Friday, October 24, 2014

Employment Facilitation Portal of MSME, Government of India

Employment Facilitation Portal of MSME, Government of India
http://www.niesbudnaukri.com

• Set up by NIESBUD was launched by the Minister (MSME) on 11th July, 2014. So far 10134 youth seeking jobs and 179 employers have been registered.

Indian Youths requested to register themselves at: http://www.niesbudnaukri.com for a Job

Industry-Academia Facilitation Portal of MSME, Government of India

Virtual Cluster (www.msmsecluster.in) for Industry-Academia Linkages. So far 86 Domain experts, 125 academic institutions and 18,341 MSME enterprises have registered onto the platform.

Foundations and International Grantors:

Asia / Pacific

· AUSAID
Fund activities that alleviate poverty in a direct and tangible way.
Themes: Gender, Human Rights, Rural Development, Education, Health HIV/AIDS, Millennuim Development Goals
Regions: Africa, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean and Middle East
Website: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/ngos/funding.cfm

· Dalit Foundation
Grants and Fellowships for strengthening the Dalit movement in India
Themes: Dalit empowerment and justice
Country: India
Website: http://www.dalitfoundation.org/

· Fund for Women in Asia
FWAsia is determined to help bring about social change in how women and girls are valued in their communities.
Themes: Social Change, Collectivity
Region: Asia
Website: http://www.fundwomenasia.org

· International Women's Development Agency
An Australian non-profit organization that creates positive change for women and their communities through practical and rights-based projects directly address poverty and oppression in developing countries.
Themes: Livelihood and economic empowerment; safety and security; social, physical and mental health; education; environmental sustainability and civil and political participation.
Region: Asia Pacific
Website: http://www.iwda.org.au

· Oxfam Australia
Oxfam Australia is part of a global movement of dedicated people working hard to fight poverty and injustice.
Themes: Emergencies, Gender, Youth, Indigenous Rights and HIV/AIDS
Regions: East Asia, South Asia, Southern Africa, Pacific, and Indigenous Australia
Website: http://www.oxfam.org.au/

· UU Holdeen India Program
The Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) works with organizations of India's most excluded and oppressed peoples: women; dalits, who fall outside the caste system; and the adivasis or tribals who are India's indigenous peoples, especially migrant, bonded and landless agricultural laborers. UUHIP supports their efforts to participate fully in the social, economic and political life of India.
Themes: Increase marginalized groups’ organized strength and self-reliance; gain access to productive resources, services, and opportunities; increase their livelihoods, assets, economic independence, and social security; influence government policies, laws, and budgets in their favor; challenge discriminatory social practices; and build, manage, and control their own institutions, programs, and resources.
Country: India
Website: http://www.uua.org/aboutus/professionalstaff/advocacywitness/holdeenindia/index.php

Fewer bird injuries this Diwali, says NGO

Awareness drives pay off, but cruelty cases continue





the wing of an owl injured by firecrackers at the animal hospital in Parel, on Thursday Swapnil Sakhare DNA

For animal activists, Diwali is a difficult time when they receive countless cases ofanimals getting injured, accidentally or intentionally, by fireworks, or running away from their homes out of fear due to the noise pollution that is characteristic of the festival.

This year too, like every year, they spreadawareness about the adverse way noisy crackers affect animals. They spoke to children, approached police stations, and even spread messages through Facebook and Whatsapp to alert citizens to report any cruelty and missing cases. Their efforts, coupled with the hiked prices of fire crackers seem to have paid off. TheBombay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) at Parel said there was a 25% dip in the number of bird injuries reported to its hospital.

Dr J C Khanna, secretary-officer in-charge of the BSPCA hospital, said, "The number of injured birds and animals being brought in during Diwali has come down since 2010. As compared to last year, the number of bird injury cases reported to us has come down by 25 per cent. Usually, several injured kites, sparrows, pigeons are brought to us during this period. This time, in these three days, we received 18 birds. Sometimes children tie fire crackers to the tails of dogs, cats and goats. We haven't got such cases yet. It is all due to the awareness spread about the importance of an eco-friendly Diwali and the price of fire crackers going up."

Omkar Rane, who is a part of the rescue operation squad of NGO Shram, said, "Yesterday (Wednesday) I got a call to rescue a baby house sparrow which fell from a tree. One dog also went missing from Juhu due to the noise of crackers. It is true that the calls received are fewer this year. Maybe it is because of the awareness drives."

However, Ganesh Nayak, founder of NGO Animals Matter to Me, said there was still a lot of work to be as cruelty cases were still coming. "During the 10 days before Diwali, we got at least 6 injury cases, while 10 to 12 dogs went missing from their home and areas. We do spread awareness among school children, but cruelty on animals is still very much prevalent. When we go to police station to file cases of animal cruelty, they prioritise human over animals. Yesterday night itself I found a dog with severe injuries on its neck, which was tied with ropes and bottles used to burst firecrackers."

If you spot an injured animal, call:

BSPCA: 24137518/5285

Shram's rescue operation squad: 9619933223

Animals Matter to Me: 9820335799

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-fewer-bird-injuries-this-diwali-says-ngo-2028755

NGOs demand following of protocol while handling complaints by women

The women’s groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Goa have put forward for early implementation a standard protocol to be followed by police while handling cases of women.

The protocol has been put forward to police following growing concerns that women victims were unwilling to approach police stations with their grievances for variety of reasons.

In case of sexual violence, the protocol demands registration of FIR immediately. It warns police to desist from making any comments or asking unnecessary questions. Sufficient staff should also be available to cut-out delay in procedures. Medical examinations should take place as soon as possible.

As regards to complaints of sexual violence made by a woman victim, the protocol demands that the police station must make available a copy of the medical report to the victim along with the FIR.

It insists that counselling support should be provided to the victim to prepare her for various procedures to be followed after filing the complaint.

While an NGO is called for recording statement, the follow-up by the NGOs in these matters is thwarted. The victims should be referred to counsellors/supporting organisations.

Ms. Sabina Martins of Bailanchao Saad told The Hindu on Thursday that they had meetings with senior police officials recently over women’s complaints, where they have submitted a list of general protocol in regard to complaints of women and specific protocol to be followed as regards complaints of trafficking, domestic violence, begging , kidnapping ,etc., apart from complaints of sex violence.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ngos-demand-following-of-protocol-while-handling-complaints-by-women/article6527667.ece

India Sanitation & Toilet Summit to be Held in Delhi on 6 Feb 2015

New Delhi: Addressing the increasing importance of hygiene, health, sanitation, and toilet related issues, the India Toilet Summit 2015 ‘Sanitation for All – Toilet First’ will take place on February 6, 2015 at Lakshmipat Singhania Auditorium, PHD Chamber House, 4/2 Siri Institutional Area, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi.

Contact: conference@indiacsr.in or 9981099555. for more detail log on http://www.indiasanitationsummit.indiacsr.in

The Summit would provide a forum to initiate a dialogue and enlighten the delegates on various issues related to sanitation, toilet movement, woman empowerment, women dignity and girl child education etc. India Sanitation Summit Sanitation for All Toilet First 6 Feb 2015 New DelhiIt is projected to connect with different types of stakeholders to discuss and share ideas, knowledge and innovations in the area of toilet technology and sanitation as well as different project and developmental works that are going on in India from which people can benefit from the humble toilet. The summit is a unique national level forum established by the IndiaCSR Group to bring together various sanitation stakeholders under a roof to connect and collaborate on innovative inventions, projects and products in the toilet and sanitation sector in our country. Kindly visit http://www.indiasanitationsummit.indiacsr.in  

“The summit is very much aligned to ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ (Clean India Initiative) of our visionary Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s. We have decided to be an active participant of this noble Mission to support in creating national level forum to discuss various issues connected to the Toilet and Sanitation, health and education. We believe that the summit would highlight the problems allied with a lack of toilets and would also adopt resolutions to achieve Nation sanitation goals.”,

Rusen Kumar added. “Keeping in view the winter session of parliament followed by Christmas in December 2014, we had to reschedule the ‘Sanitation for All: Toilet First’ Summit of Sanitation and Toilet issues from 18 Dec’ 2014 to 6 Feb’ (Friday), 2015.”, Rusen Kumar, Director, IndiaCSR informed. “Rescheduling of the summit was decided looking into the interest of larger no of participants. Those who have already registered for the summit will not have to resister once again because of rescheduling of the event.”, he added. “The organizing team on behalf of IndiaCSR group apologizes for any inconvenience caused due to rescheduling of the event. Any update on the summit, shall be intimated to the participants through e-mail from time to time.”, Rusen Kumar said. Toilet is prime agenda of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. On the occasion of Independence Day, in his speech Shri Narendra Modi ones again stressed that toilet is ‘dignity of woman’. In his first address to nation Narendra Modi urged parliamentarians and the corporate sector to help build separate toilets for girls in schools across the country by next year. Forum for toilet technology providers By establishing a national level platform for toilet technology providers, infrastructure manufactures, innovators, associations, non-profit organizations, public sector entities and private sector stakeholders to present a plan and share best practices in the sanitation sector, the India Toilet Summit aims to empower participants, exhibitors and sponsors to exchange knowledge, expertise and resources in scaling up impact and innovation in the sanitation marketplace particularly in India. 

The ‘India Sanitation & Toilet Summit’ is designed for decision and policy makers in government, business and nonprofit sectors. The Summit is aimed at those all who wish to update themselves with recent trends and how developments, understand how various organizations are applying the innovative ideas in the area of sanitation and toilet in the country. 30 Speakers, 200 Participants The India Toilet Summit involves some of the most reputable and competent national and world renowned speakers from government and private sectors, research agencies, innovators, social and though leaders dealing in sanitation and toiletries industries in the country. There will be 30 speakers and 200 participants projected in this exclusive summit. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan from Valmiki Basti in New Delhi on 2nd October 2014, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Prime Minister asked citizens to change their mindsets as cleaning is not only the responsibility of safai karamcharis. The ambitious drive includes sweeping, removal of garbage, debris and unauthorised encroachments from the roads, markets and residential places. The campaign is aimed at making India a clean country by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Prime Minister on Independence Day made a clarion call for Swachh Bharat, a massive mass movement to create awareness of cleanliness and hygiene. He said that a clean India is the best tribute that we can pay to Mahatma Gandhi when we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.

- See more at: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=54445#sthash.k87oXUUj.dpuf

Khadi Clusters Under Sfurti Scheme

LOK SABHA

The Government has launched the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) for development of around 100 clusters from khadi, village and coir sectors with a total plan outlay of Rs. 97.25 crore. The Scheme envisages need-based assistance for replacement of production equipment, setting up of common facility centres (CFC), product development, quality improvement, improved marketing, training and capacity building, etc. 118 clusters (33 from khadi, 59 from Village Industries and 26 from coir) have been approved for their development under this scheme.

Under SFURTI, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (erstwhile Ministry of Agro and Rural Industries) does not receive any proposals directly from State/UT Governments. The cluster development proposals are received by the Nodal Agencies, i.e. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and Coir Board from Khadi Institutions, NGOs, institutions of the Central and State Governments and semi Government institutions with the consent of the State Governments. After examining the proposal, the same are forwarded by the Nodal Agency to the Scheme Steering Committee of SFURTI for consideration.

This information was given by the Minister of Small Scale Industries and Agro & Rural Industries, Shri Mahabir Prasad in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

*****

MG/SR
(Release ID :35933)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be the light for others - Happy Diwali


Light the world with Unity, Peace and Development - Happy Diwali


Happy Diwali


You are the light of the world


Wishing you all a Happy Diwali


Happy Diwali


Ngo Services For Implementation Of Resettlement Action Plan

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

Name of the Project: Uttar Pradesh Core Road Network Development Project (UPCRNDP)

Loan No./Credit No./ Grant No.: Appliedfor

Assignment Title: NGO Services for Implementationof Resettlement Action Plan

The Government of Uttar Pradesh has applied through Government of India forfinancing from theWorld Bank toward the cost of the Uttar Pradesh Core Road Network Development Project,and intends to apply part of the proceeds for above consulting services.

The Chief Engineer,World Bank Projects (Roads),U.P., P.W.D now invites eligible NGOs to indicate theirinterest in providing the Services. Interested NGOs should provide information demonstrating that they have the requiredqualifications and relevant experience to perform the Services. The shortlisting criteria are as following:

1. The NGO must have been registered before year 2010.

2. Must have carried out NGO services for implementation of resettlement action plan of at least one linear project (state ornational Highway or railways or transmission lines Project) or more funded by multilateral funding agency.

3. Must have carried out at least one rural development project in Uttar Pradesh in last fiveyears.

4. Number of in-house Social Development Specialists

5. Turn over must be atleast 50 lakhs

There should not be Conflict among consultingassignments as per paragraph 1.9 ofConsultant Guidelines.

NGO will be selectedin accordance with the Selection Based on least cost basis method set out in the Consultant Guidelines.

Further information can be obtained at the address below during officehours i.e. 10:00 to 17:00 hours from 08.10.2014 to 05.11.2014 and Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form tothe same address (in person,or by mail, or by fax, or by e-mail) on 07.11.2014 at 16.00 hrs and the same shall be opened on07.11.2014 at 16.30 hrs.

Fax : 0522 ? 2236556

Source: http://www.worldbank.org/projects/procurement/noticeoverview?id=OP00029148&lang=en

The aid headache

Foreign funding of NGOs is a topic that never seems to lose currency. The Economist of September 19 reported that from Hungary to Azerbaijan; from Egypt to Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan and Venezuela, authoritarian governments have declared a war against civil society groups that use foreign money, allegedly to promote a “Western” vision of liberal democracy and human rights. Some have had their offices raided or funds confiscated. Ironically, even America has not been free of a bias against foreign funding and think tanks which receive foreign funds have faced official scrutiny. Still America has not banned foreign funds, but only requires recipients to be transparent. So Indian NGOs who have been at the receiving end of governmental wrath over receipt of foreign funds can take cold comfort from the fact that they are not alone.

While America does not really receive or need foreign funds on any scale, the other countries named, including India, do. Banning aid or harassing NGOs who receive it is no solution, because aid to NGOs has played a useful role in the development of many countries, despite some adverse effects. It is time therefore to weigh the benefits against the costs.

To take the good news first: Aid has brought more resources to the NGO sector than it could possibly have mobilised from within the country, enabling it to expand and diversify. It created a two-way channel for new ideas, methods and technologies from abroad, while simultaneously enabling Indian achievements to find their way into international development discourse. This international engagement has helped Indian NGOs mature and gain self-confidence. Aid has also supported research and its dissemination, alliance building and policy advocacy, which hardly any Indian donors support.

Importantly, it brought a much-needed focus, both in policy and practice, on equity issues, under-served sections of society such as women, the scheduled castes and adivasis and a focus on the environment. Many donor organisations work with constituencies like MNCs in their own countries and educate them about responsible corporate practices like education of exploited children, fair trade practices and the like.

But it is also true that aid to NGOs has had some adverse impact on the voluntary sector as well as on Indian society as a whole. But these are not necessarily to do with bringing in Western liberal ideas, conversion, contributing to delays in development projects, or with destabilising political regimes, as the government alleges.

In India and elsewhere, aid, especially in the initial years, led to diversions from a chosen development pattern. For instance, early aid with its emphasis on Western technological solutions sidelined the Gandhian approach of self-reliance, low-cost local technology and decentralised development as well as the more political social change model adopted by peasant and other social movements of the early Sixties and Seventies. Now the pendulum has swung to the other extreme, and donors are espousing decentralisation, small check dams and low cost irrigation while it is the government which is continuing to favour large dams.

Aid to NGOs also increased disparities among NGOs, between the smaller, more rural and less well-funded which depend on local charity, and the more prosperous, sophisticated and metro-based ones, many of them funded by foreign donors. This divide can be said to parallel the divide between Bharat and India. The funded organisations are modern organisations talking the language of projects, appraisals, core funding, monitoring and evaluation and with formal systems and procedures while the vast bulk of the NGOs continue to function in an ad hoc, informal manner. Moreover, the salary structure of foreign-funded NGOs distorted the local reward structure in the sector and is also unsustainable in the long run. But clearly the solution is to bring up Bharat to the level of India and the reverse, especially since with mandatory corporate social responsibility, these better organised NGOs are proving to be a boon to companies.

Perhaps the most tellingly adverse effect of aid on the voluntary sector has been the loss of political and social activism by NGOs due to “institutionalisation”. This received a fillip when, after the 1980s, donors increasingly preferred partnerships with NGOs over sending expensive expatriate experts to the field and setting up field offices. By itself institutionalisation is not bad. When NGOs move from being informal popular movements to adopting formal legal and organisational structures, it leads to greater permanence. But as they grow, there is a tendency for NGOs to become more flabby and less innovative. They settle into a “zone of comfort” doing routine work, and internal interests overshadow their critical role. Most importantly, as they become more organised they become more pragmatic, less fluid and less radical as social activists, in fact the very reverse of what government finds objectionable.

Another adverse effect is that NGOs become upwardly accountable to donors, rather than maintain a downward and lateral accountability to their beneficiary constituencies and peer organisations. Accountability has come to be equated with “accountancy” and legal compliance, because of tighter donor controls on use of funds.

Donor pressure has also led to privileging certain issues like HIV-AIDS of concern to Western nations, rather than the eradication of malaria or malnutrition, far more urgent national problems for India. However, with pressure from experts and NGOs, donors have begun to adopt Indian agendas.

In the initial years, it is undeniable that political agendas were at play. However, NGOs are more confident and less vulnerable to foreign pressures today. The sheer size of the country, the insignificance of external assistance relative to this size and need, government vigilance, strong indigenous roots of the voluntary sector in either the Gandhian or Leftist traditions, all ensure that the adverse effects of external political or religious agendas are not deeply felt.

The best way to deal with the excesses is when they occur, on a case-by-case basis, rather than banning aid or making it difficult for all NGOs to use foreign funds.

The writer is the author of Foreign Aid for Indian NGOs: Problem or Solution

Source: http://www.asianage.com/columnists/aid-headache-153

Engaging the private sector: 10 lessons for NGOs

At CSR Asia over the last couple of years we have found ourselves working with a number of NGOs, helping them with their private sector engagement strategies. With dwindling resources from governments, NGOs are looking for resources elsewhere. But our starting point is always to say to NGOs that if they are looking for easy financial handouts from the private sector, they may well be wasting their time and if a fruitful relationship with a business is to be developed it needs a proper strategy of engagement.

Therefore, in this week’s article I am suggesting my top ten tips for NGOs that want to engage with business and ways in which NGOs can develop partnerships to meet shared objectives:

1. Make a compelling business case: Too many NGOs who care about their causes have an “entitlement mentality” and feel that the private sector simply “ought” to support them. With competing demands and limited resources, this is not the case. The private sector will need to be convinced of the benefits of engaging with NGOs. The most strategic thinking businesses will want to see a link to their core business, the involvement of some of their staff and reputational benefits for their business. Businesses will be more likely to support projects that are aligned with their own values and the interests of their workers.

2. Match assets and expertise (not just money): Businesses are more interested in projects where they can use their own assets, expertise and skills rather than simply writing a cheque. Traditional philanthropy has a role to play, but sophisticated businesses are looking for more. They have other resources that they might usefully contribute including staff time, expertise, knowledge, products and services, management skills and even influence. Going to a company with a package of opportunities rather than a request for funding is more likely to be successful.

3. Include volunteering opportunities: Companies are increasingly looking at ways in which to engage their staff in innovative initiatives that will help with team-building, increase staff satisfaction, personal development opportunities and loyalty. Many staff now look for wider aspects of satisfaction from their employers and therefore NGOs need to look at the ways in which they can use staff time, skills and knowledge to contribute to meeting objectives in ways that excite and engage people. In the private sector, there is a rapidly growing interest in skills-based volunteering where members of staff can contribute their particular expertise and knowledge to a project so think about what can be leverages from people other than just time.

4. Differentiate your offering from others: It is easy to do the easy stuff, but doing the same as everyone else is not going to get a company noticed. NGOs need to offer companies opportunities for engagement that are innovative and “stand out” from the crowd. The more common a project, the less likely it is going to give the business the reputational benefits that they want to achieve. Approach businesses with innovative ideas to address your objectives with will be original and will get noticed.

5. Be clear about timescales: There is often a mismatch between what NGOs and businesses consider to be a long term commitment. Many NGOs working on development agendas will often talk about 10 year plans, yet for the private sector, even a commitment to a three year project is seen as pretty long. Businesses want to see results fast and sometimes that is difficult to achieve, but at least there is a need to be clear about time frames to avoid unrealistic expectations from businesses. Companies are increasingly used to reporting on their social responsibility on an annual basis and that means they need to have something new and significant to say at least once every 12 months. Help them to tell an interesting “story”.

6. Be clear about what the different partners bring: An effective partnership is likely to bring together different resources, expertise, knowledge, time and commitment. It is important from the outset to be clear who does what and when. Partnerships often fail because of differing expectations on both sides of the relationship and this therefore needs to be carefully planned from the outset and monitored as the project progresses.

7. Make sure that projects resonate with employees: Companies often want to get their staff involved in projects and the NGO will benefit from that staff time and expertise. Yet unless a project actually resonates with staff they are unlikely to engage enthusiastically. Requiring staff to volunteer is a stupid (but all too common) strategy by some businesses that results in animosity and creates negative impacts for the NGO. Be sure, therefore, that any project really does have a cohort of willing, able and enthusiastic staff members that are genuinely interested in being part of it.

8. Meet a social or environmental need that is clearly articulated: Too many NGOs are simply looking for general funding to support their operations. This will not attract the private sector. Businesses want to understand exactly what they are supporting and what the outputs and outcomes of that support are likely to be. Businesses and their staff want to see that they have made a clearly identifiable difference that they can talk about. Thus it is important to identify the specific needs that a project seeks to address and to identify the ways in which meeting such needs can be verified.

9. Measure impacts: Ultimately, we only know if a project has really made a difference if we are able to measure its impacts. Whilst this is not always easy, ensuring that a project does have a positive impact is likely to cement a partnership and take it forward into a longer term relationship. Businesses will want evidence that the different types of resources that they have provided have made an identifiable and measureable impact. In any project planning there needs to be a methodology for assessing impact.

10. Communicate success: There is increasing pressure on businesses to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility and disclose the initiatives that they have been involved with along with their impacts. NGOs can therefore play a key role in helping companies to report and communicate their initiatives. NGO support, testimonials and even the link to the NGO brand can help the company to demonstrate its corporate commitments to a wide stakeholder base.

Source: http://csr-asia.com/csr-asia-weekly-news-detail.php?id=12427

3 government agencies, NGO unite to save wildlife along border road

At a time when green clearances for border infrastructure projects are being fast-tracked, a strategic road on the Indo-Nepal border is set to go the extra mile to save forests and wildlife of the 810-km-long trans-boundary Terai Arc landscape.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department have joined hands with the state Forest Department to draw up a conservation plan which involves elevating road stretches at 16 sites — a total of 31 km will be elevated — and realigning three stretches to secure wildlife movement between India and Nepal.

B D Sharma, Director General of the SSB, told The Indian Express: “We support conservation and share the collective concerns of the stakeholders.”

Sources said the proposed changes to the border road plan will increase the project cost by 20-30 per cent though the actual figure will be known only after the detailed project reports (DPRs) are finalised.

Conceived during the term of the first UPA government, the 961-km road from Uttarakhand to Bihar will connect all SSB border outposts. In 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs cleared the 640-km UP stretch with a budget of Rs 1,621 crore.

Work is set to begin in 12 segments of the road that do not involve forest land. The remaining 16 segments cut through the Dudhwa national park, three sanctuaries and three forest divisions, home to a rich population of globally endangered wildlife including tigers, elephants, rhinos and swamp deer.

The original road alignment would have made it a physical barrier, blocking movement of animals. To avoid habitat fragmentation and delay in project implementation, all parties concerned — user SSB, builder PWD, regulator Forest Department and environmental groups WWF-India and WWF-Nepal — came together in 2013 to find a solution.

S P Saxena, Chief Engineer of the Uttar Pradesh PWD, said: “This road is a must for the country’s security and these forests and animals are our national asset. We have agreed on a set of measures though these will be expensive.”

Two options were considered for the passage of animals — an elevated road with underpasses for animals and a natural animal overpass mounted on the road. The SSB ruled out the second option as a security threat since this would have created tunnels.

The PWD then suggested the “substantially costlier” option of elevated roads with animal underpasses 6 metre high and 30 metre wide, spacious enough for elephants.

Avinash Chandra, IG, SSB Frontier HQ, Lucknow, said the SSB wanted smooth connectivity to all its border posts and that has been ensured while finalising the realignments.

Rupak De, Chief Wildlife Warden, Uttar Pradesh, said: “It was important for different interest groups to sit together and find a middle ground. We have to finalise site-specific details and then set up a joint monitoring committee to ensure compliance during construction.”

Dipankar Ghose, Director, Species and Landscapes, WWF-India, is cautiously optimistic: “The conservation benefits justify additional costs and we hope financial considerations will not come in the way of this landmark consensus.”

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/3-government-agencies-ngo-unite-to-save-wildlife-along-border-road

How Cordaid transformed from NGO to social enterprise

Henri van Eeghen, chief operating officer at Cordaid. How did Cordaid go from a foreign aid-focused organization to a social enterprise? Photo by: Samenwerkende Hulporganisaties / CC BY-NC-SA

In pursuit of a more sustainable and diversified funding base, more accountable division managers and better results for their programs, an increasing number of development and aid organizations are talking about the benefits of operating as social enterprises in the sector.

But how does this conversion actually work? Few understand what it means to operate on a social enterprise model and even fewer have actually done it.

Cordaid, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a notable exception, having recently undergone a transformation from a nongovernmental organization focused on foreign aid to an international development agency operating as a social enterprise.

Chris Meyer zu Natrup, founder of MzN International, sat down with Cordaid’s Chief Operating Officer Henri van Eeghen to discuss his experience of transition. Here are some highlights from that conversation:

Source: https://www.devex.com/news/how-cordaid-transformed-from-ngo-to-social-enterprise-84580

NGO Funding Guides in Telugu




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Set of 3 Books... Rs.900/- Only

Maruti Suzuki hikes spend on CSR in 2013-14

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 21:

Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) on Tuesday said it spent ₹23.28 crore towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in 2013-14, compared with ₹18.94 crore in 2012-13. The amount includes salary of staff directly working in CSR, the company said in the sixth edition of its sustainability report.

Adopting the theme, ‘Making it Matter’, the report outlines the company’s focus of taking action in the social, environment and economic spheres. “Our CSR activities will be primarily in the areas of village development, skill development and road safety. The village development will include construction of household toilets, upgrading Government schools, separate toilets for girl students,” RC Bhargava, Chairman (non-executive), MSIL, said. He said MSIL would focus on skill development initiatives to make students from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) industry-ready.

“The company now partners with 29 ITIs. This programme benefitted over 11,000 students in the last year,” Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, MSIL, said.

The sustainability report also highlighted important initiatives to bring down stress on natural resources. To name a few, the company said it had brought down its energy costs by over five per cent.

MSIL has also established a board committee on CSR, which has approved the company’s CSR policy.

(This article was published on October 21, 2014)

Source: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/maruti-suzuki-hikes-spend-on-csr-in-201314/article6524124.ece

India: Some Changes Made To Clarify CSR Expenditure Norms


  • The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 
  • Clarification issued with respect to the nature of expenditure to be incurred for CSR activities 
  • CSR expenditure to include spending on administrative overheads as well within the 5% cap 
BACKGROUND

Recently, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs ("MCA") made changes to the expenditure norms on CSR activities by amending the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014 ("CSR Rules") by further clarifying the nature of expenditure that can be undertaken by companies to build their CSR capabilities. While the CSR Rules, as notified on 27.02.20141, allowed companies to build CSR capabilities of their personnel as well as those of their implementing agencies through institutions with an established track records of at least three (3) financial years, such expenditure were capped at five per cent. (5%) of the CSR expenditure of the company in one financial year.

Providing more clarity to stakeholders, the MCA vide notification dated September 12, 20142 included overhead and administrative expenses within the contours of (5%) five per cent. cap that companies are allowed to spend on building administrative capabilities and staffing. The text of the amended rule 4(6) of the CSR Rules is as follows:

Companies may build CSR capacities of their own personnel as well as those of their Implementing agencies through institutions with established track record of at least three financial years but such expenditure including expenditure on administrative overheads, shall not exceed five percent of total expenditure of the company in one financial year.
ANALYSIS

The recent amendment is a welcome relief for companies undertaking CSR activities as there have been concerns expressed about the treatments and quantum of CSR fund that could be spent on administrative activities and capacity building in furtherance of carrying CSR activities as per the Company's CSR Policy. With increasing social expectations from large companies with huge technological and financial resources in India, it has become almost mandatory for such companies to invest heavily on human resource management to build CSR capabilities. In emerging economies such as India the intrinsic merit of doing good through CSR needs to be institutionalized. This can be done by providing greater incentives and flexibility to companies to hire CSR personnel and experts in the field of voluntary sector. However, by putting a ceiling of five per cent. (5%) on the expenses that companies will incur on administrative overheads, there could be a situation of an un favorable demand/supply of traine d CSR personnel or NGOs with CSR specific skills. Thus, by fixing a cap on administrative overheads, the challenges of utilizing resources for conducting CSR activities still remains.

Footnotes

1 http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/CompaniesActNotification2_2014.pdf

2 General Circular No. 36/2014 (F. No. 05/01/2014-CSR), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India. Please visithttp://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/circular_36_17092014.pdf for more information. Website lase accessed on September 18, 2014

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Source: http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/348784/Corporate+Governance/SOME+CHANGES+MADE+TO+CLARIFY+CSR+EXPENDITURE+NORMS

BS CSR awards: Acknowledging social responsibility

M S Unnikrishnan, managing director and CEO, Thermax said 'Wealth creation is important to be able to distribute the wealth in the society," while addressing the Business Standard awards on Corporate Social Responsibility. The award in its third year was being presented along withSinhgad Institute of Management (SIOM).

Unnikrishnan who was the Chief Guest at the event also gave a first-hand peek into what CSR means for corporates and how the MBA aspirants should look at this initiative in their professional life. The auditorium at SIOM full with MBA aspirant from the college also came to know how some of the companies in and around Pune have been investing in terms of CSR activities.

Philanthropic activity undertaken by corporate entities is mainly defined as corporate social responsibility (CSR). There are several companies in India have been actively spearheading CSR activities in the field of education, healthcare, community and livelihood and infrastructure development.

Recently the government of India came out with ruling that mandate companies to spend two per cent of their profits towards CSR. "In India CSR has been a mandate from the government. As industries we have responsibility towards the society," said Unnikrishnan while addressing the students.

The BS Awards were given to companies in three sectors-IT, banking and manufacturing. As part of the Awards, Business Standard evaluated more than 15 companies from these sectors and a jury evaluated the entries.

The jury members consisted of Abijeet Jog- MD Pratisaad communication, Yamaji Malkar- Ex- Editor Sakal Group., Chabi Chavan- Ex- Director Amity Management College. Advocate Sunita Pagey along with Nilesh Gokhale Director, SIOM.

The CSR activities of the participants were evaluated on the basis of five parameters viz. innovation in CSR, employee man hours spent on CSR, percentage of profit (last yearRs s) before tax spent on CSR project, impact of initiatives on society and Impact of initiatives taken towards environmental sustainability.

From the IT sector it was mid-cap IT services firm Persistent Systems that received the award for its work in the health, education and community development in Nagpur, Hyderabad, Pune and Goa. In terms of focus, the company has identified health, education and community development as its core. All the programmes run by Persistent Foundation are designed and planned by the employees or with support from NGOs.

For the year FY14 the company saw participation of 1,579 employees. In terms of work done, of the 39 projects 33 have been completed. A total of sum of Rs 32.88 lakh were donated to 32 NGOs and six individuals. A sum of about Rs 56.84 lakh was raised from Persistent employees.

Global manufacturing player SKF received the award for its work SKF Care-defining sustainability in SKF and turning it into practical actions. The guiding principle for SKFs India vision "To Create a Positive change in the life of the communities neighbouring our operation , and create a meaningful difference from recipients perspective ." Within this the company focuses on three main areas-education, empowerment and environment.

From the banking sector the award was won by Vishweshwar Sahakari Bank which has focused on community development and education. This has meant running water conversation projects in and around Pune district. The bank on a regular basis distributes school books to underprivileged students in remote areas.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/bs-csr-awards-acknowledging-social-responsibility-114102101403_1.html

Number of "foreign agent" NGOs grows

Russia’s Justice Ministry, which has the right to declare organizations “foreign agents” without their consent, has added a significant number of NGOs to its list.

In the two years since the passage of Russia’s controversial law on NGOs in July 2012, human rights and research organizations receiving foreign funding have refused to register as “foreign agents” with the state as required under the legislation. Now, however, this is no longer an option. On June 4, President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill allowing the Justice Ministry to register NGOs without their involvement. NGOs registered without their consent have the right to protest the decision in court.

The law on NGOs, which was passed in July 2012 and came into effect in November that year, requires NGOs that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents and indicate this status on all print and digital materials.

In June, the Justice Ministry registered five NGOs as foreign agents, including vote-monitoring organization Golos. It added five more in July, and put the Association of Soldiers’ Mothers and the Freedom of Information Foundation on the list in August.

In September, the PIR Center for Political Research, which studies Russia’s Foreign Policy, was added to the list. The organization found out only from the media. “I have found information that one of the PIR family organizations was included into the Russian Ministry of Justice Register of Non-profit from the media reports,” said PIR Center Director Vladimir Orlov in a statement. “No official written ruling notification has been received by us neither to our legal address, nor to our office, nor to the address of the founder of the organization, nor by email.”

Far from being antagonistic to the government, the PIR Center had even asked Russia’s Foreign Ministry for funding for a research project before it was added to the list.

Fyodor Lukyanov, chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, an independent organization that works to influence Russia’s foreign policy, thinks that it is possible for the government and NGOs to work together on certain projects. “In order to form trust-based relations among independent centers, the government and foreign donors can implement joint research projects that are interesting for all parties,” Lukyanov said.

However, this has not been the experience of Russian NGOs so far.

Natalia Taubina of Public Verdict, which offers legal aid to people who have been victims of Russian law enforcement, said that the decision by her organization to accept foreign funding does not mean that they work on behalf of foreign organizations. “We submit applications to participate in tenders for foreign grants on equal terms with NGOs from other countries. This is a normal, worldwide practice that does not in any way mean that the receipt of money from abroad automatically forces us to work for a foreign government. There is an unspoken principle among public organizations – to get no more than 30 percent from a single source in order to preserve independence,” Taubina said. Public Verdict was added to the foreign agent list in July.

Taubina said that now the Public Verdict Foundation faces difficulties working with Russian organizations, possibly as a result of the “foreign agent” label. “We have held trainings for investigators in the Russian regions for a long time, but now they are not letting us,” she said.

Fighting the label

There is some hope for organizations that believe they have been added to the list unfairly. Golos, which was fined in July 2013 for failing to register as a foreign agent and had its operations suspended for six months before being added to the list in June, won a ruling from a Moscow City Court in September saying that it is not a foreign agent. Golos had long argued that it should not be subjected to the law because it stopped accepting foreign funding in November 2012 after the law came into force.

However, actually being removed from the list has proved harder than it seems.

“The procedure for removal from the register of foreign agents is not prescribed in a single law and, despite the court’s ruling, we’re still on the list,” said Grigory Melkonyants, co-chairman of the board of Golos.

An uncertain future

But while Russian NGOs are willing to accept the consequences of receiving foreign funding, foreign donors have been less willing to continue their support of these organizations.

“Foreigners are assuming that all NGOs in Russia will cease to exist sooner or later, so there is no need to spend money on them,” said Alexander Cherkasov, chairman of the board of human rights organization Memorial.

On Oct. 10, the Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to liquidate Memorial. Cherkasov believes the decision is politically motivated and has nothing to do with his group’s refusal to register as a foreign agent. “The government should not interfere in the activity of public organizations and manage them by allocating state grants,” Cherkasov said. The organization will have its day in court on Nov. 13.

Source: http://in.rbth.com/politics/2014/10/22/number_of_foreign_agent_ngos_grows_39207.html

CSR Reporting, legal and fiscal due diligence by NGOs

Moneylife's seminar with Mr Noshir Dadrawala on the various intricacies of the changed scenario as a result of the CSR norms applicable from this year, under the Companies Act 2013.

There is unlikely to be a flood of money coming into the hands of NGOs, said Mr Noshir Dadrawala, philantrophy expert addressing a seminar on legal compliances required under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandated by the new Companies Bill.

MrDadrawala pointed out that the government and corporate India had already revised downwards to Rs 16,000 crore, the estimate of CSR funds that were likely to be available from companies that fall in the target bracket. This is down from the earlier estimate of Rs20,000 crore. India is the first country in the world to make CSR spending mandatory for the private sector and Mr Dadrawala narrated how the new government was continuously grapplying with the definition of what activities fall under the ambit of CSR under the act. The list was constantly changing and the rules were still evolving.

Mr Dadrawala also pointed out that while this wasn't great news for NGOs, there wouldnt be a hefty business opportunity for innumerable self-styled CSR experts that had sprung up in India.

Mr Dadrawala was addressing a packed audience at Moneylife Foundation, comprising largely of NGOs and corporte offcials on the provisions of the act and legal compliance required under it.

Mr Dadrawala gave a general introduction to the CSR environment as it stands today.

He spoke about the prevailing optimism among NGOs and NPOs about the possible flood of charity money that the semi- mandatory CSR norms under the Comapnies Act 2013 would bring. He dispelled any notions that the audience had that a whole lot of money would be coming their way and that fund-raising would suddenly become a cake-walk.

Considering the mandated nature of the CSR norms, Mr Dadrawala said that in spite of the hurried drafting of the act during its initial passage, there were still frequent notifications that keep modifying the application of the law. “Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is the most confused entity CSR today. If you think the corporates and NGOs are confused, the government is even more confused than them. They have issued 3 notifications with back and forth regarding just the Schedule 7 of the law, and that too in just 6 months.”

Mr Dadrawala is the Chief Executive of Mumbai-based Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy, an NGO specialising in charity laws, CSR compliance for companies and good governance for non-profits. Among his various other achievements and work, is one of Directors of Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium (APPC), member of the Coordinating Committee of Worldwide Initiatives & Network of Grant-makers (WINGS), Fellow of the Centre for Study of Philanthropy (New York), and member of the advisory council of the International Centre for Not-for-profit Law. His work has also included teaching and educating in the field of philanthropy and has written numerous books on the subject too.

He spoke about the different kind of NGOs that can be registered and the ways to go about this. However, in the matter of exemptions, “Exemptions under 80 (g) alone are not really attractive to corporates. 80 (g) may be said to be a graduation degree, 35 (a) (c) could be considered a post-graduation and an exemption under 35 (1) (2) is like a PhD. If you have a 35 (1) (2) exemption, corporates will tend to look at funding you seriously.”

He took questions from a very active audience all through the session and was more than forthcoming in his replies. The topic of registering as a trust, society and a Section 8 entity was also discussed, while speaking about the various pros and cons of each type of NGO.

He said that, “some corporates are still under the impression that section 135 amd by extensio nthe CSR rules apply to them from some time in the future, but the section is enforceable since this assessment year itself.” He explained that to better understand definitions and other things under the law, allied laws like FCRA rules are a good guide.

Taking the audience through the stages of evolution of philanthropy itself, to the motivations behind philanthropy, he then came down to the nitty gritty of the act and its various provisions. In terms of CSR, Section 135 (1) decides whether a corporate must conform to the CSR spend requirements.

“Any experimenting that you want to do under CSR and the expenditure ofthe money, do it this year,” he said. His point was that the list of negative exclusions of what 'shall not' qualify as CSR will only grow as Indian companies look for ways to wriggle out of spending money on real and important CSR activities. The liberal interpretations of the Schedule 7 meant that a wide range of issues and projects could be taken up under the CSR mandate of a corporate.

Then there was the thorny issue of CSR reporting to consider. He explained that there was a serious amount of responsibility at the feet of the directors who would form a part of the CSR committee of the corporate. As such, reporting is one of the most legally important provisions. He explained that punitive action under the CSR law is reserved for non-disclosure, which is why the great importanc to reporting. There is little punishment in response to mis-application of the monies spent under the act yet.

With the background of the MCA's projections under CSR spends that will soon be needed under the law, Mr Dadrawala took on questions once again in the end and tried to resolve as many questions as possible.

Source: http://www.moneylife.in/article/csr-reporting-legal-and-fiscal-due-diligence-by-ngos/39181.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

UN Woman launches campaign in India for greater participation of men in promotion women's rights

The UN Women launched a campaign in New Delhi on Saturday, aiming at ensuring greater participation of men in promoting women's rights and gender equality.

"We need boys and men to work with us. 'HeForShe' is a global solidarity movement to end gender inequality by 2030. The goal is to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change in the effort to achieve equality. When women are empowered, the whole of humanity benefits," UN Women Representative, Rebecca Tavares, said.

The 'HeForShe' campaign in India was launched by Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. UN Women believes that it is critical to engage all stakeholders in support of women's rights, including the active participation of men and boys.

Emphasising the need for sensitising the youth on issues related to gender equality, Gandhi said, "The WCD ministry has started many initiatives over the last four months to empower women including: the one-stop crisis centres for women, the national mission on malnutrition, and the 'beti bachayo beti padhayo' campaign."

The campaign launch coincided with the ongoing 'Rendezvous' festival at IIT Delhi, in which this year's theme is 'SHE', a social awareness drive. UN Women is partnering with MenEngage, an acclaimed international forum that mobilises men and boys from around the world, to advocate for gender equality.

MenEngage will be hosting the 2nd Men Engage Global Symposium 'Men and Boys for Gender Justice' which will take place between November 10 and 13. Abhijit Da from Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) shared that, "masculinity is a burden on men and boys. We need to break this mindset and this is the aim of the MenEngage."

"A UN Women booth is designed to get students to pledge their support for gender justice by signing up to the campaign. The HeForShe Campaign is a solidarity movement forgender equality developed by UN Women to engage men and boys as advocates and agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women's rights," said Tavares.

The campaign was officially launched on the September 20 at the UN General Assembly. Since then 100,000 men have pledge support with 4000 in India. UN Resident Coordinator, Lise Grande said, "We hope that men and boys raise their voices against inequality and commit themselves to equal partnerships. This is how progress will be made."

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-un-woman-launches-campaign-in-india-for-greater-participation-of-men-in-promotion-women-s-rights-2027329

NGO’s main aim is to help Indian youths’

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20, 2014:

Affirmative action is needed to help members of the Indian community overcome their socio-economic malaise.

MIC vice-president Datuk M. Saravanan said the setting up of the New Affirmative Action Movement (NAAM) was to boost the economy of Indian youths.

NAAM, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), is focused on developing the economy of Indian youths through entrepreneurship, business financing and human capital development.

NAAM will also focus on agricultural activities to help youths.

Its founding president Saravanan said, to take Indian youths to the next level, there was a need to empower them economically.

He pointed out that an Indian youth earning RM2,500 a month would find it difficult to buy a home, adding that NAAM aimed to change this.

He said at the moment houses cost about RM500,000 in the Klang Valley and this was out of reach of Indian youths.

The deputy Youth and Sports Minister told The Rakyat Post that many Indian youths were not highly educated and by going into the agriculture business, they could earn a proper living.

He added this would take them away from being involved in social ills.

NAAM estimates that a youth could easily earn RM5,000 a month from agriculture, Saravanan said, noting that the amount could go up to at least RM20,000 if they worked hard and diligently.

“There is very strong support for it from people from all walks of life,” he said, adding that some 30,000 people had joined NAAM.

He added the government had allocated RM37 million for programmes under the foundation.

Developing a successful business in agriculture was not something that could be done overnight, he said, pointing out that it would take at least five years.

“Wait and see whether NAAM is successful, that is the attitude being taken by many people,” Sarvanan said in explaining the approach taken by some in deciding whether they wanted to come on board or support the foundation.

Meanwhile, the Tapah Member of Parliament said the foundation planned to help at least 3,000 youths.

“To make it easy for them to apply for NAAM programmes, offices have been set up nationwide to help applicants.”

Source: http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/10/20/ngos-main-aim-help-indian-youths

Naidu throws Vizag open to ‘CSR colonies

Visakhapatnam returns to normalcy, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is all set to knock at the doors of India Inc to rebuild colonies damaged by cyclone Hudhud, as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Reportedly, Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murthy is the first person to have been approached to build a colony, with 400-500 houses, for the fishermen who lost everything in the cyclone. Pending final response from her, officials of the Industries and Information Technology departments are now preparing a list of other corporate houses, to enable Naidu to dial them up for help. Reliance, Wipro, Adani Group, Aditya Birla, Mahindra, GMR, GVK, NTPC and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) are others on the list.

Murthy initially offered Rs 5 crore to the CM relief fund, but Naidu asked her to double the amount. The state will match the amount and jointly a sophisticated and safe colony for fishermen will be constructed. Naidu is stated to have said that even his family-owned Heritage Foods should be approached for the purpose. Spiritual-service institutions such as Ramakrishna Mission will also be approached.

Vizag collector N Yuvaraj indicated that land for the colonies will be provided by the district administration and construction material will be supplied at discounted rates. On completion, the colonies maintenance will be handed over to local bodies. Chandrababu also asked the AP government employees' joint action committee to build a colony. The employees contributed their two days', salary which comes to a little over Rs 125 crore.

Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/news/india/Naidu-throws-Vizag-open-to-CSR-colonies/articleshow/44882185.cms