FCRA (Amendment) 2020 and its implications on NGOs
Every Saturday, the students of M.A. PPG organise a webinar. CVV students, staff and faculty are invited to attend it. The topics covered so far are:
1. GST (Goods & Service Tax)
2. US Elections and its Impact on India
3. RCEP (Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership)
4. NEP (National Education Policy)
5. C19 and Future Pandemics
6. Farmer Bills
7. Digital Cooperation
In the last Saturday Webinar for 2020, held on 26 December, the student panel discussed the ‘FCRA Amendment 2020 and its Implications on NGOs’. The three-member panel was constituted by lead speaker Mrs. Veena Mahor, and the discussants were Mr. Arun Kumar and Ms. Sivapriya Ambalavanan. The session was moderated by Ms. Aswathi Prakash. The lead speaker brought in insights from the experience of working with various civil society organisations thus educating the audience on the ground reality.
She also mentioned the areas that the legislation was largely unclear on and required further research. She concluded saying that the involvement of stakeholders in the policymaking process was essential for the success of any policy and one that must not be forgotten.
Arun spoke on how these strict regulations would silence many NGOs that work for bringing in political accountability, how political parties often find ways to circumvent the FCRA regulations and the need to regulate their funding similarly. He also touched upon the corporate-political parties’ nexus that often comes in the way of CSR funds benefitting NGOs. Sivapriya brought in a different strain of thought by validating the need for such stringent regulations on the organisations quoting from the Intelligence Bureau report of 2015. She supported her argument with instances wherein many of the NGOs, with the backing of foreign funds, had been found to engage in anti-development activities and against national interest.
The discussion saw active participation from the audience and many areas were discussed in-depth to uncover the merits and demerits. It was also pointed out by the audience how many of the foreign-funded NGOs often fail to raise a voice against similar cases in the donor country.