Time govt stopped foreign funding of Civil Society groups

DNA / R Vaidyanathan / Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:45 IST

Among the largest members of the Indian economy is the NGO sector or what is known as the Third Sector or Civil Society (other than government and private) in academic circles. Two important criteria are that they should be independent from government and organisations not meant for making profit. But many get money from the government or from foreign governments. The type of activities they are involved is mind-boggling which can extent from “aging issues” to “corruption” to “human rights” to “waste management”. Many of them call themselves “Civil Society” and involve in socio-political activities even though they do not directly participate in the electoral process. Many of Church-related organisations involve themselves in human rights issues as a civil society organisation.

The funding for many of these civil society groups is substantially international. The international flow of funds is regulated by the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act [FCRA Act] of the Central Government which the ministry of home affairs is re-formulating now. In the ten years from 2000 to 2009 such organisations received more than Rs 69,000 crore and in the year 2008-09 [of which data is available] it was Rs 10,800 crore. The total number of such organisations was 36,000 in 2008-09 and of them only 20000 [55%] reported their accounts. The list of donor countries is headed by the US (Rs3, 433 crore) followed by the UK  (Rs1,131 crore) and Germany (Rs1,103 crore). The highest amount of foreign contribution was received and utilized for establishment expenses (Rs 5,022 crore)), followed by rural development (Rs 2,834 crore) etc. Establishment expenses consist of buying land, buildings, jeeps, setting up offices, mobiles, laptops, cameras, salaries, consultancy fees, honorarium, and foreign travel etc., constituting nearly 50 % of the expenses and in some cases as high as 70%. This goes against the grain of service motto where the ultimate recipient is supposed to get the maximum. Now, such organisations even recruit “executives” from management institutions.

However, they are not covered by Right to Information Act as they are not part of government. For instance, this writer has tried unsuccessfully to get the annual accounts from the web site of the top 25 recipients, many of whom are often reported in newspapers and TV and stressing the importance of “transparency” in the functioning of the government. Many do not have any information on their web sites. Some of the web sites contain nothing on finances.

Take the site called Friends of Narmada which proclaims: “First, we want to make it clear that we are NOT the Narmada Bachao Andolan (the NGO led by Medha Patkar)”. ‘Friends of Narmada’ has a solidarity network which includes the International Rivers Network which received donations of more than $1 million each from eight organisations including from the Ford foundation during 2008 -according to its web site. Why cannot Friends of Narmada voluntarily post its balance sheet and other accounts on their web site? Ditto all top notch civil society groups who day in day out harangue us on TV talk shows about transparency and disclosures that the government and corporate sector etc., should make.

Recently Russia has approved a bill that introduces stringent control over the activities of foreign funded non-government and non-commercial organisations in a move designed to pre-empt any “coloured revolution” in the country. It says, and to quote “The Kremlin has learnt its lessons from a string of “coloured revolutions” in the former Soviet Republics— the “rose revolution in Georgia, the “orange revolution” in Ukraine and the “tulip revolution” in Kyrgyzstan— all inspired and orchestered by western-funded Civil Society groups”. Incidentally, there is an act in the USA called Foreign Agents Registration Act [FARA] and it provides for penalties up to ten years in jail for acting as a foreign agent or getting foreign funds without notification to the Attorney General. FARA was originally passed in 1938 to prevent the spread of Nazi ideas and propaganda.

It is important that the Government of India bans foreign funding of civil society groups and NGOs who want to reform India. We are no more the “white man’s burden”.

— The author is professor of Finance and Control, Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, and can be contacted at vaidya@iimb.ernet.in. The views are personal and do not reflect that of his organisation

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22 Responses to Time govt stopped foreign funding of Civil Society groups

  1. Amita Joseph says:

    All facts are not necessarily known to even most of us who have been in this sector though your idea that we speak up is good (minus the PR firm)


  2. Surya Prakash Loonker says:

    It is no good if we make all these statements within ourselves. We all know about this. The India at large, media, common man, middle class, academicians, influence makers, politicians are the ones who need to be told these facts. Sending views to DNA and this prof is good. But what will really help is a compilation of all such facts and doing a press release to all print media and TV. May be organize a press conference in Delhi with SRRF, VANI, COVA, CA, other NGO associations and give these facts out and publicly counter argue this Prof’s claims. May be hire a PR firm to advocate for the sector across India on a regular basis in mainstream media. All NGOs and NGO associations can support and fund this PR campaign together. A mass letter campaign to different media, govt agencies, leaders, academics etc will help. Let us say 1 lakh such letters. Organise a debate with this Prof and people from NGO sector on TV channels, radio stations and in universities like JNU, IIT, IIM across India where mainstream people are invited. We need a focused large scale campaign across India to bring credibility to the sector and change perception in a big way.

    Surya Prakash Loonker

    Catalyst – Social Development Consultants P Ltd

    A-8 Mandakini Enclave, Alaknanda, New Delhi – 110 019. INDIA.

  3. Wg Cdr SS Roychoudhury says:

    Dear Vijay ji,

    I will congratulate you personally when I meet you this evening on GOV.


    Rtn.Wg.Cdr.(Retd.)SS Roychoudhury,FIE
    Chief Executive Officer.
    Hemophilia Federation(India)
    A-128,Mohammadpur(Behind Bhikaji Cama Place.)
    New Delhi-110066

  4. Shubhro Roy says:

    Well taken Sardana Ji.


    Shubhro Roy
    National Social Watch Coalition
    New Delhi

  5. Vijay Sardana says:

    Dear All,

    I have been in the development sector for over four decades and have seen it grow from strength to strength since 1967. With my experience of working for international as well as national level voluntary organizations, I like to add to what Mathew Cherian has already written.

    Action for Food Production (AFPRO), an NGO in Delhi created by an Australian women Ms. Elizabeth Reid, was created in 1966 in response to the appeal of the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi to address the problems of drinking water scarcity due to the severe drought in parts of the country, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. High speed well drilling machines were gifted and air lifted with Drilling machine operators and water sector experts by international voluntary organisations in U.K., U.S.A and Australia. Though water emergency situation was over in about two years, the Government of India felt that the Country needs this kind of equipment for providing water facilities in other States, such as Maharastra, Madhya Pradesh and the three Southern India States, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. AFPRO was formally registered in 1967 to become an Indian development agency from an emergency response set up 45 years ago. During the first three years, till 1969, AFPRO was almost exclusively run by expatriates and as per policy and plans then developed it was to become an organization totally managed by Indians. I was one of the first Indian professional to join AFPRO as an Irrigation & Soil Conservation Specialist in December 1969 and served AFPRO till June 1983. Today as a development facilitating organization, AFPRO provides techno-socio support to the NGOs across the country.

    What happened to the expatriates who came to India in 1966/1967? They were employed by UNICEF to speed up the process of providing safe drinking water to the masses in rural India. The result, already mentioned by Mathew, was the entire drinking water programme and design of hand pumps India Mark II (earlier JALVAD) for creation of wells was a foreign funded programme spearheaded by UNICEF. By mid seventies, India started manufacturing high speed drilling machines in the country without the need for further imports. This is one of the many catalytic contributions of the foreign funding agencies for which I am and will remain proud of forever.

    Vijay Sardana

  6. Elizabeth Kurian says:

    Thanks, Amita. Sure, please do send it to the Prof, and do let us know his response. I’ll post my views on DNA.

    Best wishes,


  7. Amita Joseph says:

    Thanks elizbeth. Hope its ok if I send this to the proff? Pl post your points on dna too. Its time civil society told its story.

    Best, amita

  8. Jayesh Joshi says:

    Dear Friends,

    It is very unfortunate to say, that the CSO movement which not only lend a hand to the country for independence, but also established many milestones in the era of 60yrs of development with government and at the same time not only started the movements but also established momentous milestones.

    Rather than focusing on the meaningless effort of Prof. Vaidyanathan we should divert our focus to the glorious history of Civil Society Organizations, which have NREGA for Right to Work, RTI Act for right to Information, Mid – day meal and PDS for Right to Food and the recently hoisted Ombudsman Bill to educate and aware the common man.

    In this regard, I specially want to highlight the existing provision of NOC for Environment Clearance Certificate, executed in the country is probably the result of the after effects of “Narmada Andolan” initiated by Medha Patkar Ji.

    Government always expressed its trust on the efforts/ work and models suggested by CSO’s for the community development. We should never forget the fact that CSO’s plays a very important role in the National Advisory Council.

    I think that we should be thankful to Prof. Vaidyanathan for initiating the argument which helped us in understanding the role of CSO’s.

    Jayesh Joshi


  9. Elizabeth Kurian says:

    Dear Amita and Mathew

    It’s wonderful to see your responses to R Vaidyanathan’s acerbic and unilateral views on civil society groups. I was quite stunned to see that article in DNA though it is now very common for people to dismiss the non governmental community.

    Your rationale, backed by good evidence provides food for thought. The very fact that Credibility Alliance processes are recognized by the planning commission while influential elements within the corporate sector is yet to receive such a recognition is a matter of debate. I wonder if you have received a response from Vaidyanathan as yet.

    Most developmental policies and programmes in India have been formulated from best practice in the NGO sector. Apart of the examples you have mentioned, I would like to share with you some examples of revolutionary reforms brought about by NGOs working in the area of disability:

    It was the NGOs in India that demonstrated good practice in community based rehabilitation and integrated education of people/children with disabilities in the early 1980s. This was accepted by the government as good practice and they scaled these approaches and are still funding them through a substantial budget towards changing the lives of the 20 million disabled people in India
    Quality cataract surgery is now affordable to most people in the country thanks to the indigenous manufacture of intra-ocular lens technology promoted by NGOs in India, lead by the Aravind Eye Care System. This provides succour to the over 4 million in India, blind due to this disease.
    Sightsavers’ founder and his friends from India influenced the government of India to include blindness control in the Government of India’s 20 point programme, and India is therefore the first country ever globally to have national commitment for this cause through the establishment of the National Programme for the Control of Blindness in 1976. Today, the government of India is the largest funder of blindness control in India, with a budget of around Rs. 1250 crores in the 11th Plan.

    These are some examples, and not only have they transformed communities in India, but have provided good learning for replication in other nations as well, including the west.

    At the same time, while I write this, we also must acknowledge that there are certain groups who destroy the reputation and years of positive transformation the sector has stood for and has achieved. Balancing both is a challenge, but we are getting there.

    Thanks again for your excellent and well considered response.

    Best wishes,

    Elizabeth Kurian

    Regional Director – India Region


  10. Subhash Mittal says:

    Dear Freinds,

    Good to see rejoinders by Mathew, Sriraman and others to Professor Vaidayanathan.

    However I agree with Dola’s comment that the sector needs to develop a proper strategy to counter such vague & cynical articles. Following could be part of such a strategy:

    1. Writing regularly in media (both in print & electronic) giving due exposure on how the sector is contributing to the society,

    2. I agree with several points raised by Mathew on contribution of foreign funding agencies in evolution of present day development sector. However I am not sure if a formal study of this aspect has been undertaken. In this regard there are some sections in the book “Foreign Aid for Indian NGOs – problem or solution?” by Pushpa Sundar.
    Though it mentions some quality aspect of the foreign funding, but not an empirical study. May be there is a need to have something which documents how the foreign contributio has help evolve in various good practices.

    3. Responding to negative criticism at least by writing to Editor. In this particular case as many as possible could write to DNA India ( inbox@dnaindia.net ).



  11. Mathew Cherian says:

    Dear Dola,

    One of the main reasons we promoted credibility alliance was to highlight the work we are all doing. Many will agree that many are so accountable and transparent.

    In fact the work is so good in some areas and no journalist ever takes the pain to write about it. In fact if not for some NGOs some of the poor would have no health care and would have died many years ago. It is become A big fad to paint the sector bad with no knowledge or little knowledge .
    In fact the power of civil society is worrying a lot of arm chair intellectuals .

    We need to be more aggressive in out communication.

    Regards, mathew

    Mathew Cherian
    HelpAge India

  12. Dola says:

    Thanks for this wonderful rejoinder, Mathew. While this may be a small provocation and may wither away as a debate only, there is a strong need to come up with some strategy to deal with the perception issues about the civil society players as a whole. A week or so ago, I heard something similar from an elite group of citizens in Chennai. We need to tell more loudly the tremendous transformational work NGOs, CBOs and other groups across the country are doing. It has become kind of a fad to paint the entire sector in one brush.

    Thanks to Subhash for creating this platform. Congratulations and all the best!

    Dola .

  13. Sriraman says:

    Dear Prof Vaidyanathan

    I thought of sending a couple of ideas to you to explore for your next articles.

    We have a stupidly designed airport in Mangalore – which requires a funny table top landing. I am sure you do catch up with the regular news and would recall even the news of the recent past, which are not yet history, hence, I am not elaborating on what this table top landing is all about. One fine morning, a pilot, who was apparently half asleep – I leave this to your research and imagination – what he was doing the previous night – while landing at this airport – overshoot the runway and most passengers – except a handful who had a miraculous escape, died – which includes the sleepy pilot. It would therefore, be a good idea, for you professor, to propagate a theory that this airport should be shutdown forthwith – no more landings and takeoffs. I am sure you can access websites to get more flesh to build this story line.

    Not convinced….okay let me try another one!

    Look at the statistics of railway accidents in India. I am sure you will get enough data on this and if not you file a RTI application to the Railway Ministry and seek information. If you analyze all these data, from the angle of number of life lost, productivity loss, loss to government in paying compensation, etc., social and economic impact to the families of the victims of such accidents, etc. etc. you may come to a conclusion that would suggest we need to bring this beast called the Railways to a grinding halt….to prevent all the nuisance that it is creating by killing people, crippling quite a few, making a few other orphans, pushing families into abject poverty, etc, etc.

    Now, professor… you may wonder why I volunteer these ideas to you.

    Your recent article “Time Government Stopped foreign funding of Civil Society Groups” in DNA is synonymous to an article on the above two subjects….Hope you realize it.

    In case you have anything to defend how this is different, I am open for a debate.

    If you want to know more about me, please email me.

    With best regards

  14. Sriraman says:

    Dear All

    I have sent this email to our dear professor. I preferred to send it from my personal email id in my personal capacity.

    With best regards
    Director – Finance, Admn & IT

  15. UdayaShankar says:

    I agree with Mr.Mathew Cherian.
    There is a concerted move to kill CSOs, NGOs, SHGs and even micro-financial instituitons.

    Udaya Shankar

  16. UdayaShankar says:

    Dear Friends,

    If foreign funding of CSOs comes to an end at a time SHGs and micro-finance are deliberately smothered instead of mothering, what will happen to off-shored collaborations that promote innovations for alleviating poverty and achieving MDGs? What about ending FDI and other ventures that require foreign funds? Does Globalisation not include meaningful efforts by CSOs? One need not consider gainful employment being provided by CSOs.
    Rotten apples in any sector can be eliminated, if only the regulatory mechanisms are made effective. Who stopped the MHA from booking NGOs who are not honoring the laws of the land? The scale of scams indulged in by the private sector in collusion with Authorities concerned and in some cases with MNCs, can never be dreamed of even by the worst of the offenders with in CSOs. Should we terminate all forms of foreign collaborations involving foreign funds !
    Friends, the solution lies in effective oversight when there is no dearth of Acts/Laws, rules and regulations.

    Udaya Shankar

  17. Mathew Cherian says:

    Dear Dr Vaidyanathan,

    My colleague Rajeshwar showed me your uninformed article in DNA which indicates that Government should stop funding of civil society groups. I am an old student of DR KRS Murthy who was your past Director and served on my board as well and currently helps civil society as well.

    Let me give you a clear indication of the civil society and its position vis a vis Government and Private sector . I hope you will read it to improve your knowledge on the sector.

    1. We have a civil society which is large and has contributed greatly to improve society. Currently it is about 1.2 million and each one of them look after some problem of society. Some of their pathbreaking contributions were;

    a) The whole leprosy eradication programme in the country was spearhead by about a 1000 NGO’s mainly Leprosy Mission, Hope world wide, Missionaries of Charity and Hind kusht Niwaran Sangh and today only residual leprosy remains (.001 %). This was entirely made possible by foreign funding .

    b) The entire drinking water programme and design of hand pumps India Mark II and the jeevan dhara programme for creation of wells was a foreign funded programme created by Water AID and many other funders to SWRC Tilonia and its various branches whereby the whole country’s poor have access to drinking water. The founder Mr Bunker Roy was responsible in getting Mr Sam Pitroda to begin the Technology Mission for Drinking water. This was a huge civil society effort.

    c) The entire DOT treatment programme which is bringing relief to millions of TB patients was developed by a NGO in Chennai and is now the Govt of India TB programme. The entire Mitanin programme of Chattisgarh government was taken from Dr Binayak Sen’s public health programme and the same government imprisoned him on false charges. However his contribution to public health cannot be questioned ?

    d) the entire Right to Information movement in Rajasthan was begun by civil society activists and then spread to other states whereby the Right to Information Act was drafted and finally approved by Parliament . Many NGO’s after seeing the corruption in Public works by Govt had to resort to demand for transparency and information. If not for civil society, RTI would not have seen the light of the day.

    e)Even amongst the elderly where our organization HelpAge India works , we have been at this for 38 years and every year we serve 1.25 poor elderly patients . We have managed to get Government of India rewrite a New national policy for senior citizens which will benefit all of you. You and me when you grow old will have to thank civil society for the improvements we have made.

    I can quote you several instances of policies on child labour, on the public hearing process, on right to life and many other policy formulations on Forest Bill, National Disaster Bill where Civil society work has been so helpful, and you have written the article with no apriori knowledge. I hope you will change your opinion sooner than later.

    Again courtesy Medha Patkar whom you have insinuated in your article has received no foreign funds and because of her work we have a Policy for rehabilitation of displaced persons from various projects. The new R & R policy has been due to her efforts , much as you and others, may not like it.

    On the foreign funding which you are so much against only 8000 crores comes to NGO’s in a year. The 25 NGO’s whom you mention , the bulk of them are religious NGOS like Mata Amritanandamayi, Bochasnwadi , Satya Sai Trust, Gospel for Asia , world vision etc. There are no development NGO’s in this list. These are all propogating their own brand of religion.

    For the non profit sector there is its own code of transparency and accountability , I have been a founder member and chairperson of a group called “ Credibility Alliance ( http://www.credall.org.in) who have their own code of conduct and accreditation process recognized by the Planning commission. The corporate sector has no such code of governance and even the Narayana Murthy Committee recommendations are unimplemented. Our accounts and about 800 other NGO’s have their three year accounts on the website. So your accusation of non transparency is not a fair comment. Even the 25 NGO’s where you did not get their accounts have all submitted their returns to Govt of India ( FC-3 returns and Form 10)

    The civil society group and we are also proud that Anna Hazare who leads it is also from the civil society and so is Mr Prashant Bhushan and Mr Kejriwal. Due to civil society efforts we will soon have a Lok Pal Bill. This group has not taken any foreign funds.

    Now out of 8000 crores only 2300 crores comes to NGO’s with a developmental focus. Rest goes to religious NGO’s which are some Hindu, Islam and Christian. There are others in civil society who cause great problems which is not known. For example BCCI is part of civil society and income exceeds3000 crores. Many government organizations like Bombay Port Trust, Gujarat Port Trust and Andhra Pradesh Road corporation are registered as NGO’s. There are also scores of corporations registered as non profits and involved in money laundering like Lilalvati Hospital , many Hospital trusts and educational trusts.

    All this is known to the Government of India

    The real issue is that of the 1.2 million NGO’s in the country,part of civil society, only 30,000 receive foreign funds. The rest survive on Indian money and funds raised from fellow Indians. The Govt in 1975 during the Emergency passed FCRA. The BJP govt tried to tighten it on religious conversion issues. The Current dispensation under UPA has passed a new FCRA bill to tighten further. The Rules were drafted by them and gazetted on May 1, 2011 only a few days ago. It is not only Russia which tightened , we have also done it again and again but it applies only to 30,000 Ngo’s, and it only brings in 8000 crores. The Government of India in the current budget has foregone 120,000 crores in terms of tax sops for the private sector (which is yours and my tax money)

    I think civil society continues to do good work and prosper and make life better for the rural poor and the urban poor in so many parts. Do not belittle them as the “ white man’s burden”. They are as much your burden and your own Government’s incompetence is what we are trying to correct with Indian money.

    Mathew Cherian

    Chief Executive

    HelpAge India

    Fighting Poverty , Isolation and Neglect

  18. Rajeshwar Devarakonda says:

    Dear Dr. Vaidyanathan,

    I have posted my comments on your article titled Time govt stopped foreign funding of Civil Society groups published in the DNA of 10th May, 2011. Given that the editors may have their liberties, writing to you with more or less the same comments albeit elaborated.

    Factual error – the Government of India has already notified the new FCRA rules through a Gazette Notification of 29th April, 2011 a full ten days before this article is published – ample time to make the correction. Surprised that with the technology at your end and the information you may be privy to this little thing has missed your watchful eyes.

    I could not have agreed more with you Dr.Vaidyanathan, if I too were professor to about 9000 IIM graduates themselves raking in 158 crores as just individual salaries or if I were not one of those “executives” that gave up such salaries to work for the causes that were least analysed. Your kind attention is sought to the second part of the preceding lines. So on a cost benefit analysis would this be in order if 6000 crores were used to help “X” number of people?

    Would it not have been in order if you could have analysed the total foreign funds received as one variable and the subsidies provided to the corporates by successive governmentsduring the same period to reach a balanced view – this way or that, since it now seems too much skewed. Mr.Justice.Santosh Hegde could have provided you all the matter required if you have discussed with the Lok Ayukta of the state – so prevent governments from taxing people (incidentally, we also pay taxes and honestly also) since there are some politicians who send our monies to Swiss Banks or to IIMs that have not helped India. How many IIM graduates are serving India today is anyone’s guess but since I broached the subject Rs. 2700,00,00,000 is the approximate money that India would have spent on the 9 batches of the “Creme” half of which might have moved off-shore to settle in Seattle or some foreign locale. They might have earned this “privilege”, which we are not going to discuss since the “earning” or the qualitative part is not for analysis as per your rules of the game. So how does this compare with the 6000 crore that you are talking about?

    It would do justice both to the readers of DNA as also to the general public that critical details like the presence of “Credibility Alliance” or “Transparency International” were not missed out. There are organisations that put all their income and expenditure (without hiding the “business expenses” or “retainership allowances”) on the web and are published. By your own admittance, 55% actually do publish/present their reports as required by law.

    The work of the Civil Society has now brought us the NREGA, the NRHM, the NRLM, the Polio Campaigns, the Lok Ayuktas, the Right to Food, the Right to Information (incidentally second only to bribe in accessing due rights by the marginalised as per an emperical study) and possibly the Lok Pal. Delhi became green due to such CSOs and such CSOs are the people who reacted quickly and efficiently, second only to the army, in the case of many a disaster. Trivialising the same is not correct analysis.

    This said, I am open to hear your versions on the published and unpublished part of the story.


  19. Amita Joseph says:

    I read with interest your article on Foreign Funding to NGOs. There are many aspects I differ on.

    A large number of NGOs do not get foreign funding. All kinds of organizations ( not just NGOs) register under the Trusts & Societies Act including Temple Trusts & others. Research has shown that a large chunk of foreign funds is actually received by religious trusts & Godmen led organizations & in this all religions are included. The FCRA Act is not a easy one to manage – separate bank accounts, annual reports, etc are the order of the day & this is being made even more cumbersome & stringent.

    Despite all this some of the most pathbreaking work in the country has evolved from the Tilonias, the MKSSS work & RTI, watersheds, afforestation, environment,etc,etc

    Lets compare it for a moment with the corporate sector. Under budget foregone each year a large chunk of public resources is either written off, waived or foregone by the Govt to a sector that contributes less than 15% of the GDP. Just 50 companies or less report on the Global Reporting Initiative while a large number of NGOs ( at least 5 times the number of corporates) have voluntarily adhered to the Credibility alliance norms on transparency & norms on governance.

    We must remember that Anna Hazare has not received any foreign funding (not that I know of) – nor the movement against corruption. If we cannot have equity & justice there will be revolutions & nothing can stop it.Merely stopping foreign funding will not do. I am a critique of Aid but lets not throw the baby with the bathwater!!!!

    Organisations such as Deepalaya, Helpage India, DA, etc have all put up accounts in the public domain.Including my organisation. Do management institutes I wonder?

    Amita Joseph

  20. T Balasubramanian says:

    Dear ALL,

    I suppose the financial transparency is of utmost importance in order to keep up the credibility of the organisation. The new FCRA rule has ensured that this happens as a matter of practice & routine. Therefore I welcome the move of the ministry.

    Best wishes,

  21. Amita says:

    I will forward my response and rajeshwars. We need to respond and educate the good proffessor on the contribution of the voluntary sector! Best

  22. Subhash Mittal says:

    Dear Freinds,

    First of all I would thank Amita Joseph for posting an interesting article to initate a debate on

    1. How to counter such arguments which are based on fears of ‘foreign hand’ and mentality of ‘East India Company’.

    However I believe we as a sector must always intospect and reform ourselves wherever the need is. Hence following areas need to be debated in the sector and also how these could be enhanced.

    2. How to enhance resource mobilisation capacity of individual organisations, so that the driving force of the NGOs is not the financial constraints that they face all the time (and hence the allegations of lucre of the green buck), but the ideals which motivated establishing of these organisations.

    3. Enhancing Accountability & Transparency within the sector

    On last point, I do believe that all organisations in the sector must make effort to post their annual reports on their web-sites. Such voluntary actio would ensure that at least we can proudly say that we are open in our finances. FCRA now imposes this condition in cases of all the organisations which receive more than Rs 1 crore in a fnancial year (Rule 13).

    Hope to hear more on other members on other aspects.

    subhash mittal

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