[Answered] In the light of the recent events, highlight the implications of acting against the Non-Government Organisations.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Explain some implications of acting against the Non-Government Organisations.
Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) was enacted to regulate foreign donations and to ensure that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security. It is applicable to all associations, groups, and NGOs which intend to receive foreign donations. It is mandatory for all such NGOs to register themselves under the FCRA. Recently the Government of India suspended the FCRA licence of the country’s premier think tank, the Centre for Policy Research (CPR).

Implications of acting against NGOs:

  • Collaboration with the world requires the flow of information, personnel and funds in both directions. Along with public funding, private and philanthropic funding are essential for India to continuously expand its knowledge horizons in all fields.
  • The action against the CPR lowers the bar of tolerance for the political establishment to an abysmal level.
  • Improving education and tribal welfare is part of the list of activities under corporate social responsibility Restrictions on NGOs might create confusion about the status of corporate programmes in which they have invested money.
  • NGOs have to prove that their work does not qualify as harmful to “public interest” or “national security”. The 2020 amendment of FCRA has left these terms undefined and ambiguous. This may lead to subjective interpretationson the part of MHA officials.
  • The enhanced compliance formalities have resulted in the closure of many NGOs and the livelihood loss of people working in them. For instance, the capping of administrative expenditure at 20% has made them unviable. This is especially true for NGOs hiring professionals like lawyers and doctors who charge hefty fees for their services.
  • Many prominent NGOs like Amnesty International, Greenpeace India, etc. have lost their FCRA licenses in the past few years.  Many of these NGOs work in very critical fields and most often where state helps fails to reach, like pollution and climate change issues, human rights, child labour and human slavery. They, therefore, have a strong impacton the progress of the nation and welfare of the poor.

Civil society supplements government works and works at the grass-roots level. They should be given due freedom and autonomy to support the needs of communities.

Print Friendly and PDF