Thursday, January 12, 2017

Apply for International Citizen Service (ICS) In India

Change the world within and around you!

VSO India is inviting applications for the first cycle of International Citizen Service in India (May 2017 to July 2017)

Last date to apply: Friday, January 27, 2017

To know more, contact us at 011 2689 0132 or email us at icsindia2017@gmail.com

Programme Snapshot

International Citizen Service (ICS) is a development programme that brings together young people from the UK and developing countries to volunteer in some of the poorest communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is a unique initiative of the government of UK which was launched by the British Prime Minister in the year 2011 designed to enhance development understanding amongst young peoplefrom the UK between the age group 18-25 through development engagement.

As part of the ICS programme, a group of 10 international volunteers from the UK will volunteer in India wherein they will be paired with 10 national volunteers. The team of 20 volunteers will live and work in a community/organisation for a period of three months. The volunteers will be placed in the communities’ where they will be engaged in work placements in thematic areas of livelihood and education.

Apply now if you are

· An Indian national in the age group of 18-25 years

· Committed and motivated

· Willing to devote three months (full time) living in a village in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra.

· Can speak and understand English and Hindi languages

· Able to join the programme from May 2017 to July 2017

About VSO India

VSO India is a development organisation committed to addressing issues of poverty and exclusion. We are a part of VSO International, the world’s leading independent development organisation that works through volunteers to address poverty. VSO’s high-impact approach involves strengthening development programmes by providing the unique resource of skilled people. Since VSO began working in India in 1958, VSO India has partnered with over 100 NGOs – mostly focused on issues of health, education, livelihoods and governance, and placed over 200 international volunteers to build capacity of these partners and has placed 4,780 Indian volunteers and mobilised over 11,000 active citizens who have played an important role in creating awareness through educating approximately 320,000 poor and marginalised people on their rights.

As part of harnessing the potential, energy and commitment of young people, VSO India is currently calling in applications for the International Citizen Services (ICS) National Volunteers who will be a part of a dynamic team of 20 Volunteers from UK and India participating in development engagement in rural India.

For more information, click here

Apply here

World Food System Summer School, “Food Systems in Transition”

The ETH Zurich World Food System Center is pleased to announce the call for applications for this year’s World Food System Summer School, “Food Systems in Transition”, which will be held from June 25 - July 8, 2017 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The two-week intensive academic course will be hosted at the Sustainability Institute in Lynedoch Ecovillage, near Stellenbosch. The program spans the food system and includes lectures, workshops, case studies, field trips, and farm work together with faculty and experts from leading research institutes, the public, private, and not for profit sectors.

More details about the program and the application procedure can be found in the attached flyer and our website here:

http://www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch/education/summer-schools/upcoming.html

Applications must to be submitted online by Monday, February 6, 2017 at 8 AM CET.

Should you have any questions please contact Jonna Cohen (jcohen@ethz.ch).

Come and join us for this unique learning experience!

Jonna Cohen

Education Manager

ETH Zurich World Food System Center

Auf der Mauer 2 / ADM A4

8092 Zürich Switzerland

Email: jcohen@ethz.ch

www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch




World Food System Summer School, “Food Systems in Transition”,

June 25 - July 8, 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

For more details, please visit: http://www.worldfoodsystem.ethz.ch/education/summer-schools/upcoming.html

Application deadline: Monday, February 6, 2017 at 8 AM CET.

For any questions and queries, please write directly to Jonna Cohen (jcohen@ethz.ch).

Best regards,
Udayan

Supreme Court orders audit of over three million charities

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Supreme Court has directed the government to conduct an audit of over three million charities in the country, many of which have received millions of dollars of state funds, but have failed to show where the money was spent.The top court on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for not having a regulatory mechanism in place to monitor grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and directed authorities to recover misspent funds and take criminal action against any fraudulent charities."It is unfortunate that most of the NGOs do not carry out the exercise of auditing," said the order given by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar."Those NGOs who did not file their balance sheets and misused the public funds would have to face action, including civil and criminal prosecution."The court, which was hearing a petition by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma to seek proper monitoring of funds to charities, ordered the government to complete the auditing of all non-profit groups and submit its report by March 31.

Less than 10 percent of the 3.3 million charities operating in the country have submitted their financial accounts as per government requirements, according to 2015 data presented to the court by the Central Bureau of Investigation.These include NGOs which receive government funds for rural development as well as those who receive foreign donations.

Civil society organisations in India have increasingly come under government scrutiny in recent years, particularly since Modi's right-wing nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power almost three years ago.More than 10,000 charities have had their licenses to receive overseas donations cancelled or suspended since 2014, hampering their ability to work in areas ranging from health to the environment.Home Ministry officials say these groups have violated the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) by not disclosing donation details or by using foreign funds to engage in "anti-national" activities.

But many charities say the FCRA is an opaque law and preventing them accessing overseas funds is a move to quell government criticism.Last June, a group of U.N. experts said they were stunned by the way India was applying the law to stymie its critics, adding the FCRA was "overly broad" and activities deemed political or against the economic interest of the state were vague. (Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty. Writing by Nita Bhalla @nitabhalla Editing by Katie Nguyen. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)

Source: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/supreme-court-orders-audit-of-over-three-million-charities-reuters-3199890.html

Soon NGOs could face criminal charges for misappropriating funds


The SC has ordered the Centre to audit 32 lakh NGOs.

After the Central government, the Supreme Court has shifted its attention to NGOs in India and asked the Centre to audit more than 32 lakh NGOs and voluntary organisations to check if they have misappropriated funds. The Central government cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) license of more than 20,000 NGOs in 2016.

The Chief Justice JS Khehar-led bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Manoharlal Sharma who sought investigation into funds allocated to NGOs by Council for Advancement of People's Action & Rural Technology (CAPART), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Rural Development, two trusts run by Anna Hazare.

CJI Khekar said: "This is government money. Don't squander it. There must be a mechanism to deal with this." He also said that "It seems as if public funds were sanctioned for political reasons."

The apex court gave the Centre time till March 31 to conduct the audit and directed them to submit action taken report on April 5. The bench also directed the government to form a mechanism to accredit NGOs and to audit them regularly.

For the first time, NGOs could face criminal prosecution if they have embezzled public funds.

"You have to set the procedure right. If it hasn't been done in the past, then do it for the future. You cannot allow misuse of public funds in such a way," the bench told additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta.

"What have you been doing for so many years? Why haven't you taken action? You can't let public money go waste like this," the bench noted. The bench said that the government can take both civil and criminal recourse against NGOs found guilty.

The apex court expanded the ambit of the PIL and asked the CBI to find out how many NGOs had submitted certificates with agencies they are registered with. The CBI said that of 32 lakh NGOs, only 3 lakh filed audited accounts.

NGOs have been facing crackdown from the government in the past year. In December 2016, the Central government had cancelled licences of 20,000 NGOs for not filing their FCRA application.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.in/soon-ngos-could-face-criminal-charges-misappropriating-funds-711793

Supreme Court pulls up Centre for no mechanism to monitor NGO funds

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Modi government to undertake the massive exercise of auditing over 30 lakh NGOs that have received government funds but failed to explain how it was spent.

The court also asked the government to recover these funds and take criminal action in cases in which it has been misspent. NGOs and voluntary organisations receive over Rs 9000 crore by way of grants from various ministries.

But only 3 lakh odd NGOs among 33 lakh across India file balance-sheets or expenses with the ministries. These include funds disbursed by Capart, an autonomous body, under the rural development ministry.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar also directed the Centre to put in place a mechanism to ensure timely audit and checks to prevent misuse of public funds. Under the current dispensation, they are only blacklisted. 

SC-LD NGO 2

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said there were

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said there were broadly three categories -- contribution received by NGOs from abroad for which there are regulations, funds received from local bodies/societies/trusts for which there is no auditing and thirdly, these bodies collect money from local people for which also there are no regulations.

"When you yourself are saying there are no regulations, then why have you not come out with the mechanism. Till now, there is no mechanism. Let a mechanism come and thereafter amicus curiae and you (ASG) will assist. We will see what can be done and what progress has been made in terms of regulation," the bench said.

"When government fund is disbursed, why dont you see what has happened to your money? It is public money. How can you do this with public money," the court asked.

The apex court also took note of the fact that an Under Secretary rank officer has filed the affidavit and asked the ASG to ensure that officer of the rank of joint secretary or additional secretary files the affidavit.

Amicus Curiae Rakesh Dwivedi said CBI has filed a status report showing how many NGOs have not filed the audit report and how many of them have not filed utilisation certificates.

"Huge amounts running into thousands of crores are doled out to these societies. There has been a case that many of them, after getting the grant, do not come back and they are merely blacklisted", Dwivedi said.

He said around Rs 9,000 crore has been disbursed to NGOs, societies, voluntary organisations from 2002-03 to 2008-09.

"Union of India has disbursed Rs 4,756 crore. States have disbursed Rs 6,654 crore. Rs 950 crore on an average has been disbursed per year", the amicus said.

He referred to a report of Asian Center for Human Rights and said that several projects did not achieve the target and there was no pre-funding apprisal by Council for Advancement of Peoples Action and Rural Technology (CAPART). (More) PTI MNL ABA RKS AG ARC

Source: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/sc-ld-ngo-2/1/854200.html

SC: Audit govt money given to NGOs

New Delhi, Jan. 10 (Agencies): The Supreme Court on Tuesday grilled the government over its failure to work out a mechanism to monitor the public money that it gives to the 32 lakh NGOs, societies and voluntary organisations in the country.

A bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and justices N.V. Ramana and D.Y. Chandrachud, upset that no regulatory mechanism has been worked out even six years after a public interest litigation was filed in the matter, pointed out that the government is doling out public money without any audit.

The court was told that the Union government and states have disbursed around Rs 9,000 crore to these societies in the period between 2002 and 2009, and that the government merely blacklists an NGO or non-governmental organisation if it does not come back with audited accounts.

The bench said “mere blacklisting” of these organisations would not suffice and civil and criminal action should be initiated for misappropriation of public money received by them from various government departments.

It directed the competent authority to come out with guidelines and rules for a regulatory mechanism by March end “under any circumstances”.

The bench noted that such action must be taken by the Centre and CAPART, which comes under the Ministry of Rural Development, which has been instrumental in granting the funds.

”We consider it appropriate to direct the Centre and CAPART to complete the exercise of auditing and submit the report by March 31, under all circumstances,” the bench said.

”There can be no doubt about the fact that the amount disbursed by CAPART/ other government departments is public money and must be accounted for,” it said, adding that so far, the only exercise or action carried out in case of non- submission of balance sheet/ returns is “merely blacklisting”.

In case of non-compliance of auditing and other rules, necessary civil and criminal action has to be initiated where public fund is received from CAPART or government departments and misappropriated, it said.

The apex court said that, on next date of hearing, April 5, it expected the Centre to place before it the guidelines and rules for accreditation of voluntary organisations and detailing the manner in which they shall maintain their accounts, conduct the audit, the process of recovery and methodology of recovery of the amount in case of misappropriation and criminal proceedings.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said there are three sources of funds for NGOs: donors abroad (for which there are regulations), from local bodies/ societies/ trusts (for which there is no auditing) and local people (for which also there are no regulations).

To this, the bench asked: ”When you yourself are saying there are no regulations, then why have you not come out with the mechanism.”

“Till now, there is no mechanism. Let a mechanism come and thereafter amicus curiae and you (ASG) will assist. We will see what can be done and what progress has been made in terms of regulation,” the bench said.

”When government fund is disbursed, why don't you see what has happened to your money? It is public money. How can you do this with public money,” the court asked.

Amicus curiae Rakesh Dwivedi said the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a status report showing how many NGOs have not filed the audit report and how many of them have not filed utilisation certificates.

”Huge amounts running into thousands of crores are doled out to these societies. There has been a case that many of them, after getting the grant, do not come back and they are merely blacklisted”, Dwivedi said.

He said around Rs 9,000 crore has been disbursed to NGOs, societies, voluntary organisations from 2002-03 to 2008-09.

”Union of India has disbursed Rs 4,756 crore. States have disbursed Rs 6,654 crore... Rs 950 crore on an average has been disbursed per year”, the amicus curiae said.

He referred to a report of Asian Center for Human Rights and said that several projects did not achieve the target and there was no pre-funding appraisal by CAPART or the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).

Source: https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170110/jsp/frontpage/story_129544.jsp#.WHcdItJ97IU

Supreme Court to hear plea seeking direction in NGO funding case

The CBI records filed in the Supreme Court in the case show that only 2,90,787 NGOs file annual financial statements of a total of 29,99,623 registered ones under the Societies Registration Act.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear the plea filed by apex court lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma seeking a direction in the NGO funding case. Earlier, noting that NGOs get “mind-boggling” funds and it has become a “major problem,” the apex court said that it will consider asking the Law Commission of India to bring an effective law to regulate the flow of money to a total 29.99 lakh NGOs functioning in the country.

The Bench, also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, asked senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi to assist the court in finding a way to deal with the issue and, if necessary, refer to the Law Commission. Advocate M.L. Sharma, the petitioner in the case, submitted that 80 per cent of the NGOs get foreign funds. He claimed that “retired government employees and politicians run these NGOs drawing on their influence.”

The CBI records filed in the Supreme Court in the case show that only 2,90,787 NGOs file annual financial statements of a total of 29,99,623 registered ones under the Societies Registration Act. In some States, the CBI said the laws do not even provide for the NGOs to be transparent about their financial dealings. In the Union Territories, of a total of 82,250 NGOs registered and functioning, only 50 file their returns.

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/supreme-court-to-hear-plea-seeking-direction-in-ngo-funding-case-4467310/

SC directs Centre to take swift action against defaulting NGOs

NEW DELHI: In what came as a setback, Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday directed governments to go after defaulting NGOs and submit compliance report to it by March 31.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) J S Khehar pulled up Centre for not putting in place a regulatory mechanism to monitor the funds and their utilisation by NGOs, societies and voluntary organisations and said, "Government should initiate civil and criminal action against NGOs that have misappropriated public funds."

The court asks Government to detect and punish this NGOs which have taken public funds and not submitted utilisation certificates.

CBI informed the SC that there are nearly 33 lakh NGOs in India and of which only 3 lakh filed audited accounts with authorities.

The bench also asked Centre to frame rules and guidelines to accredit NGOs, audit them and take action if they allegedly misuse public funds.

During the hearing, CJI directed the Rural Development Secretary and Director of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), which comes under Rural Development Ministry and told them that the government will not file affidavits in court signed by an officer below Joint Secretary rank and observed, "It is seen that government file affidavit signed by under secretaries who do not know anything about the issue."

The bench also asked the officials to inform it whether CAG audit of NGOs post 2009 was carried out or not. The bench also asked whether General Financial Rules 2005 made by Ministry of Finance were complied with or not. The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate M L Sharma, seeking monitoring of funds given to NGOs and their utilisation by them.

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/jan/10/sc-directs-centre-to-take-swift-action-against-defaulting-ngos-1558160.html



SC Directs Centre to Prosecute NGOs Failing to Explain Expenditure

New Delhi: Cracking the whip on over 33 lakh NGOs receiving government funds, Supreme Court of India has directed the Centre to prosecute NGOs which failed to explain how the funds were spent.

The apex court also directed the government to carry out an audit of all the NGOs getting government funds by March 31, 2017, and put in place a regulatory mechanism to monitor the funds given to these NGOs.

There are about 33 lakh NGOs which receive funds from the government and of this, only about 3 lakh NGOs are regular in submitting accounts to the parent ministry of their expenses -- rest are in default.

Top court's order seeks to target these defaulters. NGOs receive over Rs 9,000 crore by way of grants from various ministries.

The court has ordered the government to go beyond than "just regular blacklisting" of the defaulting NGOs and initiate recovery proceedings from the erring NGOs.

This order comes on a PIL that initially raised questions on social activist Anna Hazare-run trust in Maharashtra.

The PIL levelled allegations against Hazare and his associates that they had floated Hind Swaraj Trust in Ralegon Sidhi in 1995, with a capital of just Rs 500 and received Rs 45 lakh from the Centre in 1994-95, even before the trust was registered.

In 1995-96, the trust received another grant of Rs 65.85 lakh, this time from the state government.

But the top court expanded the scope of the petition and has now passed orders covering all NGOs getting government funds.

Source: http://www.news18.com/news/india/sc-directs-centre-to-prosecute-ngos-failing-to-explain-expenditure-1334058.html

SC to Govt: Make NGOs accountable for funds

A bench led by J S Khehar regretted that there was no regulatory mechanism to make NGOs answerable on utilising funds while the government pumped in public money.

SEEKING ACCOUNTABILITY of NGOs that receive funds from public exchequer, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the central government to put in place a regulatory mechanism and resort to criminal prosecution of such organisations in cases of misappropriation.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar regretted that there was no regulatory mechanism to make NGOs answerable on utilising funds while the government pumped in public money.

“How are you not bothered about how they (NGOs) spend the money? After all it is public money and they must be made accountable. You cannot let it get squandered,” said the bench, seeking a comprehensive mechanism within three months to audit and scrutinise NGOs’ accounts.

It said that mere blacklisting the NGOs would not suffice but there was a need to include criminal action for misappropriation and swindling of funds disbursed to NGOs for certain purposes.

“The government has to regulate it. You have to know how they use this money? It is not just your money but it is public money… there can be no doubt that the amount disbursed to NGOs is public money and has to be accounted for,” said the court.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta agreed with the bench that a new regime should be put in place to regulate NGOs and sought some time to revert. The court, however, pointed out that provisions of CAG auditing and scrutiny under the General Financial Rule, 2005 were already operating in this area. And that the competent authority will now have to come out with guidelines and rules for a regulatory mechanism by March-end.

The bench noted that such action must be taken by the Centre and the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), a wing under the Ministry of Rural Development which has been instrumental in granting the funds.

“We consider it appropriate to direct the Centre and CAPART to complete the exercise of auditing and submit the report by March 31, under all circumstances,” the bench said.

In case of non-compliance of auditing and other rules, necessary civil and criminal action has to be initiated where public fund is received from CAPART or government departments and misappropriated, it said.

The court said on next date of hearing on April 5, it expected the Centre to place before it the guidelines and rules for accreditation of voluntary organisation and detailing the manner in which they shall maintain their accounts, conduct the audit, the process of recovery and methodology of recovery of the amount in case of misappropriation and criminal proceedings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pursue a career- Make a difference to Skill India


We are looking at hiring 10/12th/ or any 1st/2nd year college students who want to pursue a career immediately. The position we are looking for includes customer care executives / customer care associate in a reputed telecom company. Preference will be given to candidates from economically and socially challenged backgrounds.

Contact us asap at +914466860143/ 8668103388 (between 9AM-5PM) at the earliest.

- Jerry Jonathan/ Preethi Zipporah
(HR Department) 05/01/2017
Eastern Shepherd International

Website : esigroup.in

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Eastern-Shepherd-International

Address : No:806 Samson Towers, 8th Floor, Pantheon Road,
Egmore, Chennai 600008

#easternshepherdinternational
Source - Thambos (Eastern Shepherd International)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON FELLOWSHIP FOR SERVICE IN INDIA


Dear Applicants,

We wish you a great start into 2017!

PROGRAM SNAPSHOT:

During an immersive, 10-month volunteer program (Sept. 2017-July 2018), young professionals have the opportunity to serve at development organizations and social enterprises across India. AIF Clinton Fellows support our partner organizations at a crucial moment of scalability through collaboration, skills-sharing, training, and capacity-building. Applicants must be U.S. or Indian citizens, or U.S. permanent residents. They must be between 21 and 34 years of age and have obtained their undergraduate degree by the start of the program on September 1, 2017.

Apply by January 16, 2017 (11:59pm PST).

We would also like to share some resources for your perusal.

What happens after you submit your application? Get an exclusive look.

Curious to hear from our current Fellows?

Meet Lakshmee and find out how mountain grains are related to caste.

Theater for social change? Check out Cal’s amazing journey.

From Manhattan to Madanapalle: how ex-New Yorker Sarala adapts to rural life.

How is it to work with crocodiles? Avan is ready to show you.

Looking forward to receiving you application,

AIF Fellowship Team

Friday, December 2, 2016

NGOs need to register with NITI Aayog for grant-in-aid

NEW DELHI: It is now mandatory for all NGOs and voluntary organisations (VOs) to register with NITI Aayog to receive grant-in-aid from ministries or departments of the central government, Parliament was informed today.

"It is mandatory now for all NGOs/voluntary organisations to sign up on NGO-DARPAN portal to obtain a system-generated unique ID before applying for grant under any scheme of central government or ministries," Minister of State for Ministry of Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

The minister further said that as on November 24, a total of 81,353 NGOs/VOs have signed up on NGO-DARPAN portal which has has been redesigned.

Replying to a separate query, Singh said the government has earmarked Rs 150 crore for Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in 2016-17 budget estimate.

Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2016/nov/30/ngos-need-to-register-with-niti-aayog-for-grant-in-aid-1544227.html

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Latest


Call for Proposals extended for C2U Expo, 2017!

When the idea of community-campus partnerships was in its first stages of growth, researchers and community groups alike had very few resources available to them to which they could turn for guidance. The C2UExpo movement began in Canada to address this dearth, and provided individuals involved in community-campus partnerships with a forum through which they could share experiences, strategies, and ideas. Organized biannually, C2UExpo explores the edge of community-college-university partnerships as catalysts for social innovation. In 2017, C2UExpo is being hosted by Simo Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada from May 1-5, 2017.

If you want to share your ideas on community-campus collaboration – For the Common Good – but didn’t have the time to submit, now’s your chance. There’s still room for more proposals, especially if you are a community organization, or if you are partnered with one. So, the last dates for call for proposals has now been extended up to December 5, 2016 till 23:59 PDT.

So, hurry and submit your proposals NOW!

For more information, visit: http://www.c2uexpo.ca/call-for-proposals

India accused of muzzling NGOs by blocking foreign funding

Modi’s government revokes licences of 25 organisations over ‘anti-national activities’ as pool of foreign-funded bodies shrinks by almost half in two years

At least 25 Indian NGOs have lost licences to receive international funding because of their “anti-national” activities, while a further 11,319 have lost licences for failing to renew them, shrinking India’s pool of foreign-funded organisations to a little more than half the number it was two years ago.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the licences were revoked because the NGOs “failed to meet legal requirements” under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) (pdf) of 2010. The move could mean that some NGOs reliant on international funding will be forced to close.

Many of the 25 NGOs received notices saying their licences would be cancelled based on the government’s “field reports”. They said they were not given any indication of which laws they had violated or what the field reports said.

Henri Tiphagne, executive director of social justice and human rights organisation People’s Watch, said the decision to revoke his NGO’s licence was the latest in a series of moves by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata party to quash opposition.

“The government is determined to see no dissent. I completely uphold the principle that NGOs should be transparent and that is why we have been filing all the documents, and we have even put our accounts from the last 10 years on our website,” he said. “But the government should at least give us a reason why they have taken this step, so if we need to appeal the decision we know what we are appealing against. …

“It’s harassment for the NGOs. When things go wrong, we speak up. Perhaps that is what is irritating the government.”

Dunu Roy, director of the Hazards Centre – which also lost its licence – said: “All we know is that there is a field agency report, but we don’t know which field agency, or what the report says, or when it was written. They can’t take one-sided action like this. If they found a genuine reason that we should not operate, then they should tell us that reason.”

Charities said that, with the bulk of their funding cut, they would find it difficult to keep operating in India. Anil Chaudhary, who heads the Indian Social Action Forum (Insaf), another NGO that lost its licence, said: “Around 85% of our funding comes from foreign donations. Now we cannot receive foreign funds and we cannot operate our accounts.”

Many NGOs had opposed the government’s draconian laws by refusing to file renewal documents. They argued that human rights and environmental groups that campaign against Modi’s corporate-friendly development programmes were being targeted by the government.

Modi’s latest cull is part of a growing antipathy towards NGOs as India tries to modernise its infrastructure and push economic growth. In February, Modi said NGOs were acting as fronts for foreign lobby organisations or terrorist groups conspiring to destabilise India and defame him.

In 2014, a leaked Intelligence Bureau document to Modi said foreign-funded NGOs that highlighted issues such as caste discrimination, human rights or environmental concerns were part of a “growth-retarding campaign” to discredit India at international forums. Under his government, major international charities including Greenpeace have been targeted by the government.

A joint statement from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the government was using the FCRA to muzzle NGOs. “The law’s use of broad and vague terms such as ‘public interest’ and ‘national interest’ have left it open to abuse,” read the statement.

It added that in May the government temporarily suspended funding licences for the Lawyers Collective, citing alleged violations under the FCRA. “The charges appeared to be politically motivated because of their work in routinely representing people in cases against the current government, including Priya Pillai of Greenpeace India and Teesta Setalvad, an activist who has been seeking justice for victims of the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat.”

Three UN special rapporteurs have urged Modi to repeal the FCRA, which they say is being used increasingly “to silence organisations involved in advocating civil, political, economic, social, environmental or cultural priorities, which may differ from those backed by the government”.

Home ministry spokesman KS Dhatwalia said he would not comment on why NGOs had been targeted by the government. “Obviously, the government has no personal agenda against these NGOS. The NGOs know there are certain regulations they are supposed to follow. If you do not follow the law of the land, your licence will be removed. It’s as simple as that.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/24/india-modi-government-accused-muzzling-ngos-by-blocking-foreign-funding

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FROM NGOs FOR CONDUCTING COMMUNITY BASED ACTIVITIES IN SLUMS UNDER SMART CITY INTERVENTIONS

Please visit BMC tender link at: http://bmc.gov.in

Authorized Portal - Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation

http://portal2.bmc.gov.in/Files/CitizenInfo_23112016051816PM.pdf

FCRA's Empathy for 11,319 NGOs

About 11,000 NGOs had not applied for renewal of FCRA registration by 30-Jun-16 in online form FC-3. Their FCRA registration has lapsed on 31-Oct-16. They cannot accept any foreign contribution after this date.

FCRA Department has now extended the deadline for filing renewal application. These 11,319 NGOs can visit fcraonline.gov.in and apply online for renewal.

Reasons for not applying in time should be provided in writing. The letter giving these reasons should be scanned and uploaded with the application. If your old returns have been filed, and the reasons for lapse are genuine, the Department will likely renew your registration.

Last date for submitting form FC-3 for renewal is 28-February-2017.

However these 11,319 NGOs can still not accept any foreign contribution till their registration is actually renewed.

Only NGOs named in the list can use this facility. Presumably other pending cases (out of 1736 closed cases) cannot

Final chance for renewal of FCRA Registration

Giving a final chance, the Government has decided to ask more than 11000 NGOs who’s FCRA was not renewed since their applications were not filed online by 30th June to submit fresh application for the renewal of FCRA Registration.

The FCRA department is sending emails and in case mobile number is available, SMS to all these NGOs to provide the necessary documents along with complete application to home ministry to get their registration, granted under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA), renewed.

A total of 11,319 NGOs lost their foreign funding licence as they failed to renew their registration within stipulated deadline of June 30 this year.

After the Centre’s decision to cancel registration of these NGOs, the number of outfits permitted to receive foreign funding has come down to around 19,000. Till two years ago, the country had around 42,500 FCRA-registered NGOs.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Home Ministry Asks 800 NGOs to Complete Paperworks by February 2017

New Delhi: Around 800 NGOs, whose FCRA registration was lapsed after they failed to renew their licence, were asked by the Home Ministry to complete their paperworks by February 28, 2017.

"As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Of them around 800 NGOs paperworks were deficient and they may now re-apply by February 28, 2017," a Home Ministry official said.

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs' operations in the country are "contrary" to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.

Source: http://www.news18.com/news/india/home-ministry-asks-800-ngos-to-complete-paperworks-by-february-2017-1314643.html





Centre blinks, give time till February 28 to NGOs to renew their FCRA licence

With days of national human rights commission (NHRC) admonishing the union home ministry on allegations of "draconian approach" over the renewal of FCRA licences, the ministry has given time till February 28, 2017 to about 12,100 NGOs to renew their licences.

Besides 11,319 NGOs who had lost their FCRA licence after failing to submit papers online, registration of 1,736 NGOs had also lapsed on October 31 the last date of renewal.

Basing its observation on UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly analysis's report the NHRC said, "Prima facie it appears FCRA licence non-renewal is neither legal nor objective and thereby impinging on the rights of the human rights defenders both in access to funding, including foreign funding."

The UN Rapporteur noted that FCRA is not in conformity with international law, principles and standards as access to resources including the foreign funding is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under the international laws, standards and principles.

The DNA had earlier written that the union home ministry could find itself on a weak wicket as the NGOs are planning to take the legal route after they found that the ministry was using FCRA section dealing with renewal to cancel their FCRA, thus

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

"As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Besides, around 800 NGOs whose paper work was found deficient may now re-apply by February 28, 2017," a home ministry official said.

Earlier this month, the ministry had announced that FCRA licences of 11,319 NGOs whose registration was expiring on October 31, 2016 and which needed to apply for renewal by June 30,2016 were \"deemed\" cancelled from November 1, 2016.

It also closed the FCRA renewal applications of 1,736 NGOs who applied within the deadline but failed to submit the complete documents, but gave them time till November 8 to complete their documents. After nearly half of these NGOs managed to explain the lack of documentation, the home ministry allowed renewal of about 800 entities.

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-centre-blinks-give-time-till-february-28-to-ngos-to-renew-their-fcra-licence-2276057

Home Ministry asks 800 NGOs to complete paperworks by Feb 2017


The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.

Around 800 NGOs, whose FCRA registration was lapsed after they failed to renew their licence, were asked by the Home Ministry to complete their paperworks by February 28, 2017.

“As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Of them around 800 NGOs paperworks were deficient and they may now re-apply by February 28, 2017,” a Home Ministry official said.

The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs’ operations in the country are “contrary” to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/home-ministry-asks-800-ngos-to-complete-paperworks-by-feb-2017-4390294

Final chance for 11,000 NGOs for renewal of foreign funding licence

Giving a final chance, the Union home ministry has decided to ask more than 11000 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to submit their applications afresh for the renewal of FCRA licence.

“We are sending emails and in case mobile number is available, SMS to all these NGOs to provide the home ministry necessary documents with complete application to get their registration, granted under the Foreign Contribution Registration Act (FCRA), renewed,” said a senior home ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A total of 11,319 NGOs lost their foreign funding licence as they failed to renew their registration within stipulated deadline of June 30 this year.

After the Centre’s decision to cancel registration of these NGOs, the number of outfits permitted to receive foreign funding has come down to around 19,000. Till two years ago, the country had around 42,500 FCRA-registered NGOs.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/final-chance-for-11-000-ngos-for-renewal-of-foreign-funding-licence/story-Ctbu0UQQH3DcYFKlEjZsoJ.html

Final chance for 11,000 NGOs for renewal of FCRA licence

Giving a final chance, the government is all set to ask 11,319 NGOs to submit their applications afresh for the renewal of FCRA licence, failing which it will be cancelled permanently.

"We will soon tell these NGOs to avail the opportunity to renew their FCRA registration. If they fail to do so, their registration will lapse permanently," a Home Ministry official said.


The government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.

As many as 1,736 NGOs, including Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama, Mata Amritnandmayi Math and Church of South India Diocese of Madras, have failed to renew their registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act within the stipulated date of June 30.

The NGOs were given time till November 8 for submission of non-complete applications for FCRA licence renewal with all relevant documents to avoid the cancellation.

However, most of them failed to take the opportunity.

In addition, the Centre also denied renewal of FCRA registration to 25 NGOs after they were allegedly found to be involved in anti-national activities.

The 25 NGOs' operations in the country are "contrary" to the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) and allegedly anti-national, an official said.

A total of 16,491 applications were received by the Home Ministry for renewal of FCRA registration and out of which 14,730 were granted renewal.
In 2015, the Union Home Ministry cancelled FCRA

registration of 10,000 NGOs because they did not file their annual returns for three years in a row.

Many of these organisations were defunct or did not want the FCRA registration in any case.

The Centre's decision brings down the number of not-for-profit organisations permitted to receive foreign funding to 20,500, less than half of what it was two years ago when 42,500 were registered under FCRA, 2010.

FCRA 2010--which replaced a 1976 law by the same name-- ended the system of permanent registration, and required NGOs to seek renewal of their licence every five years.

The validity of FCRA registration of the NGOs was extended till October 31, 2016 but they were required to submit applications for renewal of registration by June 30.

In its original form, the FCRA was enacted apparently to restrict flow of foreign funds to civil society groups during the 1975-77 Emergency.

Parliament had passed a stringent version of the FCRA in 2010, with the Congress-led UPA government insisting that NGOs that rely on foreign funds had to be prepared for greater scrutiny.

The Modi government has so far cancelled registration of more than 22,000 NGO for various alleged lapses.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/final-chance-for-11-000-ngos-for-renewal-of-fcra-licence-116112101216_1.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Decision on 1,736 FCRA Renewal Cases

On 2nd November, FCRA Department notified names of 1,736 NGOs whose FCRA renewal was stuck due to documentation issues. They were given time till 8th November to file their replies or documents.

The FCRA Department has now reviewed these cases. Renewal has been granted in many cases. In other cases, the application for renewal has been refused. If you have not received the email yet, you can check your status at fcraonline.nic.in. Click on the link for 'Validity Verification of FCRA Certificate'.

If your certificate has been renewed, you can start receiving FC funds again. If it has been refused, please consult your auditors / advisers about whether you should file an appeal.

Monday, November 21, 2016

India Fight Black Money - The details

BSNL launches digital online education

BSNL has launched an education service in partnership with M/s Probit Plus Pvt. Ltd in AP and Telangana circles. Known as ‘BSNLECLASS,’ it is aimed at providing uniform quality education for both urban and rural students at affordable costs under Ekranthi project of Government of India. The programme seeks to improve competitive skills of students of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana circles. For details, visit BSNL website www.bsnleclass.in

NGO Foreign Funding – FCRA

Context:

GoI in the recent past has banned many NGOs-both domestic and Indian arm of foreign NGOs on the pretext of violation of FCRA

Why?

Many of them were found to be violating some provision of the act in some manner, for example Greenpeace India was banned for exceeding the cap on administrative expenditure.
Many NGOs were put on MHA’s watch list on request of the state government, e.g. Ford foundation was put on watch list on request of Gujarat government.

Pros of government actions:
It will help in countering activities which are detrimental to the economy. E.g. It is suspected that UK based groups are funding agitation against Kudaikunal power plant which is very crucial to energy need.
Will help in bringing transparency to finances of such NGOs and their activities. Out of 22 lakh NGOs only few filed tax return last fiscal year.

Cons of government actions:
Government can use these provisions to stifle NGOs which are against its policies.
Ford Foundation, Green Peace International etc. have substantial influence in international arena and thus it may impact India’s image.

What is the current practice in regulation of NGOs?

· NGOs are regulated under FCRA and FEMA. The Home Ministry monitors foreign funds donated to NGOs and organisations through the FCRA. And, FEMA is regulated by the Finance Ministry.

· Currently, there are nearly 100 international NGOs and associations which receive foreign funds through their liaison offices and disburse them to NGOs across India. Few international donors are registered under FEMA but not the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

· Many NGOs and foreign donors do not want to register under the FCRA due to its stringent provisions.

What Home Ministry wants?

The Home Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to surrender its powers to monitor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). This move is aimed at bringing all NGOs which receive foreign contributions under one umbrella for better monitoring and regulation. It will help in better regulation of such funds.

Other Issue:

Foreign Firms can now fund political parties

What happened?

The government has admitted that the amended Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010, which they brought in through the Finance Bill route, will not only help foreign-origin companies to fund NGOs here but has also cleared the way for them to give “donations to political parties.”

Response from Opposition
This is subversion of democracy, the FCRA amendment was brought in through the Money Bill route and passed without any discussion in Parliament.
This reflects the government’s authoritarian character, it will only fulfil the agenda of certain people

Source: http://www.ias4sure.com/wikiias/gs2/ngo-foreign-funding-fcra

Demonetization and NGO – Dos and Don’ts

We know the current scenario of demonetization of old currency notes of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500. As every day new news coming in, it is difficult for us to decide what should be the correct step to deposit old notes.

Earlier, Trust and NGOs were already under the radar of the Government before demonetization, now we can predict that more strict control coming in near future.

Let us discuss today about dos and don’ts by NGOs in a Question Answer Round.

Q – Can old notes be deposited in NGOs Bank Account and what is the time limit?

A – Yes, old notes can be deposited in NGOs Bank Account till December 30.

Q – How much cash can be deposited?

A – As such no limits, but not more than the CASH ON HAND AS ON 8th NOV.

Q – Can we take cash donation in Old notes now?

A – No. After 8th Nov, old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes are not valid tender.

Q – Can we take donation in cash in back dated and thus create more cash balance as on 8th Nov?

A – I suggest NO. Just two days back, not confirmed but, IT (Exemption) of Mangalore has issued notices to NGOs to submit authorized copy of cash books as on 8th Nov with denomination.

Q – Can we deposit cash in FC in old notes?

A – Yes you can deposit old notes in FC account but not more than cash balance of FC books as on 8th Nov. I suggest if the cash balance is not much amount get it exchanges with new notes.

Q – What about staffs advance already given before 8th Nov in old notes?

A – Do not take bake the advance and deposit in the Bank. It is advisable to ask staff members to exchange it.

Q – What about Donation boxes lying outside the offices like at airports, malls etc..?

A – Immediately get all the donation boxes back and record its cash on books as donation and keep photographs before and after opening of boxes or record a video at the time of opening of boxes with the current date newspaper. So that later, NGO can prove that the donation boxes open after 8th Nov and there were old notes which were deposited in the bank.

Q – What is advisable regarding taking donations between 8th Nov to 30th Dec..?

A – As a genuine NGO, one should not accept any donation in CASH during this period. If you received donation in new notes, kindly take the proof of the donors and keep the bank deposit slips.