Skip to main content

Stop "uninformed visits" by IB cops to NGO offices: Top Indian civil society network to Ministry of Home Affairs

By Our Representative
The Voluntary Action Network of India (VANI), the country’s apex body of 500 NGOs, has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to immediately stop “surprise visits by local intelligence bureau (IB) cops to NGO offices. In a letter to MHA, Harsh Jaitli, CEO,VANI, has said, the view is strong among them that they are “victim of local IB and police who often visit uninformed and most often do not share their purpose and identity proofs.”
Pointing out that this should be part of the “attempt to enhance transparency and accountability” in the NGO sector, VANI, which held consultations in mid-June on suggestions to proposed amendments to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRR), 2011, also insisted that going over to the online reporting system may be a desirable, as MHA wants, but the MHA must also move to create “enabling environment for the same.”
“The electronic system, as proposed by MHA, needs to be efficient and manageable”, the letter underlined, adding, however, while doing this, “concerns of small grassroots organizations to function electronically” should be addressed, because they “do not have online access and many a time face such difficulty due to poor internet connections.” In fact, it insisted, “Procuring digitally signature is beyond the capacity of smaller grassroots organizations.”
Pointing out that “only online provision will be extremely difficult for the smaller grassroots organizations who play a huge role in nation development”, the letter said, this is particularly difficult for organizations working in conflict areas such as Naxal prone areas, “where law and order is an issue due to display of real time financial data on their websites… The internal security of such organizations may come under threat due to cyber-crimes.”
The letter complained, “Many organizations in rural areas have experienced non-cooperation from banks to open foreign contribution (FC) account due to various obligations for banks.” In this context, it said, it was impossible to “submit details of fund receipt within 48 hours”, as required by MHA, adding the “earlier 30 days was quite reasonable”.
In fact, the letter said, “Due to extreme pressure on banks for speedy reporting, there will an increased fear among banks to open the FCRA accounts, and in many cases they might deny opening the accounts.”
The letter objected to “seeking details” of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, saying this is “not acceptable.” It insisted, “All the participant organizations shared the common concern that seeking such details entails restricting the social space of individuals which amounts to curtailment of fundamental right of the citizens of this country.”
Then, the letter asked the MHA to “develop a database of organizations with all their documents and details in one place, rather than procuring the same information again and again after every five years during the renewal process.”
Wanting a proper grievance redressal mechanism for NGOs to be in place, the letter said, this is particularly important “looking at the volume of the NGO sector, their grievances and geographical spread.” It added, “Since there has been a long communication gap between the MHA and the sector, this (can be) a window for enhanced communication and speedy redressal of issues.”
Referring to the controversial MHA order placing “many major donor organisations under Prior Approval Category”, the letter said, “not all projects supported by these donors” are under scanner of the MHA. “Hence, to facilitate the smooth implementation of such socially useful projects, VANI would like to interact with the MHA to develop guidelines or system where it becomes less painful and well-coordinated with Banks”, it suggested.
---
For section-wise proposals by VANI on amendments to FCRR, click HERE



Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.