ngo registrations cancelled

Foreign Aid May Drop with 10,000 NGO Registrations Cancelled in 2015

Foreign funding for Indian non-governmental organizations doubled in 2014-15 over the previous year, but with 10,000 NGO registrations cancelled in 2015, foreign contributions are likely to drop, according the latest data on foreign contributions.

ngo registrations cancelled

Foreign funding for Indian non-government organizations is likely to drop, notes a report, as 10,000 NGO registrations were cancelled last year. (Source:

Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (unified), Karnataka and Kerala together got 65 percent of foreign aid coming to India, the data, tabled in the Lok Sabha on July 26, 2016, revealed.

Of Rs 45,300 crore ($7 billion) in foreign funding to Indian NGOs over four years — 2011-12 to 2014-15 — Rs 29,000 crore($ 4.5 billion) was received by organizations in the national capital and these four (five after Telangana) states, an IndiaSpend analysis reveals.

Organizations in Delhi received Rs 10,500 crore ($ 1.6 billion), while each of the five states received close to Rs 5,000 crore ($770 million) over the past four years.

There are 33,091 NGOs registered to receive foreign funds — under the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act — after the registrations of 10,000 NGOs were cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 2015.

Among the reasons for cancellation: Not filing returns, mis-utilization of funds and accepting funds for “prohibited activities,” which include funding legal costs of bail, writ petitions of Indian NGOs and their activists, and undisclosed payment of salaries by foreign NGOs to foreign activists.

Foreign funding doubled in 2014-15 to Rs 22,137 crore ($ 3.4 billion) compared to Rs 12,000 crore ($ 1.8 billion) in 2013-14.

Foreign funds to Indian NGOs from 165 countries are mostly for the social sector.

India receives foreign contributions from 165 countries, of roughly 200 countries identified by the World Bank.

Health, education and child-welfare together received Rs 4,500 crore ($ 690 million) of the Rs 12,000 crore received in 2011-12, according to our analysis of the 2011-12 annual report of the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, the latest available.

While NGOs associated with religious activities collected Rs 870 crore, NGOs with research activities got Rs 539 crore in 2011-12.

International NGOs are free to fund in India but only to the government.

As many as 109 international organizations, including various branches of the United Nations, World Bank, World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and Asian Development Bank, are not treated as a foreign source while funding projects in India.

“The World Bank funding in 2013-14 was $5.2 billion (Rs 33000 crore).This funding goes to the government and not to any NGO,” wrote Prof. Trilochan Sastry of Association for Democratic Reforms, an advocacy group, in a blog post.

A writ petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court by ADR to constitute an independent body to administer enforcement of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010. The case is currently being heard.


NGO India

Magic Bus builds on Indian model to become a global NGO

Indian not-for-profit organizations are finding takers for their development model in other countries

NGO India

Mumbai: When Cleartrip co-founder Matthew Spacie founded Magic Bus in 1999, it was an idea that sprung out of Mumbai’s slums. Magic Bus, a not-for-profit organisation, is today on course to reaching out to 4,50,000 children in 22 states in India this year, and has big global plans.

Spacie, a 48-year-old British national, said he wants to make Magic Bus a multinational organisation. In fact, it rolled out its international operations in London with a pilot in January in two public schools.

Over the next two years, he wants to take Magic Bus to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) will roll out its programme in four more schools in London in September. It has also partnered with Youth Sport Trust, a government agency, for creating a programme that will be implemented in select government primary schools and funded by the UK government.

The NGO uses an activity-based curriculum to address a variety of issues such as gender equality, health, education and livelihoods through a 10-year mentoring programme.

Magic Bus has traditionally raised more than 50% of its funds from international donors like BMW Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Coca-Cola Foundation and has fund-raising offices in countries such as the UK, the US, Germany and Singapore.

“After seeing our work in India, there has been a lot of interest from countries such as the UK, the US and Singapore to contextualize our Indian programme to their country. It is a fallacy that there is no poverty in the developed world,” said Spacie.

In 2013, there were 3.5 million children, or 27% of all children, living in poverty in the UK, according to the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions.

A high proportion of children in the UK schools partnering Magic Bus come from disadvantaged families. The NGO engages with children in the age group of seven to 11 years and early teenage girls to address social and emotional issues that lead to violence, drug addiction and teenage pregnancies.

“We use activities like football and basketball, and use metaphors from sport to deliver our curriculum to build their social and emotional skills, which is the model we use in India, but to address different issues,” said Priyanka Sharma, programme manager, Magic Bus UK.

“We will partner with the development sector and NGOs and build a curriculum on a need-based audit in these countries. Ultimately, it will be a childhood to livelihood programme,” said Spacie.

Magic Bus has engaged Thinkthrough Consulting, a CSR (corporate social responsibility) consultancy firm, to understand the different legal and administrative structures in different countries. It is also working with Bain and Co. on a uniform strategy across countries it will now operate in.

As Magic Bus expands, it will create regional hubs in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US. These hubs will be responsible for fund-raising, developing programmes and launching operations for countries in that region.

Going global will increase the NGO’s international exposure, which will translate into greater funding opportunities from large donors. “We are not going to see a tremendous growth in international funding, as more and more people want to fund indigenous projects nowadays,” said Spacie, explaining why it makes sense to set up more branches.

Rikin Gandhi, founder of Digital Green, which was set up in India in 2006 to train farmers to make videos where they record their problems and share solutions with other farmers and highlight success stories, agrees. “Once we are part of their (donors’) system in one country, it helps to tap their resources for other geographies too,” he said.

Raising money from multiple countries will help Magic Bus create a central investment fund, from where it can use money raised in a country to fund other countries’ programmes where indigenous funding is hard to raise, said Spacie.

The exception is India. While India can receive foreign funding, funds raised in India cannot be used for other countries, as per its income tax laws.

India is a social bed of innovations and if something can work in India, it can work anywhere else, said Deval Sanghavi, co-founder, Dasra, a foundation that connects NGOs to donors. “For someone to incubate a fresh idea, it takes a lot of time. Indian NGOs with established models will be able to hit the ground running in new geographies,” he added.

A downside to having a one-country operation is that NGOs miss out on some big opportunities, said Spacie. “…we get excluded from some large conversations as we are seen as a one-country player. This move will allow us to have larger conversations with international donors,” he added.

A wider exposure plays a part in the ability to attract more diverse talent from around the globe, said Shubhasis Pattnaik, executive director of Gram Vikas, an NGO that works towards integrated rural development in states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

“Diversity in talent brings different learnings into an organisation that is now 36 years old,” said Pattnaik.

Gram Vikas set up operations in Gambia in 2013 and in Tanzania in 2014, where it works with local partners.

For funding organisations, NGOs that can go global are exciting.

“We ideally would like to discover innovative models that have the potential to impact the rest of the world. Scale is very important for us. And when ideas can scale beyond national borders, it is attractive to us. Going global proves a point that you have the potential to serve different populations,” said C.V. Madhukar, director, investments, Omidyar Network, an international philanthropic investment firm. He added that NGOs should not limit their aspirations and restrict their presence to a particular geography as long as there is a demand for their services.

Source: Livemint

Foreign funding for NGOs: After inputs from IB, PMO tells Home Ministry to tighten FCRA regulations


NEW DELHI: Acting on instructions from the PM’s Office (PMO), the home ministry is stepping up scrutiny of foreign-funded non-governmental outfits based on recommendations of Intelligence Bureau, a move that could prove controversial coming as it does after actions against Ford Foundation and Greenpeace.

The ministry plans to tighten some rules of the principal law governing the sector — the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

The home ministry has quickened its review of FCRA rules after the PM’s Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra wrote to Home Secretary LC Goyal asking him to put a mechanism in place “without any delay” to monitor foreign funding of NGOs.

The Intelligence Bureau’s recommendations, numbering a dozen, were received last week. Encouraging transparency and improving oversight will be the “guiding principles” of the exercise, ET has learnt.

PMO is said to be keen to have the new measures in place by June 15 in the interest of India’s “economic security”, officials said, explaining the urgency of the matter. The FCR rules were brought in by the erstwhile UPA government after FCRA was enacted in 2010, and these rules are now being tightened further.

As part of the proposed changes, NGOs may have to provide details of all foreign funding within 48 hours to ensure transparency.

“NGOs would be mandated to have a website on which they will be required to put out the details of each foreign inflow for public viewing within 48 hours of receiving the funds. This will include the source of funds, the intended activity for which the funds are expected to be used and the details of its partner NGOs in that specific project,” disclosed a senior government official. Annual audited reports for previous years should also be made public, the official said.

The ‘oversight’ part of the new measures would allow the government to keep close tabs on NGOs through stricter checks and inspections. A detailed oversight system, describing each step, is being worked upon by the home ministry, officials said. “Each NGO would know the parameters on which it will be inspected,” an official said.

The PMO communication to home ministry had stressed the “need for effective linkage between MHA, Reserve Bank of India and banks for effective monitoring” of NGOs. IB’s recommendations on the ‘oversight’ aspect is based on “it’s expertise in tracking NGOs misusing FCR Act and FCR rules,” a senior ministry official told ET.

Action against foreign-funded NGOs

The Modi administration has been accused by critics of clamping down on foreignfunded NGOs. The US-based Ford Foundation, one of the biggest nonprofit organisations across the world, was put on a watch list by MHA and each of its foreign donations is now vetted before permission is given for it to be credited to any FCRA-registered NGO in India.

“Officials of the Ford Foundation had met senior home ministry bureaucrats last week asking for a rethink on the move. Right now, there is no plan for a rethink till the inquiry against certain NGOs funded by Ford Foundation is complete.

The ministry is soon going to take a decision on the propriety of the funding given to Teesta Setalvad’s NGOs by Ford Foundation,” a senior home ministry official said.

Source- Economic Times

US warns of ‘chilling effect’ after India’s crackdown on foreign NGOs

The US ambassador to India Richard R Verma on Wednesday rebuked the government’s crackdown on non-governmental organisations, saying it could have a “chilling effect” on civil society.

After both Greenpeace and the US Ford Foundation were hit with funding restrictions, ambassador Verma voiced rare public criticism by Washington of Narendra Modi’s administration, in a speech on India-US relations.

“I read with some concern the recent press reports on challenges faced by NGOs operating in India,” Verma said.

“Because a vibrant civil society is so important to both of our democratic traditions, I do worry about the potentially chilling effects of these regulatory steps focused on NGOs.”

Verma said civil society organisations were an integral part of the struggle for advances in health, inclusive economic growth, environmental protections, human rights and the strengthening of democracy.

The US ambassador’s comments came amid reports that India is investigating the finances of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as part of a growing crackdown on thousands of foreign funded charities and activists that has alarmed Washington.

Indian government officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comments.

The criticism is particularly striking at a time of closer ties between the world’s two largest democracies, exemplified by the warm reception that US President Barack Obama received on a visit in January.

But it comes after the government barred the Ford Foundation from giving money to local organisations without its permission, placing it on a “watch list” to ensure funds are used for “bona fide welfare activities without compromising on concerns of national interest and security”.

The move late last month followed a complaint from the government of the western state of Gujarat over the foundation’s grants to an NGO run by a longtime critic of Prime Minister Modi.

The government also recently suspended Greenpeace India’s foreign funding licence after accusing the environmental pressure group of hurting the country’s economic interests.

Greenpeace India warned on Tuesday that it may be forced to shut down its operations in the country within a month.

Last week India’s home ministry said it had recently cancelled the foreign funding licences of nearly 9,000 NGOs, claiming they had failed to file annual tax returns.