Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Women and child department projects for odisha NGOs

NGO Project monitoring portal of WCD Odisha

http://ngoprojectmonitoring.wcdorissa.gov.in

a. Government of Odisha projects

Grant-in-Aid/License application

http://ngoprojectmonitoring.wcdorissa.gov.in/NGOVerification.aspx?TL=Reg&LFl=PI

b. Government of India projects

Ministry of social justice, Government of India

http://www.ngograntsje.gov.in

FCRA Renewal trickling in

You will all be glad to know that the FCRA department has started issuing FCRA renewal order for 5 years from 1-11-2016. Some NGOs in our area have already received it. Others are waiting. The order does not have a signature of the issuing authority and the e-mail from FCRA department mentions that it was digitally signed, but the banks are not accepting it without signature. The order copy has not been marked to the banks directly by the department and the NGOs have been asked to hand over a copy to the bank/s, where they have FCRA account/s. They have also not yet published a list of NGOs who have been issued with the renewal order.

Those NGOs who have not yet received the order may constantly watch the official e-mail inbox of the organisation.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

India's curbs on foreign funds do not conform to international law, says UN representative

The government had revoked the licenses of nearly 14,000 NGOs for violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

A United Nations Special Rapporteur has said that India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, which regulates foreign funding to certain individuals, associations and companies, does not conform to international law, principles and standards.

Enacted in 2010, the FCRA bars “organisations of a political nature” from accepting foreign contributions, which may further be prohibited when the government “is satisfied that the acceptance of foreign contribution… is likely to accept prejudicially… public interest”.

The law has come under scrutiny since the Modi government came to power in 2014, with a crackdown on Non-Governmental Organisations resulting in nearly 14,000 of them having their licenses to receive foreign funding revoked. Prominent among these NGOs include Greenpeace India and Ford Foundation.

Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, published a legal analysis on the legislation which was submitted to the Union government on April 20.

According to the Special Rapporteur, India’s limitations on access to foreign funding do not meet “the stringent test for allowable restrictions” under international law. He said that FCRA fails all three prongs of the test, which requires that the restrictions be prescribed by law, imposed solely to protect national security or public safety, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others, apart from being “necessary in a democratic society”.

The FCRA, Kiai further argues, does not provide the required precision for clarity and notice. While the Act lists examples of groups that could be defined as having a “political nature”, it does not provide further definitions or examples for the terms “political objectives,” “political activities,” or “political interests.”

“This appears to give the government broad discretionary powers that could be applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner,” the Special Rapporteur said.

The Special Rapporteur also noted that a total ban on access to foreign funding for organisations found to be of a “political nature” or acting against economic or national interest is likely to disproportionately impact certain groups, including those engaged in critical human rights work.

Source: http://scroll.in/article/807273/indias-curbs-on-foreign-funds-do-not-conform-to-international-law-says-un-representative

India’s FCRA does not conform to international standards: UN Special Reporter

The restriction may prove detrimental to the advocacy group engaged in critical human rights work, government accountability and those representing vulnerable and minority populations or views

United Nations Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai has published a legal analysis arguing that India’s Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) – which regulates foreign funding to individuals, associations and companies – does not conform to international law and standards.

The law has come under scrutiny after the licenses of nearly 14,000 non-government organisations for receiving foreign funds were revoked by the government of India.

The analysis states that access to foreign funding is well within rights under international law. It urges Indian government to approve accreditation to the organisations under FCRA whose licenses were revoked. The analysis has been submitted to the government of India on April 20.

The Special Rapporteurs (SR) is part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council of UN. The experts are not UN staff but work on a voluntary basis. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity.

The SR argues that the ability of civil society organisations to access resources, including foreign funding, is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under international law, standards, and principles – and more particularly part of the right to form an association.

Kiai further states that India’s criteria to block foreign funding does not meet International law.

“This test requires that restrictions be (1) prescribed by law; (2) imposed solely to protect national security or public safety, public order, public health or morals, or the rights and freedoms of others; and (3) “necessary in a democratic society.” The FCRA fails on all three prongs of the test,” states the press release.

In point to point rebuttal, Kiai states that FCRA required clarity and precision. It provides vague terms which can be easily manipulated.

FCRA lists examples of groups that could be defined as having a “political nature,” but does not provide further definitions or examples for the terms “political objectives,” “political activities,” or “political interests.” “This appears to give the government broad discretionary powers that could be applied in an arbitrary and capricious manner,” the Special Rapporteur writes.

“The definition of ‘political nature’ in the FCRA appears to be overly broad and could encompass almost all potential activities of an organisation, including those that are allowed and even encouraged by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to exist, such as promoting knowledge of basic rights and participation in government.”

“The Human Rights Committee has found that when a State invokes national security and protection of public order as a reason to restrict the right to freedom of association, the State party must prove the precise nature of the threat,” Kiai writes. It is not enough for the State to generally refer to the security situation in the specific area, he adds.

Finally, the SR notes that a total ban on access to foreign funding for organisations found to be of a “political nature” likely to disproportionately impact certain groups. Among these groups, he writes, are those engaged in critical human rights work, those which address issues of government accountability and good governance, and those which represent vulnerable and minority populations or views.

Source: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/india-s-fcra-does-not-conform-to-international-standards-un-special-rapporteur-53743



Banks have to report foreign contribution to NGO's within 48 hours

NEW DELHI: Banks will have to report to the central government within two days any information on NGOs getting foreign funds, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"As per Foreign Contribution ( Regulation) Amendment Rules 2015 notified in Gazette ofIndia on December 14, 2015, the banks shall report to the central government within 48 hours any transaction in respect of receipt and utilisation of any foreign contribution by any person," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in reply to a written question.

The order is applicable irrespective of whether or not such person is registered or granted permission under the FCRA.

The Minister said it has been decided to bring all FCRA designated bank accounts and utilisation accounts held by the NGOs granted registration or prior permission on the online platform of Public Finance Management Service for accessing these accounts for random scrutiny.

Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/banks-have-to-report-foreign-contribution-to-ngos-within-48-hours/articleshow/52009963.cms

Sunday, April 10, 2016

National CSO Consultation on NCDs in India: 1st announcement

In an effort to prevent and control non-communicable diseases in India, the global NCD Alliance convened a consultation of civil society organizations in July 2015. Following this, an Indian network called Healthy India Alliance has been announced.

The Healthy India Alliance invites you for the first National CSO Consultation on Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in India from 25th to 27th April, 2016

at PHD Chamber of Commerce, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi. Please read the details of the Healthy India Alliance National Consultation.

invites Civil Society Organisations to participate 
in the first National CSO Consultation 
on 
Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in India 
from 25th to 27th April, 2016 
at PHD Chamber of Commerce, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi. 
Registration Fee: INR 2000 + service tax as applicable, per participant 
For additional details, please contact Prachi Kathuria at prachi@hriday-shan.org 

or call on +91-11 41031191 

About HIA: 
In July 2015, the global NCD Alliance founded by 4 international NGO federations and WHO South-East Asia Regional Office convened a Consultation of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the Region. The goal was to deliberate on priorities and strategies to advance NCD prevention and control in the Region and the role that CSOs can play in this sphere, especially with respect to the set of 10 national targets adopted by India under the National Action Plan to reduce premature NCD mortality by 25% by 2025. The Healthy India Alliance, comprising of organizations working on NCD issues in India, was formed as an outcome of this meeting. 
HIA aims to expand NGO network to include interested organisations working in the health, development, environment and other allied sectors to ensure multi-sectoral partnerships and networking to promote health and development in India. 
About the Event: 
The first ‘National CSO Consultation on NCDs in India’ has been organized in New Delhi. In addition to plenary sessions and panel discussions, the National event will also include parallel capacity building workshops on advocacy, social media



For additional details, please contact:
Prachi Kathuria
At: prachi@hriday-shan.org or call on +91-11 41031191.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Skill Enhancement Programme (SEP-2016) for the visually impaired boys and girls from all parts of the state of Odisha

NOTICE

Like each year, Milton Charitable Foundation for the Visually Handicapped, Ashoknagar 5th line Square, Berhampur, Ganjam is inviting applications for starting the Skill Enhancement Programme (SEP-2016) for the visually impaired boys and girls from all parts of the state of Odisha from 2nd May to 15th June. During the course, the participants will be imparted basic computer, personality development communication skills, mobility and other living skill. For this purpose, the interested visually impaired boys and girls who have completed class X and higher may contact to the foundation by 20th April 2016 for admission into the mentioned programme.

The contact numbers are: (0680) 2280433, 9861759703 Whatsapp No. 9338689961. Email – helpdesk@mcfvh.org , mcfvhodisha@gmail.com

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ngo Scheme of Financial Assistance to celebrate international day of yoga in all districts of India

Grant in Aid Application for INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA CELEBRATION – 2016 to Ngos in India

Organization: - Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy

(Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India)

Last Date To Apply: - 25thApril, 2016.

About the Department:-

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) is an autonomous body under Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy invites applications from Govt. Departments /Autonomous Bodies/ Universities/ NGOs/ Voluntary Organisations involved in Yoga and Naturopathy activities or Health related activities for conducting One Month Yoga Camp from 21.05.2016 to 20.06.2016 and to celebrate ‘International Day of Yoga’ by organising a relevant programme on 21st June, 2016 in each district of the country with financial assistance/ grant-in-aid on reimbursement basis up to a maximum of Rs.1.00 lakh only.

Eligibilities To Apply:-

Govt. Departments /Autonomous Bodies/ Universities/ NGOs/ Voluntary Organisations

Documents to be submitted with the application:

1. Copy of Registration Certificate

2. Annual Report for the last three years

3. Audited Statement of Accounts for the last three years (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15)

4. Activities/programmes being conducted by the Organization at present

5. Infrastructural facilities and manpower available with the Organization to conduct camps and to celebrate ‘International Day of Yoga’.

6. Articles of Association, Bye-Laws.

7. Undertaking that it has not applied or/and will not receive any grant for the same purpose or activity from any other Ministry or Department of the Government of India or State Government.

8. ITR for the last three years.

Financial Support for Camp:

1, 00,000 Up to One Lakh

How to Apply for funding

The details along with application form can be obtained from the Office of the Director, CCRYN or can be downloaded from the websites www.ccryn.org or www.indianmedicine.nic.in then Send it to

The Director

Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy

61-65, Institutional Area, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058

Download Notification and Application here : http://www.ccryn.org/Sheme%20for%20all%20Districts%20of%20India.docx

The last date for submission of duly filled in applications is 25thApril, 2016.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

USAID/India seeking applications from NGOs for India Partnerships Program

Deadline: 30 March 2017

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a call for proposals from qualified NGOs (and also for-profit and governmental organizations) to apply for the India Partnerships Program (IPP) under the Annual Program Statement (APS).

The IPP supports testing, adoption and scaling of creative or innovative solutions to meet development challenges in the areas of health, food security, clean energy, gender equality, female empowerment, maternal and child health, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, affordable health care, water and sanitation access, early grade reading, promotion of clean and renewable energy, forestry, food security, triangular cooperation, gender and financial inclusion.

USAID/India is interested in providing financial or non-financial support to partners to realize concepts and ideas that hold promise in the focus areas.

The purpose of this APS is to announce the competitive process and solicit Concept Paper applications from the private and public sectors for engaging with USAID/India under the IPP. The goals of the IPP are to identify and partner with organizations and institutions who bring innovative ideas and resources of at least a 1:1 match to address jointly defined development challenges. Matching resources may include money, technologies, experience, expertise or other assets that Applicants can demonstrate as beneficial to tackling and resolving a development challenge.

Partnerships developed under this APS should contribute to achieving one or more of USAID/India’s core Development Objectives. USAID/India’s programming focuses on eight key areas. The largest of these is health, where USAID/India focuses on improving maternal and child health; behavior change communication; diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; health care finance, and access to clean water and sanitation in major cities. Improving early grade reading, increasing access to clean energy, improving food security, financial inclusion and advancing gender equality and female empowerment are also key areas. USAID/India’s Development Objectives are designed jointly with the Government of India (GOI) and advance GOI priority development initiatives like Smart Cities Mission, Swachh Bharat, Campaign to end TB, and increased use of renewable energy technologies.

For more information, visit grants.gov.

For information in India please visit:
https://www.usaid.gov/india/work-with-us/partnership-opportunities
https://www.usaid.gov/india

Friday, April 1, 2016

Validity of FCRA Registration Extended

Last date for filing renewal application has already been extended to 30-Jun-15. Now the Department has made another announcement. This applies to NGOs whose FCRA registration expires on or before 30-Sep-16.

In all such cases, the registration will remain valid till 31-Oct-16. If they want to get their FCRA renewed, they should file the renewal application by 30-Jun-16 in form FC-3 online.

Source: FCRA notice dated 29-Mar-16. Available FCRAonline.nic.in

US announces funding opportunities for NGO programs benefitting Sri Lankan refugees

Apr 01, Washington, DC: The United States Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of Department of State Thursday announced the funding opportunities for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to submit proposals that would benefit displaced Sri Lankan refugees.

The grants are available for NGO programs benefiting Tibetan and Sri Lankan Refugees, IDPs, and Returnees in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka under the "Overseas Refugee Assistance Programs for Near East and South Asia."

Following are the guidelines for Sri Lankans:

II. SRI LANKANS in INDIA: (proposals must focus on one or more of the following provisions.)

(i) Protection:

a. Address prevention of and/or response to GBV, including trafficking, children at risk of dropping out of school, out-of-school children, women and children’s empowerment, and mental health and/or psychosocial support.

b. Develop capacity of camp committees to continue GBV prevention and response activities.

III. SRI LANKANS in SRI LANKA (proposals must focus on one or more of the following provisions.)

(i) Protection:

a. Address prevention of and/or response to GBV, including trafficking, children at risk of dropping out of school, out-of-school children, women and children’s empowerment, mental health and/or psychosocial support; and/or WASH resources directly related to protection.

b. Link beneficiaries who may wish to voluntarily repatriate from India during the project period or who have previously repatriated to services and support in Sri Lanka.

(ii) Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH):

a. Address WASH needs in Sri Lankan settlements, to include potable water, drainage, and adequate and safe toilet facilities.

b. PRM will prioritize WASH projects that bring Sri Lankan settlements into compliance with SPHERE standards.

(iii) Education:

a. Provide and/or improve access to quality primary, secondary, and non-formal education. Post-secondary education assistance will not be considered.

(iv) Livelihoods:

a. Assist returnees to develop sustainable livelihoods.

Full Funding Opportunity Announcement at: http://www.state.gov/j/prm/funding/fy2016/255376.htm?

FCRA Registration Renewed to All

All the NGOs FCRA, which expired on or before 30.09.2016 are extended to 31.10.2016. See the notification: https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/PDF_Doc/Important_Notice_Renewal.pdf
What does it means :

It means all the organization’s FCRA registration is expired on 31.10.2016. As per FCRA 2010, registration of organization was going to be expired on 30.04.2016. But now it is automatically extended to 31.10.2016 by way of above notification.

Also, those organization, who has not apply for renewal, immediately apply in Form FC3 on line at https://fcraonline.nic.in

PILs by Foreign Funded NGOs: Whose Interest is it Anyway?

In the historic judgment in the Judges’ Transfer case, the seven judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held that any member of the public even if not directly involved but having ‘sufficient interest’ can approach the High Court under article 226, or in case of breach of fundamental rights the Supreme Court, to redress grievances of persons who cannot move the court because of ‘poverty, helplessness, or disability or socially or economically disadvantaged position’. The Court can be approached even through a letter in such a case (SP Gupta v/s President of India, AIR 1982 SC 149). After this judgment, it has been open to public minded individual citizens or social organizations (NGOs) to seek judicial relief in the interest of the general public.

The development of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the country has very recently uncovered its own pitfalls and drawbacks. The genuine causes and cases of public interest have in fact receded to the background andirresponsible PIL activists all over the country have started to play a major but not a constructive role in the arena of litigation. They try to utilize this extraordinary remedy, available at a cheaper cost, as a substitute for ordinary ones.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL): A legal history

Public Interest Litigation popularly known as PIL can be broadly defined as litigation in the interest of that nebulous entity: the public in general. Prior to 1980s, only the aggrieved party could personally knock the doors of justice and seek remedy for his grievance and any other person who was not personally affected could not knock the doors of justice as a proxy for the victim or the aggrieved party. In other words, only the affected parties had the locus standi (standing required in law) to file a case and continue the litigation and the non affected persons had no locus standi to do so. And as a result, there was hardly any link between the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Bharat and the laws made by the legislature on the one hand and the vast majority of illiterate citizens on the other.

However, this entire scenario gradually changed when the post emergency Supreme Court tackled the problem of access to justice by people through radical changes and alterations made in the requirements of locus standi and of party aggrieved. The splendid efforts of Justice P N Bhagwati and Justice V R Krishna Iyer were instrumental in this juristic revolution of eighties to convert the apex court of Bharat into a Supreme Court for all citizens of Bharat. And as a result any citizen or any consumer group or social action group can approach the apex court of the country seeking legal remedies in all cases where the interests of general public or a section of public are at stake. Further, public interest cases could be filed without investment of heavy court fees as required in private civil litigation.

Whose interest is it anyway?

Among the criteria which Courts have set to admit PILs is to inquire whether the petition indeed serves any public interest. A number of PILs have been dismissed as the petitioner was seen pursuing his private interest under the garb of a public interest litigation. PILs have been filed by individuals, organizations as well as by NGOs. Typically, when NGOs file a PIL or when their PILs are heard or judgments delivered, newspapers mention the name of the NGO. In the recent past, several such PILs have been filed by NGOs in various Courts in Bharat. It also raises some obvious questions, such as
What is the brief of these NGOs?
How do they get the time and money for all these laborious legal procedures? Is it their part-time work or full-time? If the latter, how do they sustain themselves?
Why are they so much in love with Bharat’s public interest that they are fighting for *our* interest?
Given that common Bharatiya public have never clamoured for many of the causes which such NGOs litigate about, where do they get the idea on what to litigate on?
Are such public interest litigations really in the interest of the public of this Nation?

In this write-up, we shall examine several PILs filed by NGOs. Causes vary, courts vary, but one thing is common- they have all been filed by foreign funded NGOs, or FCRA-NGOs in our parlance. As our readers may know, FCRA is the Indian law which governs the flow of foreign funds to Bharatiya organizations (NGOs, Government Orgs, etc.).

One may wonder on the need for such a compilation. Won’t the newspapers covering PILs by NGOs also mention the foreign funding aspect? No, not one newspaper ever mentioned it; they just mention the name of that NGO.But wait, won’t Courts mention it in their verdict or observations or whatever?No, they not even once mention the foreign funding aspect of the litigant NGO.

One may wonder, what is the big deal even if they are foreign funded?

Allow me to elaborate on how a FCRA-NGO gets money from abroad. You see, every FCRA-NGO has to submit to their foreign donors (write a project proposal, say) on their prior activities in Bharat, their interests and capabilities, and have to describe what they plan to do if they receive a grant from the donor. The foreign donor then vets the proposal, finds the activities of the NGO to be consistent with his i.e., the foreign donor’s goals and decides to fund (or not) the Bharatiya NGO via FCRA. Thus, when such a FCRA-NGO files a PIL, it is, by definition, acting on behalf of its foreign donor.There are no two ways to interpret this, given the mechanism of how the funds reach these FCRA-NGO.

Thus, we cannot be oblivious to the source of funds of the FCRA-NGO. We cannot divorce its actions from the intentions and desires of the foreign donor.

There is one more loophole. The FCRA-NGOs may also be receiving local donations from within Bharat. May be it is using this INR money for the PIL. Won’t it be fine then? No, once an NGO receives foreign funds, its actions should be assumed to be congruent to the interests of the foreign donor. Thus, such NGOs must be suspected a priori.

In this light, we should demand that FCRA-NGOs should be barred from filing PILs. If barring them from filing PILs is not possible, a disclosure in each PIL that the petitioner is an agent of foreign donors is required; don’t get alarmed by the use of the word “agent”. Let us check out the situation of foreign funded NGOs in the country, the US, which sends the largest sum of FCRA contribution to our NGOs. Such NGOs receiving foreign funds in the US are declared, by law, as “Foreign Agents”. Such Foreign Agents in the US (i.e., US citizens/residents who run an NGO there) must declare the fact of them being foreign agents in all of their promotional material, whenever they meet any Government official etc.

It is important, at this juncture, to clarify that we are not asking to forbid all NGOs from filing PILs. If an NGO is funded only by funds raised within Bharat, of course it can be allowed to file PILs. We are not even asking to forbid even the FCRA-NGOs from filing any kind of litigation; they should of course possess the right to file any kind of petition, except PILs.

One may note that we have no public position on the legal matters of the PILs presented below, either for or against.

[A] Himachal Pradesh High Court ruling on “anti-conversion” law (2012):

Himachal Pradesh passed a Religious Freedom Bill in 2007. A section of it demanded that a person who failed to give due notice (to district authorities) before converting to another religion can be fined. This section was struck down by the HP HC. In all, Section 4 and Rules 3 and 5 of HP Freedom of Religion Rules, 2007, were struck down.

This ruling came due to a PIL filed by Evangelical Fellowship of India and ANHAD. Who are they?
Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), FCRA-NGO, (DL/231650058)
EFI gets funds from Open Doors Intl (USA), BILD Intl (USA), Stiftung-CSI (Zurich), Evangelism Explosion Intl (USA), Barnabas Fund (USA), Equip-India (USA), Evangelical Fellowship of Asia (Japan), Viva Network (UK), Partners Intl (USA) etc.
In the same building as EFI, two more FCRA-NGOs exist. These are: Ceefi Supply Centre Trust (DL/231650490), Emmanuel Hospital Association (DL/231650016), and Vachan Trust (DL/231661156)
The building also houses the Christian Legal Association.
The building also houses Aspire Prakashan Pvt. Ltd. which runs (or used to run) Forward Press. Remember that? No? Mahishasura Mardini? Yes? Same.
Act Now for Harmony And Democracy (ANHAD), FCRA-NGO (DL/231661032)
ANHAD gets funds from Christian Aid (UK), Action Aid (UK), American Jewish World Service (USA) and Oxfam (UK).
ANHAD also reports to have received funds from Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), Ahmedabad. While CSJ is not a FCRA-NGO, at the same address as CSJ exists a FCRA-NGO called Institute for Development Education and Learning (IDEL) (GJ/41910191).
IDEL gets funds from Misereor (a missionary organization in Germany), Ford Foundation (USA), Action Aid (UK).

The striking down of parts of the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Rules was covered not only in Bharat, but in USA as well. A few snippets:
Christianity Today, 18/9/2012 Court in India’s Most Hindu State Partially Repeals Anti-Conversion Law
UCAN India, 31/8/2012 Court upholds anti-conversion law, knocks out major clause
Times of India, 31/8/2012 HC partially strikes down Himachal’s anti-conversion law

So, tell me. Who got the PIL filed? If I say that rabid evangelical organizations, and international partners of USA did it, can you contest that?

[B] Ban on Jallikattu, Kambala, Captive (Temple) Elephants:

Feb. 2016:
Karnataka High Court Notice on Kambala Notification PIL filed by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India (DL/231660443)
PETA-India is a non-profit company. At least two of its Directors appear not to be Indian citizens
Based on their 2012-13 Annual Report and FC6 return for the same year, it is estimated that foreign funds account for 65% of its annual income
PETA-India receives foreign funding via FCRA exclusively from PETA-Virginia.

May 2014
Supreme Court bans Jallikattu PIL filed by Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) (TN/75900766) and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India (DL/231660443)
AWBI gets very little money from abroad
It has not filed FCRA return for 2013-14 and 2014-15 yet.

Jan. 2016
Supreme Court stays Centre’s notification on Jallikattu PIL filed by Compassion Unlimited Plus Action (CUPA) (KA/94420702)
CUPA gets very little money from abroad
It has not filed FCRA return for 2013-14 and 2014-15 yet.

Aug. 2015
Supreme Court Ruling on Registration of captive (temple) elephants (in Kerala) PIL filed by Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) (KA/94421012) and Animal Welfare Board of India (TN/75900766)
The last FC6 return filed by WRRC was for 2009-10.
WRRC received very little money from abroad. However, it received funds from Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore in 2007-08.

[C] Stray Dog Menace:

Oct. 2015
Writ in Kerala High Court by OM Joy with Jose Maveli of Janaseva Sisubhavan, Aluva. Licence to catch stray dogs was cancelled. Kerala HC issues urgent notice to Union Minister.

Nov. 2015
PIL filed by Janaseva Sisubhavan in Supreme Court. Seeks protection of children from stray dogs. SC issues notice to Union Government and others.
Aluva Janaseva (which runs Janaseva Sisubhavan) is a FCRA-NGO located in United Christian College, Aluva, Kerala with Registration KL/52850548.
Aluva Janaseva receives funding from individuals who appear to be of a specific religious persuasion settled in Canada, Netherlands and USA.

Mar. 2016
Special leave petition (SLP) filed by Animal Welfare Board of India (TN/75900766). Supreme Court directs all State Governments to sterilize and vaccinate all stray dogs.

Remarks

Note how a person associated with Janaseva Sisubhavan filed the Oct. 2015 writ in Kerala HC, upon stray dog catching license cancellation. In the next month, the same FCRA-NGO files the PIL on stray dog menace in Kerala in Supreme Court, which is admitted, heard etc.

[D] Government enforcement of FCRA:

Nov. 2015
PIL filed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) demanding that the enforcement of FCRA should be done by an independent body. Their argument: As certain political parties themselves may have received foreign funding, they (parties) cannot enforce the law properly, being part of Government.
ADR is a FCRA-NGO (GJ/41910350) in Ahmedabad.
Its donors include: Ford Foundation (USA), Omidyar Network (USA), Arpan Foundation (USA), HIVOS (Netherlands), Google.

[E] Board of Visitors to oversee Prisons:

Jan. 2016
PIL in Madras High Court filed by People’s Watch, “seeking appointment of skilled individuals as non official members of Board of Visitors headed by Collectors in every district and entrusted with the responsibility of keeping a check on living conditions in prisons”. The article says that Henri Tiphagne, head of People’s Watch stated in the affidavit, “Prisons have traditionally been and still remain closed institutions. The physical structure of prisons and the archaic rules of management of these punitive institutions endow them with a cover of obscurity in which human rights can be unofficially violated and officially denied.”
People’s Watch is a unit of (i.e., a part of) Centre for Promotion of Social Concerns (CPSC), Madurai. CPSC is a FCRA-NGO (TN/75940138).
CPSC gets funds from Misereor (German Missionary organization), Ford Foundation (USA), HIVOS (Netherlands), Dan Church Aid (Denmark) etc.
Henri Tiphagne received Amnesty International’s eighth International Human Rights Award this year. He is the first Indian to receive it.
Note that the foreign funded NGO asks a pointed question. It seeks the appointment of ‘social workers’ in the Boards of Visitors of prisons so as to check on living conditions.

[F] Rules for Jogini/Devadasi Ban:

Dec. 2015
A PIL was filed in the Andhra Pradesh High Court by “Pratigya” which works on anti-human trafficking in regions of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & Karnataka.
The Andhra Pradesh Devadasis (Prohibition of Dedication) Act was formulated in 1988, but the rules governing its implementation were never framed, due to which it could not be implemented. The PIL sought the framing of the rules which was granted by AP HC.
The Times of India news item does not mention the Petitioner’s identity, but a news release from Freedom Challenge (FC), Atlanta mentions it. There is no reportage of this story in Indian media except for the ToI story.
The same is also reported by Dalit Freedom Network (DFN), United Kingdom, which testifies its relation to “Pratigya”
Operation Mobilization (OM), an International Christian Missionary Organization and headquartered in Atlanta is the founding member of Freedom Challenge.
The OM/FC press release as well as the DFN web post are nearly verbatim reproductions of a Post in Facebook by an organization called Good Shepherd Church of India (GSCI). The Post mentions that Pratigya is an activity of Operation Mercy India Foundation (OMIF) in affiliation with GSCI.
The All India Christian Council (AICC)’s Facebook account shared this Post.
GSCI, OMIF and AICC are FCRA-NGOs. They are all co-located in a campus called Logos Bhavan in Ranga Reddy District, Telangana. Their FCRA registration numbers are: TS/10220141, TS/10220133 and TS/10220227. Four other FCRA-NGOs are also located in the same address.
GSCI and OMIF receive funds from Dalit Freedom network and Operation Mobilisation organizations across the world.
The celebration on the success of the PIL across the world (Atlanta, London etc.) is thus understandable.

[G] Missing Children, Alcoholism among Children:

Jan. 2015
PIL filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) (Save the Childhood Foundation (SCF)) in the Supreme Court on “missing children”

Dec. 2014
PIL filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Foundation) in the Supreme Court on the need to include ill-effects of alcohol and drugs in school curricula. SC issues notice to Central Government.
Save the Childhood Foundation (SCF) is a FCRA-NGO. Located in New Delhi, its registration is DL/231661122. It received very little money via FCRA.
At the same address as SCF is Association for Voluntary Action (AVA). As per BBA’s website, AVA is the entity to which donations pertaining to BBA should be made.
Association for Voluntary Action is a FCRA-NGO (DL/231650169). It receives sizeable funding from Stichting Global March Against Child Labour (Netherlands), Bread for the World (Netherlands), Wake Foundation (Taiwan), Stichting Wilde Ganzen (Netherlands) etc.

[H] Validity of the IPC section 377:

Feb. 2016
Curative petition filed by Naz Foundation seeking a relook at the earlier judgement of the Supreme Court.
Naz Foundation, New Delhi is a FCRA-NGO (DL/231650947)
It gets sizeable funds from American India Foundation (USA), Standard Chartered Bank (UK), Australian Sports Outreach Program (Aus), SCB Women Win (Netherlands) and several individuals abroad.

[I] Appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner:

Aug. 2015
PIL filed challenging the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner by Common Cause.
Common Cause is FCRA-NGO (DL/231650659). It has not received any foreign funds since 2006.

[J] Road widening to be consistent with statutory norms:

June 2015
A PIL filed in Karnataka High Court by Environment Support Group (ESG) was dismissed, largely on the grounds that one of the petitioners had a private interest in the matter. Let us leave aside the grounds on which the PIL was dismissed. The PIL was filed to demand that road widening projects taken up by the State Government must be based on planning, norms and guidelines.
ESG is a FCRA-NGO (KA/94421056).
ESG’s funding is largely from Action Aid (UK)
ESG opposes the establishment of several facilities related to Indian Institute of Science (IISc), DRDO, BARC and ISRO in a place called Chellakere near Chitradurga in Karnataka, on the grounds that the allotted land is a natural grazing area for a special species of cattle therein.

[J] World Cultural Festival on the riverbed of Yamuna:

Mar. 2016
Petition filed in the National Green Tribunal by Swechha on “damages” caused to the environment due to the conduct of World Culture Festival around the Yamuna River, near Delhi, by The Art of Living Foundation
Swechha is a FCRA-NGO (DL/231660913).
Its donors include: British High Commission (Delhi), US Embassy (Delhi), HIVOS (Netherlands), Voluntary Service Overseas (UK) etc.

[K] Field Trials of Genetically Modified Crops:

Apr 2014
PIL filed in Supreme Court seeking ban on recklessly allowing field trials of Genetically Modified Crops in India, by `Gene Campaign’
Gene Campaign is FCRA-NGO (DL/231650825).
It gets funds from Action Aid (UK), Heinrich Boll Foundation (Germany), Oxfam (UK).
In 2006, it received funds from Ford Foundation (USA) and International Development Research Centre (Canada)

[L] Human Rights etc:
Several PILs have been filed by bodies associated with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in various Courts. These are compiled here.
HRLN is a collective and its FCRA office is registered as Socio-Legal Information Centre, (SLIC) Tardeo, Mumbai.
SLIC is an FCRA-NGO (MH/83780554).
It receives funds from US Embassy (Delhi), Karuna Trust (UK), Dan Church Aid (Denmark), MacArthur Foundation (USA), Action Aid (UK), Bread for the World (Germany), Misereor (Germany), Christian Aid (UK), European Union (Belgium) and the Royal Netherlands Embassy (Delhi).

[M] Right to Education:

Apr. 2014
PIL filed in the Supreme Court by National Coalition for Education (NCE) alleging that schools across the Nation were violating the RTE Act. The Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of Bharat directed the Central and State Governments to respond.
NCE is located at the same address as All India Primary Teachers’ Federation (AIPTF) which is a FCRA-NGO (DL/231660011). Reni Jacob, Advocacy Director of World Vision India is a Trustee of NCE.
AIPTF receives funds from Global Campaign for Education (South Africa), Education International Brussels (Belgium), Canadian Teachers Federation (Canada) etc.
Apart from NCE/AIPTF, a huge number of foreign funded NGOs carry out advocacy tasks in the implementation of RTE Act. For details, refer to this article.

In the above, the FCRA-NGOs are identified by their name and also by their FCRA registration number. The latter is usually coded as “XY/123456789”, where “XY” is a two-letter code for the State in which the NGO is registered (KA=Karnataka, HR=Haryana etc.) and the 9-digit (sometimes 8-digit) number is the registration number.

The funding details of each FCRA-NGO can be checked by anyone at fcraonline.nic.in; for its sources on PILs, this write-up has relied on newspaper articles as well as many articles from livelaw.in; They have all been hyperlinked within each description. We acknowledge these sources.

I also acknowledge the FCRA Wing, Ministry of Home Affairs for making available the FC6/FC4 returns in public domain, without having to go through via the idiotic RTI route. Two twitter well wishers are also thanked for their support and suggestions.

DISCLAIMER:

The above article is an edited version of the article originally published as a blog post which can be accessed through this url:http://fcraanalyses.blogspot.in/2016/03/public-interest-litigation-filed-by.html?m=1 We express our sincere thanks to the author, who can be contacted as @sighbaboo on Twitter, for kindly granting us his consent to let us publish his work on HinduPost.

This article represents the opinions of the Author, and the Author is responsible for ensuring the factual veracity of the content. HinduPost is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information, contained herein.

Source: http://www.hindupost.in/politics/pils-by-foreign-funded-ngos-whose-interest-is-it-anyway/

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rating Your NGO/VO/Trust

DNICRA - Decern & Neat Information & Credit Rating Agency Private Limited

Decern & Neat Information & Credit Rating Agency Private Limited(DNICRA) is one of the leading Credit and Performance Rating agencies in India. It provides ratings, risk assessment and analytical solutions to ngo/npo/trust/vo. Third party credit rating and assessment helps to create “trust” between players in funding agency that underpins financial assistants. The DNICRA plays a central and critical role in analyzing, assessing and rating various entities to enable financial assistants and development work. We provide comprehensive ratings, risk assessment and analytical solutions to ngo/npo/trust/vo across all areas enabling clients to make independent, informed & value based decisions on various fields. Our commitment is to build credible, independent and leadership positions to help our customers’ work grow creditable and securely.

Decern & Neat Information & Credit Rating Agency Private Limited(DNICRA) is one of the leading Credit and Performance Rating agencies in India. It provides ratings, risk assessment and analytical solutions to ngo/npo/trust/vo. Third party credit rating and assessment helps to create “trust” between players in funding agency that underpins financial assistants. The DNICRA plays a central and critical role in analyzing, assessing and rating various entities to enable financial assistants and development work. We provide comprehensive ratings, risk assessment and analytical solutions to ngo/npo/trust/vo across all areas enabling clients to make independent, informed & value based decisions on various fields. Our commitment is to build credible, independent and leadership positions to help our customers’ work grow creditable and securely.

To realize our goal we have committed ourselves to providing the ngo/npo/trust/vo with objective, timely, independent and forward-looking credit and performance opinions. The foundation of that dedication is embedded in several core principles — objectivity, quality, independence, integrity and transparency.

• The DNicra has a dedicated team of qualified professionals constantly engaged in the task of delivering and upgrading its rating services
• It maintains a comprehensive database of all its rating actions, which is used for developing benchmarks required for assessing ngo/npo/trust/vo.
• ngo/npo/trust/vo engages in constant introspection to improve its rating methodology and practices and is in regular dialogue with other rating agencies to standardize rating practices globally.

The DNicra rating report provides a detailed assessment of the rated organisation on issues of governance, management and financial sustainability. It also identifies key improvement areas for the rated ngo/npo/trust/vo and indicates the type of input that could help to make the improvements. The report includes financial statements, key ratios, graphs and comparisons with any previous rating. Besides these, financial and field activities projections based on the assessment of the nicra team are provided.

The rating report consist a detailed analysis, justification of grades assigned and comments on strengths and weaknesses. This is presented to an external rating committee comprising specialists in finance, management and development. The committee critically examines the rating rationale undereach of the three assessment areas using benchmarks and analysis norms. If it does not agree with the report, suitable changes are effected and only after the endorsement of the committee is the report, with a specific rating grade, finalized and submitted to the client.

The DNicra ratings have not only facilitated the flow of funds they have also resulted in important systemic changes and enabled the design of capacity building initiatives for ngo/npo/trust/vo.

Please Visit for more information and rating your NGO-Trust-VO etc: http://www.dnicra.in

Contact: info@dnicra.in

Monday, March 21, 2016

INDIRA JAISING FACES CBI PROBE FOR FUND MISUSE

The Centre is likely to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the fund misuse by an NGO, Lawyers Collective, run by former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising. The Union Home Ministry has already served a notice on the NGO for allegedly receiving foreign funds of over Rs11 crore when she held the post of ASG between 2009 and 2012.

In its notice, the Ministry said Jaisingh received foreign funds while holding a Government post, which is violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA). Sources said that while no decision has been taken on the nature of probe to be ordered against the former ASG, there is enough evidence to engage the CBI in this matter.

They pointed out several instances of FCRA violations were noticed in the account books of the Mumbai-based NGO during a recent scrutiny of documents carried out in January. On the receipt of a complaint from one Raj Kumar Sharma on the misutilisation of foreign contribution by Lawyers Collective, the Ministry inspected the books of account of the NGO for the period from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

In contravention of the FCRA norms, the NGO allegedly participated in political activities and allegedly diverted and misutilised foreign contribution. The enquiry also revealed that significant amount of foreign contributions were spent on air travel, boarding and lodging, local travel of trustee Anand Grover, husband of Indira Jaising, and various contractual employees and representatives from different parts of the country for drafting legislations, dharnas and advocacy with MPs.

At a seminar on “Future Plan-2010” and in the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the association held on August 28, 2010, Lawyers Collective decided to draft legislation on the HIV/AIDS Bill and spent money for Advocacy with Members of Parliament and Media. HIV/AIDS however does not come under the aims/objectives of the NGO. An amount of Rs88,978 was paid to Delhi Network of Positive People on October 21, 2009 after entering into an agreement for the arrangement of up to 250 people at the rate of Rs200 per person to hold Dharna for HIV/AIDS Bill outside office of the Law Ministry.

The association too organised rallies against Free Trade Agreement. To hold “paid” dharnas by utilisation of foreign contribution is a violation of Section 8 of FCRA 2010, sources said.

Foreign Currency worth nearly Rs3 crore was received by Lawyers Collective for purposes other than the stated Objectives of Association filed with the Registrar like women empowerment, is a violation of Section 8 of FCRA, 2010, the enquiry has revealed.

Likewise, foreign contribution worth nearly Rs12.5 crore was received by Lawyers Collective for the purpose other than its stated objectives i.e. HIV/AIDS awareness. Receiving funds for activities not listed as objectives is also a violation of FCRA.

The enquiry has also revealed that the NGO acted as a conduit for receipt and transfer of foreign contribution meant for UNSR (United Nations Special Rapporteur). During 2008 to 2014, one of the foreign donors donated $95,000, $97,000, $93,896 and $89,599 to the NGO, specifically to assist Anand Grover to carry on his work as UN Special Rapporteur.

Grover availed the foreign contribution for various purposes, including visit to foreign countries (though as UNSR he is entitled for travelling expenses per diem). This was not an activity listed in the Objectives of the Association of the NGO and therefore the Association violated the provisions of Section 7 of FCRA, 2010 (read with Rule 24 of FCRR, 2011) by working as a conduit to receive foreign contribution on behalf of Anand Grover and transferring the same to him, the sources said.

Anand Grover has also violated the provisions of Section 11 of the FCRA, 2010 by accepting and utilising the foreign contribution without obtaining registration or prior permission of the Centre. Grover also used the foreign contribution for personal benefits and spent it outside India, thereby violating Section 8 of the FCRA, 2010.

Grover also appeared in Novartis case in the Supreme Court by spending foreign contribution, which was clearly not meant for that purpose. Funds were misappropriated to meet such purposes. In one instance, the air ticket of Indira Jaising was also booked out of foreign contribution received for Novartis Case, along with him, though she was not officially attached with the case (2011) nor it was any Association-related activity.

Receipt of foreign contribution by her while functioning as Public Servant (in her capacity as ASG from July 2009 to May 5, 2014) is also violation of FCRA norms. She received remuneration of Rs 96.60 lakh from Lawyers Collective out of foreign contribution and as an ASG travelled to foreign countries like Nepal and USA. The travelling expenses were borne by Lawyers Collective from foreign contribution without prior approval from the Union Home Ministry. The ASG being a Public Servant of a high stature who used to handle sensitive matters, thus receipt of foreign contribution violated the thrust of the FCRA, 2010 and consequently Section 3 and Section 11 thereof by not seeking clearances from the Centre for receiving foreign contribution as remuneration from the NGO.

Receipt of foreign contribution in non-designated foreign contribution account is yet another violation of the FCRA. The NGO has received foreign contribution from donors directly in its Utilization account instead of designated bank account for foreign contribution thereby violating provisions contained in Section 17 and Section 18 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9 (1)(e) of FCRR, 2011, the sources said.

The receipt of foreign contribution amounting to Rs 29.33 lakh, Rs 16.18 lakh and Rs 7.54 lakh during the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 which was credited to the Utilization bank account instead of foreign currency designated bank account has not been reflected in FC-6 annual returns, in violation of provisions contained in Section 18 of the FCRA, 2010, Rule 17 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 and is covered under Section 33 of the FCRA, 2010 for suppression of facts.

Discrepancy between the return filed with Union Home Ministry and that with Income Tax authorities - a comparative analysis of the foreign contribution received during FY 2009-10 to FY 2011-12 by Lawyers Collective as per Foreign Contribution return filed with MHA and the return filed with Income Tax authorities revealed discrepancies of about Rs 3 crores.

Non-reporting of opening of utilisation account is also a violation of Section 18 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1) (e) of FCRR, 2011. Frequent inter-transfer of Foreign Contribution from one utilization account to another utilization account is yet another contravention of the provisions contained in Section 17 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1) (e) of FCRR, 2011.Likewise, transfer of Foreign Contribution from FC Designated bank account and FC Utilization bank accounts to local fund accounts and transfer of Local Fund into FC account, leading to mixing of foreign contribution with local/ domestic funds is also a violation of Section 17 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1)(e) of FCRR, 2011.

Foreign Contribution was spent for air travel and other expenses for contractual employees/workers of other organisations, foreigners and Anand Grover to attend Conferences in foreign countries, a clear violation of Section 7 of FCRA, 2010, the sources added.

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/indira-jaising-faces-cbi-probe-for-fund-misuse.html



Lawyers Collective with foreign funds of Rs. 11 crore Or, private collective? NaMo, nationalise kaalaadhan

INDIRA JAISING FACES CBI PROBE FOR FUND MISUSE

Monday, 21 March 2016 | Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi

The Centre is likely to order a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the fund misuse by an NGO, Lawyers Collective, run by former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising. The Union Home Ministry has already served a notice on the NGO for allegedly receiving foreign funds of over Rs11 crore when she held the post of ASG between 2009 and 2012.

In its notice, the Ministry said Jaisingh received foreign funds while holding a Government post, which is violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA). Sources said that while no decision has been taken on the nature of probe to be ordered against the former ASG, there is enough evidence to engage the CBI in this matter.

They pointed out several instances of FCRA violations were noticed in the account books of the Mumbai-based NGO during a recent scrutiny of documents carried out in January. On the receipt of a complaint from one Raj Kumar Sharma on the misutilisation of foreign contribution by Lawyers Collective, the Ministry inspected the books of account of the NGO for the period from 2009-10 to 2014-15.

In contravention of the FCRA norms, the NGO allegedly participated in political activities and allegedly diverted and misutilised foreign contribution. The enquiry also revealed that significant amount of foreign contributions were spent on air travel, boarding and lodging, local travel of trustee Anand Grover, husband of Indira Jaising, and various contractual employees and representatives from different parts of the country for drafting legislations, dharnas and advocacy with MPs.

At a seminar on “Future Plan-2010” and in the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the association held on August 28, 2010, Lawyers Collective decided to draft legislation on the HIV/AIDS Bill and spent money for Advocacy with Members of Parliament and Media. HIV/AIDS however does not come under the aims/objectives of the NGO. An amount of Rs88,978 was paid to Delhi Network of Positive People on October 21, 2009 after entering into an agreement for the arrangement of up to 250 people at the rate of Rs200 per person to hold Dharna for HIV/AIDS Bill outside office of the Law Ministry.

The association too organised rallies against Free Trade Agreement. To hold “paid” dharnas by utilisation of foreign contribution is a violation of Section 8 of FCRA 2010, sources said.

Foreign Currency worth nearly Rs3 crore was received by Lawyers Collective for purposes other than the stated Objectives of Association filed with the Registrar like women empowerment, is a violation of Section 8 of FCRA, 2010, the enquiry has revealed.

Likewise, foreign contribution worth nearly Rs12.5 crore was received by Lawyers Collective for the purpose other than its stated objectives i.e. HIV/AIDS awareness. Receiving funds for activities not listed as objectives is also a violation of FCRA.

The enquiry has also revealed that the NGO acted as a conduit for receipt and transfer of foreign contribution meant for UNSR (United Nations Special Rapporteur). During 2008 to 2014, one of the foreign donors donated $95,000, $97,000, $93,896 and $89,599 to the NGO, specifically to assist Anand Grover to carry on his work as UN Special Rapporteur.

Grover availed the foreign contribution for various purposes, including visit to foreign countries (though as UNSR he is entitled for travelling expenses per diem). This was not an activity listed in the Objectives of the Association of the NGO and therefore the Association violated the provisions of Section 7 of FCRA, 2010 (read with Rule 24 of FCRR, 2011) by working as a conduit to receive foreign contribution on behalf of Anand Grover and transferring the same to him, the sources said.

Anand Grover has also violated the provisions of Section 11 of the FCRA, 2010 by accepting and utilising the foreign contribution without obtaining registration or prior permission of the Centre. Grover also used the foreign contribution for personal benefits and spent it outside India, thereby violating Section 8 of the FCRA, 2010.

Grover also appeared in Novartis case in the Supreme Court by spending foreign contribution, which was clearly not meant for that purpose. Funds were misappropriated to meet such purposes. In one instance, the air ticket of Indira Jaising was also booked out of foreign contribution received for Novartis Case, along with him, though she was not officially attached with the case (2011) nor it was any Association-related activity.

Receipt of foreign contribution by her while functioning as Public Servant (in her capacity as ASG from July 2009 to May 5, 2014) is also violation of FCRA norms. She received remuneration of Rs 96.60 lakh from Lawyers Collective out of foreign contribution and as an ASG travelled to foreign countries like Nepal and USA. The travelling expenses were borne by Lawyers Collective from foreign contribution without prior approval from the Union Home Ministry. The ASG being a Public Servant of a high stature who used to handle sensitive matters, thus receipt of foreign contribution violated the thrust of the FCRA, 2010 and consequently Section 3 and Section 11 thereof by not seeking clearances from the Centre for receiving foreign contribution as remuneration from the NGO.

Receipt of foreign contribution in non-designated foreign contribution account is yet another violation of the FCRA. The NGO has received foreign contribution from donors directly in its Utilization account instead of designated bank account for foreign contribution thereby violating provisions contained in Section 17 and Section 18 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9 (1)(e) of FCRR, 2011, the sources said.

The receipt of foreign contribution amounting to Rs 29.33 lakh, Rs 16.18 lakh and Rs 7.54 lakh during the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 which was credited to the Utilization bank account instead of foreign currency designated bank account has not been reflected in FC-6 annual returns, in violation of provisions contained in Section 18 of the FCRA, 2010, Rule 17 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011 and is covered under Section 33 of the FCRA, 2010 for suppression of facts.

Discrepancy between the return filed with Union Home Ministry and that with Income Tax authorities - a comparative analysis of the foreign contribution received during FY 2009-10 to FY 2011-12 by Lawyers Collective as per Foreign Contribution return filed with MHA and the return filed with Income Tax authorities revealed discrepancies of about Rs 3 crores.

Non-reporting of opening of utilisation account is also a violation of Section 18 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1) (e) of FCRR, 2011. Frequent inter-transfer of Foreign Contribution from one utilization account to another utilization account is yet another contravention of the provisions contained in Section 17 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1) (e) of FCRR, 2011.Likewise, transfer of Foreign Contribution from FC Designated bank account and FC Utilization bank accounts to local fund accounts and transfer of Local Fund into FC account, leading to mixing of foreign contribution with local/ domestic funds is also a violation of Section 17 of FCRA, 2010 and Rule 9(1)(e) of FCRR, 2011.

Foreign Contribution was spent for air travel and other expenses for contractual employees/workers of other organisations, foreigners and Anand Grover to attend Conferences in foreign countries, a clear violation of Section 7 of FCRA, 2010, the sources added.

Inidna Anand Grover must be very tolerant if he is tolerating this pig mouth IJ.

Source: http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.in/2016/03/lawyers-collective-with-foreign-funds.html

Sunday, March 20, 2016

GRANT-IN-AID To VOs/NGOs WORKING FOR SCHEDULED CASTES -Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

GRANT-IN-AID TO VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS (VOS)/NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOS) WORKING FOR SCHEDULED CASTES,Older,Disabled persons under the Below schemes

Department/Organization:- Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment

Last Date to apply online Applications :- 31st March-2016

Download Forms for the Schemes of Grants-in-Aid to NGOs/Voluntary Organizations Working for Scheduled Castes

About the NGO SCHEMES in the Department/Ministry:-

Scheduled Castes Welfare

· Scheme of Grant in Aid to Voluntary Organisations working for Scheduled Castes - Revised (New)

· Central Sector Scheme of free Coaching for Scheduled Castes and OBC Students

Welfare of Backward Classes

· Assistance to Voluntary Organizations for Welfare of OBCs

Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

· Assistance to Disabled Persons for Purchase/ Fitting of Aids and Appliances (ADIP Scheme)

· Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme to Promote Voluntary Action for Persons with Disabilities (DDRS Scheme)

Social Defence

· An integrated Programme for Older Persons (New)

· An Integrated Programme for Older Persons

· Scheme for Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance(Drugs) Abuse

Eligibility to apply:-

· Registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860) or any relevant Act of the State / Union Territory; or

· A public trust registered under the law for the time being in force; or

· A charitable company licensed under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1958; or

· Indian Red Cross Society or its branches; and/or

· Any other public body or institution having a legal status of its own;

· The voluntary organization should have been registered for, at least three years, at the time of applying for grant under the scheme. This can, however, be waived by the Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, for reasons to be recorded in writing, in exceptional cases.

· Number of Scheduled Caste beneficiaries is not less than 60% in cases of voluntary organizations.

· Any other organization or training institution of repute, which may be approved by the Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

· Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)/Voluntary Organisations (VOs) must have had a Bank Account maintained and operated in the name of NGO/VOs for the last three years

· NGOs Sign up on Ngo Partnership system: http://ngo.india.gov.in need to have Unique Id

How to Apply For Grants:-

For Financial Year 2014-15 and onwards all proposals be submitted by online through Online Ngo Proposals Tracking System(e-MSJEN). No Hard Copy will be accepted

Online Submission of application for the Financial Year 2015-16 has been enabled. NGO may Submit online applications for 2015-16 only.

For more Details See the Ministry Website Social Justice

MHA removes Ford Foundation from watch list

The international NGO was also put on the Home Ministry’s watch list in the interest of “national security

On Wednesday, the Home Ministry wrote to the Reserve Bank of India to remove the international NGO from a “watch list” it was placed under last year, sources said.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit, Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to remove Ford Foundation from the “prior permission” category. On Wednesday, the Home Ministry wrote to the Reserve Bank of India to remove the international NGO from a “watch list” it was placed under last year, sources said.

In March last year, the Gujarat government had complained to the MHA that the Ford Foundation funded “anti-India” activities of activist Teesta Setalvad’s NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — and requested that the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) registration of the two NGOs be cancelled.

In April 2015, the MHA put the Ford Foundation under the “prior approval category”, which meant that all funds from the organisation to recipients in India would have to be cleared by the government. The international NGO was also put on the Home Ministry’s watch list in the interest of “national security”.

The Home Ministry order said that all funds coming from the Ford Foundation have to be routed only after its nod due to “national security concerns” and that it has decided to keep a watch on all activities funded by the US-based NGO. The latest order from the Home Ministry, however, means that banks will not have to seek the ministry’s clearance to process foreign contributions coming from the foundation to any Indian bank account. The Home Ministry’s climbdown follows diplomatic pressure on the government, as well as the Ford Foundation complying with the condition of registering itself under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999. 

The Ford Foundation, which had been operating in India since 1952, was not registered as an NGO or any other category such as under the Indian Society Act. After applying under FEMA, its branch office was registered by the RBI in December last year. In May last year, US ambassador to India Richard Verma expressed “concern” over the “potentially chilling effects” of the regulatory steps taken against NGOs in the country. His comments came against the backdrop of the regulatory action taken against several NGOs, including the Ford Foundation. Representatives of Ford Foundation also met Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, on several occasions to put forth their position on the issue. In a softening of its stand, the Home Ministry had last year unblocked foreign funds to the tune of $1,50,000 to be released to Ford Foundation’s bank accounts after the organisation was unable to pay salary to its staff.

See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/mha-removes-ford-foundation-from-watch-list



Friday, March 18, 2016

Track NGO FCRA Renewal Status

Granting of FCRA Renewal Started

For renewal status of your NGO. Please visit https://fcraonline.nic.in/fc_renew_FileStatus.aspx

Check your registered email address. Also keep tracking your application. How to track FCRA renewal status? Click here:

NOTE – Renewal Granted Letters are coming in email. I think FCRA department have started processing applications. SO WAIT AND KEEP PATIENCE.

Many of the organization has already filled Renewal Form FC-3 as per new Rules Amended in December, 2015.

Once you filled, FCRA Renewal Form FC3, you have been allot a 10 digit File Number and you can track your application through it by following below steps..
Steps to Track Renewal Status

Step1 : Go to https://fcraonline.nic.in/fc_renew_FileStatus.aspx

Step 2: On the Right Side of the page, click Track Application in the Menu Item.

Step 3: Select FCRA Renewal Status from the list.

Step 4: Enter 10 digit file number of FC3 Receipt and enter captcha (access code)
Please see your current status…

File FC3 Renewal form online before 30.06.2016 and frequently track your status on the website, hopefully it will be renewed before 30.06.2016.

FCRA Online Renewal Date Extended up to 30-06-2016

Big relief to all the organizations who have not yet submitted their FCRA Renewal application. The FCRA department has extended the date to submit the FCRA Renewal application.

The new date for submission of online application as appearing on FCRA website is 30th June 2016.

Last date for filing of application for renewal of FCRA registration has been extended upto 30.06.2016.

As per the information in the website of FCRA Department www.fcraonline.nic.in last date for filing of application for renewal of FCRA registration has been extended upto 30.06.2016.

This is for information to all

Licenses of 14,000 organisations cancelled under FCRA

New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) Licenses of over 14,000 associations have been cancelled by the government in last six financial years for violating provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Parliament was informed today.

"Instances of some non-government organisations violating provisions of the FCRA and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules have come to government's notice. Since, implementation of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011, notices were issued to around 21,000 associations in 2011 and to 10,343 associations in 2014 for not filing annual returns continuously for three years.

"Consequently, registration of 4,138 associations was cancelled in July 2012 and 10,117 in March, 2015 after issue of show cause notices to such associations and giving them adequate opportunity," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

The data said a total of 14,255 instances were reported for cancellation between 2006-07 to 2011-12 fiscals.

He added in 2014, penalty amounting to Rs 51,99,526 on 24 associations and in the year 2015 an amount of Rs 80,11,010 on seven associations for compounding the offence of receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution without obtaining registration on prior permission under the FCRA, 2010 was imposed.

He said the complaints and inputs with regard to these violations were received by the government from various sources including security agencies and action against such violation is taken after conducting inspection of the records and accounts and giving due opportunity to the concerned association or NGO.

69 NGOs barred from getting foreign funds

The number of NGOs barred from getting foreign funds include 14 from Andhra Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, five each Odisha and Gujarat, four each from J&K, Kerala and UP, three each from Delhi, WB, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, two each from Karnataka, Uttarakhand and MP, and one each from Manipur, Haryana and Chandigarh

Since May 2011, the Indian government has barred 69 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from receiving foreign funds, the Parliament was infomred on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijuju told the Lok Sabha in a written statement that records and accounts of associations or NGOs were inspected in the event of complaints that they violated the law.

On the basis of verification and after following due process, charges were framed and penal action was decided under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2011.

"So far, on account of serious violations, 32 cases have been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and 10 cases have been referred to state police for further investigation and necessary action," he added.

The number of organisations prohibited from getting foreign funds include 14 from Andhra Pradesh, 12 from Tamil Nadu, five each Odisha and Gujarat, four each from Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh, three each from Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, two each from Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh, and one each from Manipur, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Source: http://www.moneylife.in/article/69-ngos-barred-from-getting-foreign-funds/45978.html

Licenses of 14,000 organisations cancelled under FCRA

Licenses of over 14,000 associations have been cancelled by the government in last six financial years for violating provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Parliament was informed today.

"Instances of some non-government organisations violating provisions of the FCRA and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules have come to government's notice. Since, implementation of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011, notices were issued to around 21,000 associations in 2011 and to 10,343 associations in 2014 for not filing annual returns continuously for three years.

"Consequently, registration of 4,138 associations was cancelled in July 2012 and 10,117 in March, 2015 after issue of show cause notices to such associations and giving them adequate opportunity," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

The data said a total of 14,255 instances were reported for cancellation between 2006-07 to 2011-12 fiscals.

He added in 2014, penalty amounting to Rs 51,99,526 on 24 associations and in the year 2015 an amount of Rs 80,11,010 on seven associations for compounding the offence of receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution without obtaining registration on prior permission under the FCRA, 2010 was imposed.

He said the complaints and inputs with regard to these violations were received by the government from various sources including security agencies and action against such violation is taken after conducting inspection of the records and accounts and giving due opportunity to the concerned association or NGO.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/licenses-of-14-000-organisations-cancelled-under-fcra-116031500837_1.html

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Last Date for FCRA Renewal Application Extended

FCRA Registration of more than 30,000 NGOs is expiring on 30-Apr-16. All these NGOs were to file renewal application online in form FC-3. Last date for this was 15-Mar-2016. However, many NGOs found it difficult to login and apply.

Department has therefore extended the deadline to 30-June-2016.

Ref:

Source: Banner at https://fcraonline.nic.in.

Important Announcement by FCRA

FCRA Renewal Last Date extended

As all of you aware, that the last day for filling Form FC-3 for renewal of FCRA. Major relief for those who have not filled this form. FCRA renewal Last date is extended till June 30, 2016.

So Now, Last date for filling renewal form FC-3 is June 30, 2016.

Ref:

Source: Banner at https://fcraonline.nic.in.

Delay in FCRA Renewal Process?

Suppose you've applied online for FCRA renewal well in time by 15th March 2016. You've also applied in correct form (FC-3), and have paid the fees as required. However, your FCRA registration is neither renewed nor rejected by 30th April 2016. What happens now? Can you continue accepting foreign contribution after 30th April?

The answer seems to be 'yes'. Though section 12(6) says your FCRA renewal is valid only for five years, the related rule creates some flexibility. According to this rule, the FCRA registration would lapse if proper renewal application with fees is not received by due date. This may also mean that if the application is indeed received properly, then the validity will continue - till the application is actually rejected.

Ref.:

1. Above interpretation may or may not be accepted by FCRA Department. Please obtain independent advice or FCRA clarification on this before taking any decisions.

2. FCRR 2011, as amended Dec'15:

Rule 12. Renewal of registration certificate. -

(1) Every certificate of registration issued to a person shall be liable to be renewed after the expiry of five years from the date of its issue on proper application...

(5) In case no application for renewal of registration is received or such application is not accompanied by the requisite fee, the validity of the certificate of registration of such person shall be deemed to have ceased from the date of completion of the period of five years from the date of the grant of registration

Licenses of 14,000 organisations cancelled under FCRA

New Delhi: Licenses of over 14,000 associations have been cancelled by the government in last six financial years for violating provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), Parliament was informed on Tuesday. "Instances of some non-government organisations violating provisions of the FCRA and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules have come to government's notice. Since, implementation of FCRA, 2010 and FCRR, 2011, notices were issued to around 21,000 associations in 2011 and to 10,343 associations in 2014 for not filing annual returns continuously for three years.

"Consequently, registration of 4,138 associations was cancelled in July 2012 and 10,117 in March, 2015 after issue of show cause notices to such associations and giving them adequate opportunity," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. The data said a total of 14,255 instances were reported for cancellation between 2006-07 to 2011-12 fiscals.

He added in 2014, penalty amounting to Rs 51,99,526 on 24 associations and in the year 2015 an amount of Rs 80,11,010 on seven associations for compounding the offence of receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution without obtaining registration on prior permission under the FCRA, 2010 was imposed.

He said the complaints and inputs with regard to these violations were received by the government from various sources including security agencies and action against such violation is taken after conducting inspection of the records and accounts and giving due opportunity to the concerned association or NGO.