medecine Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, was reported thrice by the IB -- in 2008, 2010 and 2013 -- for alleged links with “pro-LWE elements”.
“It is also using the satellite phones the use of which is currently not licensed by the government of India. The doctors of the MSF have often been noticed providing medical treatment to tribals in Naxalite infested areas,” says the report on the Nobel Peace prize winning voluntary body.
The French-founded NGO said it had not heard from the home ministry. “Until now we have received good cooperation from the authorities and MSF is carrying out its medical programs since many years as usual,” it told HT.
Amnesty International India Foundation faces similar charges. “Since 2006, it has occasionally aligned with the LWE associated organisation, PUCL. It has been critical of India’s human rights record since 1992, specifically criticiszing police/army action in J&K and North East,” the IB has said. An Amnesty spokesperson declined comment, saying the organisation had not been told of adverse reporting by the government.
Many NGOs have been reported for their alleged conversion activities. The IB report on Erode-based Trinity Charitable Trust says, “Its chief functionary…started the organization in the premises of the Assembly (church), which has 80 members of which 70 are converted. Its two trustees are converted Christians.”
Delhi-based activist Madhu Kishwar’s Manushi Sangathan has been reported for misusing/misappropriating funds and violating FCRA. Manushi was never charged with misappropriation, Kishwar told HT. “As a policy, we never accept foreign funding from international aid agencies and get modest NRI contributions. Our accounts are totally transparent and available on the website,” she said.
In January 2014, Kishwar got an FCRA notice for inspection of accounts which she refused to oblige, demanding proof of wrongdoing. Another notice came after the NDA came to power. “After I stated Manushi’s case in a press conference, I got a phone call saying the inspection had been called off! Since then no one has bothered us.”
The Modi government was Tuesday asked by the Delhi high court to release funds to Greenpeace in India. Greenpeace India had moved the court against the Centre’s move to block funds dispatched from its Amsterdam headquarters since June.
The Global Innovation Fund invites social enterprises, private firms, non-government organisations, international organisations, researchers, and government agencies to apply for multi-sector grants geared at fighting poverty in India
United Nations Population Fund India (UNFPA) has partnered with NextGen, India’s leading CSR & Sustainability Management Company, to provide a cloud and mobile enabled platform for corporates to channel Corporate Social Responsibility funding for the benefit of adolescent girls.
This first of its kind platform, Pledge4Girls.fund, will facilitate CSR projects to leverage UNFPA’s expertise, experience and knowledge of working towards the cause of adolescent girls in over 150 countries.
UNFPA has been supporting the people and the Government of India in realizing potential of young people, sexual and reproductive rights and gender equality through evidence-based approach and inclusive, transparent and accountable project management.
NextGen’s powerful cloud and mobile solution, ‘p3’, will provide robust monitoring, evaluation, reporting and impact assessment for the projects on the platform. p3 will help bridge the accessibility gap for projects in rural remote areas by virtue of its mobile enablement.
The Pledge4girls.fund platform lies at the intersection of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative for the benefit of girls in India, and the ‘Digital India’ initiative for improving governance and tracking of projects.
Emphasising the need for the platform, Frederika Meijer, Country Representative – India, UNFPA said, “Our experiences in the world tell us that investing in young people, especially adolescent girls, is one of the smartest investments we can make in reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development of a society and a country as a whole. UNFPA, globally as well as in India, has been making efforts to provide a platform for everyone, the governments, NGOs, development partners and, increasingly, the private sector to join hands in fulfilling the rights and potential of the young generation, particularly the adolescent girls. We are pleased to launch Pledge4Girls.fund in partnership with NextGen that will facilitate the cooperating companies achieve maximum impacts of their CSR funds.”
Abhishek Humbad, Co-founder, NextGen, added, “We are excited to partner with UNFPA on this noble cause and provide our industry leading ‘p3’ solution. The cloud and mobile driven ‘p3’ solution is currently being used by corporates and development agencies across India to track, monitor and report CSR projects worth millions of dollars. ‘p3’ enables companies to generate reports on the progress and impact of their CSR projects, in real time and on the fly. Billions of dollars of development capital are spent annually across the globe but there is poor tracking or reporting of impact. We truly believe that digital technologies like cloud and mobile will transform the development sector, not just in India but across the globe”.
“These are exciting times wherein technology is enabling women empowerment, which is itself uniquely placed at the cusp of two important missions of India: women and digital empowerment", added Richa Bajpai, Co-Founder, NextGen.
CEOs of large corporates as well as youth change agents have committed to work towards the cause of adolescent girls in India through the http://Pledge4girls.fund platform.
In India, 22% girls aged 15-19 years receive no education; 47% girls are married before 18 years of age; and 24% start child bearing by the age of 18 years. With young people aged 10-24 years constituting almost a third of India’s population, isn't it time we invested our CSR funds on projects that are specifically for the betterment of our adolescent girls?
The United Nations Population Fund - India (UNFPA) and NextGen will soon launch a whole new online platform for corporates in India to do just that: Pledge for girls.
Many NGOs and charitable organisations are working for various social causes today, but they lack visibility due to inadequate marketing and communications. To attract attention from the right quarters and bring in funds to sustain their good work, NGOs need to focus on marketing their achievements and creating an audience for their work. Screwdriver, a media production house with ten years of collective experience behind them, have come up with a new web portal called NGOBranding.com that provides a host of services specifically meant to assist NGOs in their branding and communications.
The team of professionals at Screwdriver (www.screwdriver.in) help NGOs build an online presence and showcase their work to the world by offering services such as domain name registry, website content, website management, brand development and communications. The portal also offers documentary filmmaking and animation services, which can be employed by NGOs to impart visual appeal and expression to the essence and objectives of their organisation. Brochure design, software development, social media and PR services are some other services through which NGOBranding.com helps bridge the gap between NGOs and their target audience.
Rahul Goenka, the man behind this initiative, says, "India is home to thousands of big and small NGOs, many of which are genuinely and consistently working for their chosen causes. It is high time these NGOs start marketing their accomplishments as well, so that they can attract investors, CSR directors and national and international donors to invest their trust and money in their work. A sure-shot way for NGOs to get this attention is to build a brand for themselves and market it skilfully so as to reach out to their target investors and bring in greater funds for their cause."
Donation Manager is one of the unique products of NGOBranding.com. It is essentially an automated system that keeps a record of all the donations and funds received by an NGO. It also enables the automated generation of customer invoices. By automating essential exercises such as financial management and maintenance of donor database, Donation Manager helps in bringing transparency, efficiency and convenience into the operations of NGOs, which has lately made headlines for alleged opacity in management of their funds.
"Indian NGOs have a long way to go in measuring up to the standards set by international NGOs and effective end-to-end communications could be one giant step forward in that direction," Rahul adds.
NGOBranding.com is being launched by Screwdriver, a Delhi-based media production house with several years of experience in serving the marketing and communications needs of the non-governmental sector. Their clients include Maitri, a well-known NGO also featured in Satyamev Jayate on TV, Child Survival India and many other institutions working for social causes.
With this initiative, Screwdriver plans to empower NGOs with fresh branding/marketing/creative ideas and tools. The portal will talk about document and communicate the work done by NGOs, which would help them receive CSR funds from various corporate houses.
OnGood Community Website and .ngo, .ong Domains Available in May 2015
RESTON, Va., Jan. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After three years of extensive research, planning and development, Public Interest Registry, the not-for-profit operator of the .org domain, today announced that OnGood – a suite of online services exclusively for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and nonprofits, including the new .ngo and .ong domain bundle – will be generally available beginning May 6, 2015.
Built for NGOs and nonprofits of all sizes and reach, OnGood offers membership to an exclusive community website with a searchable directory, and the brand new .ngo and .ong domain bundle to help improve visibility, raise funds and connect with other NGOs. What's more, OnGood membership includes the opportunity to create a customisable online profile included in a searchable, public directory, further enabling NGOs to showcase their missions, campaigns, multimedia content and other information to collect donations through OnGood's partner donation platform.
"We've spent years traveling to six of the seven continents to engage with fellow members of the NGO and nonprofit community and learn more about their challenges and needs when it comes to reaching a wider order through a thriving online presence. In opening OnGood to NGOs this May, it's our hope that it will serve as a dedicated online community for nonprofits and NGOs of all sizes," said Brian Cute, CEO of Public Interest Registry. "We want to combine the value of a validated online identity with a comprehensive online community that helps organisations raise awareness, funds and strong, long-lasting support for their missions."
In advance of General Availability, Public Interest Registry will also offer two early opportunities for NGOs to join the OnGood community and register their desired .ngo and .ong domain name bundle. The "Limited Registration" period kicks off on Apr. 21, 2015 and allows NGOs that have submitted an Expression of Interest to join the OnGood community and register their .ngo and .ong domain name bundle. Those NGOs that have expressed interest will receive news and information from Public Interest Registry leading up to Apr. 21, 2015. NGOs and nonprofits interested in joining the OnGood community are encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest online at globalngo.org before Limited Registration. There will also be a "Sunrise" period, beginning Mar. 17, 2015 and lasting 30 days. During this time, organisations that have registered their trademark(s) in the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) can register the .ngo and .ong domain name bundle that matches their trademark(s) before it becomes available to the general public.
Whether registering during the Sunrise, Limited Registration or General Availability periods, all NGOs must meet specific eligibility requirements and undergo Public Interest Registry's validation process. Ongoing audits will be conducted to ensure the credibility of the OnGood community and reassure Internet users that .ngo and .ong Web addresses represent validated NGOs.
For more information about OnGood or its validation process, please visit www.globalngo.org.
About Public Interest Registry Public Interest Registry is a nonprofit corporation that operates the .org top-level domain — the world's third largest "generic" top-level domain with more than 10 million domain names registered worldwide. As an advocate for collaboration, safety and security on the Internet, Public Interest Registry's mission is to empower the global noncommercial community to use the Internet more effectively, and to take a leadership position among Internet stakeholders on policy and other issues relating to the domain naming system. Public Interest Registry was founded by the Internet Society (internetsociety.org) in 2002 and is based in Reston, Virginia, USA.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the government to remove the freeze on the IDBI Bank account of Greenpeace India, which has foreign contribution of Rs 1.87 crore from Greenpeace International. The court observed that the government had not brought any “evidence on record” to support its action of freezing the account.
“According to me, there is no material on record to restrict the petitioner from accessing the bank account with the IDBI Bank in Chennai,” said the court of Justice Rajiv Shakdher. It said that the “amount in fixed deposited in the bank be unblocked and transferred to the NGO’s account”.
The court took note of the submissions made by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had alleged that the “foreign funds” had been contributed by Greenpeace International, which was on its watchlist, but observed that the ministry’s directions to freeze the account had been given before any notice was issued to the NGO.
“How do you respond to the NGO’s allegation. At least, you should say something. First you freeze the account then you investigate the case, which is very, very uncommon,” observed the court, adding that the ministry had not been able to show on record any evidence that the NGO had been engaged in activities that went against national interest. “NGOs are entitled to have their viewpoints,” said the court, adding that the NGO cannot be accused of acting against national interest “merely because its views do not match the government’s viewpoint”.
The court also noted that the directions to the bank to freeze the accounts were “arbitrary” as the government had not been able to prove its stand.
The court, however, said the government was free to take action against Greenpeace India in future if it found violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) provisions.
The court order came during hearing of a petition filed by Greenpeace India, which alleged that the government had taken action “without any rhyme or reason and without complying with the provisions of FCRA”.
The home ministry had directed the Reserve Bank of India in June 2013 to take prior permission of the ministry’s FCRA department before clearing any foreign aid to Greenpeace India from Greenpeace International and Climate Works. The order resulted in blocking the direct funding of the NGO from abroad since each transaction had to be cleared on a case-to-case basis by the RBI.
During the proceedings, the government’s standing counsel Jasmeet Singh opposed the NGO’s contentions and said the home ministry had a problem with the donor, Greenpeace International, which was on its watchlist. Greenpeace India advocate Sanjay Parikh had argued that the “uncommunicated and illegal prohibition imposed by MHA in not allowing credit of the foreign funds in the petitioner’s FCRA Bank Account” had “violated the rights of Greenpeace”.
Greenpeace, the environmental group, won an important victory in India on Tuesday, as the Delhi High Court ordered the government of Narendra Modi, prime minister, to release Rs18m in foreign contributions to its Indian branch.
In June, New Delhi blocked incoming foreign contributions to Greenpeace India, just after a leaked intelligence bureau report accused the group, and a clutch of other non-governmental organisations, of stalling India’s growth by fomenting dissent to large industrial projects.
However, Greenpeace appealed the government action. Justice Rajiv Shakdher ruled that the blocking of the funds was arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional, as authorities had never notified Greenpeace that money would be frozen, or provided a clear explanation for the move.
In his ruling, Justice Shakdher also noted that non-governmental organisations were entitled to have their own viewpoints, and just because they may oppose some government policies did not make them antinational.
Speaking after the ruling, Sanjay Parikh, the New Delhi-based lawyer who represented Greenpeace India, told the Financial Times the judgment was an affirmation of the fundamental rights of civil society groups.
“This is very very important,” he said. “It ultimately reaffirms faith in democracy and constitution that NGOs also participate in the developmental process, and that the definition of development is not in one way that the government understands but is in many ways.”
The government did not immediately comment on the ruling.
Greenpeace India, and a number of other non-government organisations including a clutch of Dutch-funded NGOs, have incurred the wrath of New Delhi’s political establishment in recent years by supporting grassroots community groups opposed large-scale industrial projects, including mines and heavy industries, on or near their traditional lands.
In the leaked intelligence bureau report, authorities estimated that NGO activism had cost India an average of 2 to 3 per cent GDP growth a year.
Greenpeace India has been the most obvious target of government ire, after the group’s campaign against a planned coal mine, which they say would destroy the livelihoods of about 50,000 people in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
Besides freezing overseas funds for Greenpeace India, authorities last week barred one of its campaigners from leaving the country to prevent her from meeting with British parliamentarians to discuss the coal mine.
New Delhi has also issued circulars to discourage India’s banks from opening accounts or processing transactions for a handful of Dutch-funded organisations working on human rights and environmental issues.
Many other charities and social activists are also concerned that the government may also crack down on their flow of foreign funds under new rules that require them to seek government permission to receive contributions every five years.
The verdict will come as a boost to civil society groups. “This is a vindication of our work, and the role that NGOs play in campaigning for sustainable development,” said Samit Aich, Greenpeace India’s executive director. “It’s a strong signal from the judiciary that the government must cease its campaign of harassment against civil society.”
The ministry’s directive followed a report by India’s Intelligence Bureau that alleged that the protests of such groups could be knocking percentage points off of the country’s gross domestic product growth.
The central government had asked India’s Reserve Bank of India to delay fund transfers to local units of six non-profits including, Greenpeace International, Association for India’s Development, Action Aid International and Survival International.
The latest judgment by the Delhi High Court came in response to a petition filed by Greenpeace India in August last year that said that the government’s decision to block their foreign funding pipeline was “uncommunicated and illegal.” In its petition, Greenpeace also said that it had sought government documents explaining the reasons behind the freeze on funds but had not received a response.
On Tuesday, the court ruled that the government had been unable to produce any “material on record on the basis of which its action could be sustained,” according to Samir Parikh, a Delhi-based lawyer representing Greenpeace India.
The court’s decision had “upheld the legitimacy of the issues Greenpeace takes up in India,” Samit Aich, the executive director of Greenpeace Indiasaid in a statement.
The report by India’s Intelligence Bureau last year said Indian NGOs with foreign donors were found to “create an environment which lends itself to stalling developmental projects.”
Under Indian law, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act permits the government to restrict overseas funding to nonprofits. However, given the new government’s pro-development stance, its decision to curb funding to NGOs was seen as a move to clear the passage for big-ticket projects, including those involving nuclear power and coal mining and expedite their completion.