Nearly 6,000 entities, including Jamia Millia Islamia and Oxfam India, lose FCRA licence
Registration of 5,933 NGOs under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) lapsed on December 31, 2021, either for failure to apply for renewal before the due date or the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) rejecting their applications.
Oxfam India Trust and Indian Medical Association (IMA) are among these organisations.
Sources said FCRA registration of 5,789 NGOs lapsed due to their failure to apply for renewal before the due date of December 31. The remaining, which had applied for renewal, were refused, as MHA found their operations or accounts to be in violation of FCRA, sources said.
“The NGOs which did not apply for renewal had been sent multiple reminders by the ministry but they did not apply,” an MHA official said.
According to sources in MHA, 12,989 NGOs applied for renewal of their registration between September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2021. “Of these, we have rejected applications of over 170 NGOs for various irregularities,” an MHA official said. Applications of other NGOs were being processed, the official said.
Among NGOs whose renewal applications were rejected by MHA are Oxfam India and the IMA.
Sources in Oxfam India confirmed that they had applied for renewal of their FCRA registration but MHA had rejected it.
Dr Jayesh Lele, honorary general secretary of IMA, said, “IMA has already applied for the renewal of its FCRA registration and we have not received any communication on what has happened about the application.”
The IMA’s name, however, remains on MHA’s list of associations whose FCRA registration has lapsed.
During the second wave of the pandemic, the IMA had on multiple occasions criticised the government’s alleged lack of action.
Due to a variety of reasons, which included the pandemic and amendments brought into FCRA by the government in 2020, apart from the foreigners’ division of MHA being short-staffed, the ministry has not been able to process renewal applications of NGOs at a satisfactory pace. In view of this, the ministry has thrice extended validity of expired registrations.
It first extended the validity of NGOs whose FCRA registration was expiring after September 29, 2020 until May 31, 2021. It was then extended to September 30, 2021. It was further extended to December 31, 2021.
On Friday, it was again extended until March 31, 2022.
“These extensions are for NGOs who have applied for renewal before their registration has expired,” an official said. As for NGOs which do not apply for renewal before their registration is due for expiry, “their registrations are deemed to have lapsed” the official added.
In all, FCRA registrations of 12,580 NGOs have lapsed over the years due to either failure of applying in due time or the ministry rejecting their applications. From Delhi alone, these include Oxfam India Trust; Jamia Milia Islamia; The Times Of India Relief Fund; Times Foundation; Vishwa Dharmayatan (founded by Chandraswami); Maharishi Ayurveda Pratishthan; Indian Medical Association; Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts; Medical Council Of India; India Islamic Cultural Centre; Nehru Memorial Museum & Library; Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi; Press Institute Of India; The Delhi Public School Society; JNU’s Nuclear Science Centre; India Habitat Centre; Lady Shri Ram College for Women; Delhi College of Engineering (Government of NCT of Delhi); and The Tehelka Foundation, among others.
On December 25, 2021, the MHA refused to renew the registration of Missionaries of Charity under FCRA citing “adverse inputs. The NGO, founded by Mother Teresa, had applied for renewal before the due date of October 31, 2021 when its registration was expiring.
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