NGOs vulnerable to risk of terror financing: Govt

PTI | Mar 19, 2014, 07.11 PM IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/NGOs-vulnerable-to-risk-of-terror-financing-Govt/articleshow/32304400.cms

NGOs vulnerable to risk of terror financing: Govt

A total of 43,527 NGOs were registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act upto March 31, 2012.

NGO

NEW DELHI: With voluntary organizations receiving more than Rs 11,500 crore of foreign funds annually, the Union home ministry has warned that the NGOs in the country were vulnerable to risks of money laundering and terror financing.

In its latest annual report on receipt and utilization of foreign contribution by voluntary associations, the home ministry said since the NGOs work independently outside the government, it is expected that they should be self- regulating and law abiding.

One of the objectives of the national policy on the voluntary sector is to “encourage NGOs to adopt transparent and accountable system of governance and management”.

“While it is not proper to make sweeping generalizations, it is necessary to note that the NGO sector in India is vulnerable to the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing,” the report said.

In his foreword, Union home secretary Anil Goswami said the general policy of the government is not to encourage soliciting of foreign contribution and the endeavour of the ministry has been to bring in transparency and accountability in the operation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act while ensuring national security.

Interestingly, the returns have not been received from nearly 19,000 organizations for which appropriate action has been taken by the home ministry for non-compliance of their statutory obligations.

A total of 43,527 NGOs were registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act upto March 31, 2012.

Amongst the purposes for which foreign contribution was received and utilized are: rural development (Rs 945.77 crore), welfare of children (Rs 929.22 crore), construction and maintenance of school/college (Rs 824.11 crore) and research (Rs 539.14 crore).

The figures have been captured from the amounts indicated under various standard heads of utilization prescribed in the annual returns.

Further, some NGOs, which have reported receipt and utilization of foreign contribution, have not classified utilization appropriately under the respective standard heads and, therefore, such amount has been shown under the miscellaneous head.

“Thus, these figures may not accurately reflect the utilization of foreign contribution under the specific standard heads. However, they do represent a statistical trend,” the home ministry report said.

During the year 2011-12, 22,702 NGOs reported receipt of foreign contribution amounting to Rs 11,546.29 crore. Among the NGOs, which have reported receipt of foreign contribution, the World Vision of India, Chennai, received the highest amount of foreign contribution (Rs 233.38 crore).

Other NGOs which have received sizeable foreign contribution are the Believers Church India Pathanamthitta, Kerala (Rs 190 crore), the Rural Development Trust, Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh (Rs 144.39 crore), the Indian Society Of Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, Delhi (Rs 130.77 crore) and Public Health Foundation Of India, Delhi (Rs 130.31 crore).

The list of foreign donors is headed by the Compassion International, USA (Rs 99.20 crore) followed by the HCL Holdings Pvt Ltd, Mauritius (Rs 69.98 crore), the Action Aid, UK (Rs 62.66 crore), Population Service International, USA (Rs 61.34 crore) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA (Rs 48.91 crore).

The five major donor countries are USA (Rs 3838.23), UK (Rs 1219.02 crore), Germany (Rs 1096.01 crore), Italy (Rs 528.88 crore) and the Netherlands (Rs 418.37 crore).
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Only 2% NGOs registered with govt

PTI | Mar 23, 2014, 09.42 AM IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Only-2-NGOs-registered-with-govt/articleshow/32532804.cms

NEW DELHI: Despite voluntary organizations receiving over Rs 11,500 crore of foreign funds annually, only two per cent of the 20 lakh odd NGOs operating in the country have been registered, raising eyebrows in the home ministry.

According to a home ministry report, although there is no centralized database on the number of NGOs in the country and the quantum of finance involved in their operations, unofficial figures indicate that there are over 20 lakh NGOs registered under Societies’ Registration Act, Trust Act etc.

However, the number of NGOs registered under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act would be less than 2 per cent of the total number of NGOs.

“Though, the number of associations reporting receipt and utilization of foreign contribution is increasing; yet, it is a matter of concern that a large number of registered associations still do not submit their statutory annual returns mandated by the law,” the latest Home Ministry report on receipt and utilization of foreign contribution by voluntary associations said.

A total of 43,527 NGOs were registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act up to March 31, 2012. During the year 2011-12, a total of 22,702 NGOs reported receipt of foreign contribution amounting to Rs 11,546.29 crore.

Altogether 9,509 NGOs have reported ‘Nil’ receipt of foreign contribution while many have not filed their returns.

Among all states and Union Territories, Delhi received highest amount of foreign contributions in 2011-12.

While Rs 2285.75 crore of foreign contribution has been received by 1482 NGOs in the national capital, 3341 NGOs in Tamil Nadu received Rs 1704.76 crore, 2527 NGOs in Andhra Pradesh received Rs 1258.52 crore and 2056 voluntary organizations in Maharashtra received Rs 1107.39 crore.

The five major donor countries are the US (Rs 3838.23 crore), the UK (Rs 1219.02 crore), Germany (Rs 1096.01 crore), Italy (Rs 528.88 crore) and the Netherlands (Rs 418.37 crore).

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3 new rice varieties invented by Central Rice Research Institute

Rabinarayan Panda, Odisha
Bhubaneswar 22/04 : Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI), cuttack, have developed three new high-yielding varieties of rice for different farming condition. Scientists of CRRI invented the new paddy seeds, CR Dhan 205, CR Dhan 306 and CRR 451, were recently identified by central variety identification committee under the ministry of agriculture for release. “The committee gave its approval for release of the three new varieties last week. These have been developed keeping in mind the changing climatic conditions and requirements of different states,” said CRRI director Trilochan Mohapatra.

These three new varieties were tested in different parts of the country. Field test held under various climatic conditions for three years by scientists of Central Rice Research Institute. CRRI have developed 110 varieties of rice since 1946 for welfare of nation and farmer.
Dhana
The CR Dhan 205 is suitable for Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Gujarat, which have serious irrigation problem. It can grow under water-deficiency conditions and yield 5.3 to 5.8 tons a hectare. It will go up to 8 tons a hectare under favorable conditions. It takes only 110 days to mature and can endure strong winds.

“It requires 70% less water than traditional varieties. It is best for rain-fed Balangir and Kalahandi districts in Odisha,” said principal scientist of CRRI S K Pradhan.

CR Dhan 306 is suitable for irrigated areas and has been recommended for Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Puducherry. The variety takes only 125 days to mature and yields 6 tons per a hectare.

The CRR 451 matures in 95 days and is best suitable for Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The long thin grain will help traditional tribal farmers for their roof and it will ensure better profits to farmers. The rice variety is resistant to leaf blast disease and also tolerant to drought-like situation. On an average, it yields 3.5 to 4 tons a hectare.

Farmers of coastal region will benefit by growing short-duration and drought-tolerant rice varieties.

Misguided crusade against India

With exquisite timing, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) is pushing a dishonest resolution that gratuitously insults the man who is the odds-on favorite to win that election. Ellison is teaming up with some Christian conservatives…..
Congress’s misguided crusade against India

There is simply no comparison between India, where the government and dominant culture strive to accommodate religious diversity under very difficult conditions, and the many countries (including several in India’s neighborhood) where the government and dominant culture work together to systematically stamp out religious diversity.

David Cohen

Former Deputy Assistant Sec. of the Interior

04/21/2014
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/congresss-misguided-crusade-against-india/#ixzz2za650aSq

India is a budding economic powerhouse which, as a multicultural democracy, shares America’s most important fundamental values. Our relationship with India will be hugely important to us for years to come. This is especially true given recent revelations that our other supposed friend in South Asia, Pakistan, has been secretly (or not so secretly, to those of us who have been paying attention) acting as our enemy. India is in the midst of an important election to choose its next prime minister.

With exquisite timing, Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) is pushing a dishonest resolution that gratuitously insults the man who is the odds-on favorite to win that election. Ellison is teaming up with some Christian conservatives like Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) who are, good intentions notwithstanding, picking the wrong battle against the wrong target.

The focus of the congressmen’s ire is Narendra Modi, a free-market, anti-corruption reformer whom I have suggested might be India’s Ronald Reagan. Ellison might agree with that comparison but, as a man of the far left, he would mean it as a slur rather than a compliment. House Resolution 417, co-sponsored and pushed by Ellison, is certainly a slur rather than a compliment—a slur against Modi and against India. It is a ham-fisted attempt to influence India’s election. While it will not succeed in doing that, it could certainly succeed in souring our relationship with what should be an important natural ally if passed.

The resolution creates the impression that Christians are persecuted in India, but the primary example used to support that notion is fairly dated: a single outbreak of Christian-Hindu violence that occurred seven years ago (and had nothing to do with Modi).

I respect that the Republican co-sponsors of the resolution have a sincere desire to protect Christians. However, a little perspective is in order: Of all the countries in the world where Christians are a minority, few are more hospitable to Christians than Hindu-majority India. That is why over 25 million Christians choose to live in India, almost 10 times the number in neighboring Pakistan. Given the large number of countries where besieged Christian minorities are in constant mortal danger, it shows a distinct lack of moral judgment to single out India for its supposed persecution of Christians.

The real target of Resolution 417, however, is Modi, who is currently chief minister (governor) of the Indian state of Gujarat. The resolution essentially blames him for anti-Muslim violence that occurred in Gujarat in 2002. That violence occurred after Muslim arsonists burned almost 60 Hindu pilgrims alive on a train. Modi’s critics accused him of facilitating the anti-Muslim retaliation, or at least not doing enough to stop it. The Supreme Court of India appointed a special investigation team that cleared Modi of any wrongdoing, but the authors of Resolution 417 somehow forgot to mention that.

Those who don’t like Modi, for political or other reasons, will always cling to the belief that he was somehow responsible for the 2002 violence. But beliefs, even sincere ones, are no substitute for evidence derived from a thorough investigation.

By ignoring the Supreme Court’s findings, Ellison and his comrades are essentially impugning the integrity of India’s highest court. What evidence do they have that Modi was indeed at fault? The best they can come up with is a magazine report quoting some of the rioters. According to these rioters, the riots wouldn’t have been possible without Modi’s “connivance.” In yet another glaring and dishonest omission, the resolution fails to inform us that the magazine quoted, Tehelka, supports the very political dynasty that Modi is trying to unseat. And it strains credulity that street rioters would have first-hand knowledge that the chief minister was “conniving” behind the scenes. In the face of the Supreme Court’s exhaustive and authoritative investigation, Resolution 417 presents a pretty pathetic case for our continued ostracization of India’s likely next prime minister.

The resolution praises the U.S. State Department’s 2005 decision to deny Modi a visa because of his alleged “egregious religious freedom violations.” According to the resolution, this was the “first and only time such a denial has been issued” on those grounds. That says more about the moral confusion of the State Department than it does about Modi.

The religious violence that occurs from time to time in India is indeed tragic, and India has not yet fully erased the rivalries created by centuries of divide-and-rule colonialism. But there is simply no comparison between India, where the government and dominant culture strive to accommodate religious diversity under very difficult conditions, and the many countries (including several in India’s neighborhood) where the government and dominant culture work together to systematically stamp out religious diversity. Muslims and other religious minorities practice their faith freely in Modi’s Gujarat; there are few places in the Muslim world where Hindus, Christians, or other minorities are given the same respect.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/21/congresss-misguided-crusade-against-india/#ixzz2za6EughGModi

KCR plays minority card to win the 2014 election.

Though TRS is contesting all 118 assembly seats in Telangana region, he is mainly focusing on about 70 seats, where TRS has significant presence. Unless he could win 60 seats it would be difficult for him to form the government on his own.

Unfortunately, organizationally TRS is weak in southern Telangana districts and its hold is mostly limited to Northern Telangana. For the first time TRS is contesting on its own without alliance with any party.

Most of the pre-poll surveys predicted hung assembly in Telangana, though TRS has potential to emerge as single largest party. Such a phenomena is likely to scare KCR, who is not known as a `team leader’ to head a coalition government.

He is known to his day from afternoon. His political activity also began then. However, for the first time, he is conducting electioneering starting from morning, daily touring upto 10 places in various districts. A week ago also he hardly addressed 4 to 5 meetings a day.

The Congress is mainly targeting TRS by refuting its claims of championing the Telangana state. Making strong claims that it was their president Sonia Gandhi’s strong willpower helped realize six-decade old dream of Telangana people, Congress leaders ask “is it possible for a party of having two MPs to form a state?”

Congress is also projecting KCR’s inconsistent attitude by stating how he went back from his promise to merge his party with Congress for chief ministership. Heckling Congress claims in this regard the first time opened his mouth and asked “had I ever given written commitment to merge my party with Congress?”

He seems to be worried realizing that many TRS supporters were to vote for Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls, though they might vote for him in the assembly polls. In every meeting, he is appealing people not to come to such conclusion.

KCR is making efforts to win support from minority communities in the region by stating that he was keen on his promise of making a minority leader the deputy chief minister of the Telangana. He also promised that “I will give two prominent posts in the Cabinet to my minority brethren.”

He also giving assurance for providing 12 percent reservation for minorities and see to it that the Wakf Board is given judicial powers so that it can reclaim its encroached lands, he said.