Online tool launched to monitor NGOs receiving foreign funds
New Delhi: The federal home ministry has launched an “Online Analytical Tool” to monitor flow and utilization of authorized foreign contributions received by various organizations.
Around 25,000 organizations are registered under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 in India. They received funds worth 180.65 billion rupees during the financial year 2016-2017 to execute various social, cultural, economic, educational and religious activities.
A significant percent of the funds went to organizations registered in the national capital and Tamil Nadu state in southern India. The maximum overseas funds, around 33 percent, came from the United States of America, revealed a senior officer in the ministry.
Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the online tool on May 31 as the government suspects some non-governmental organizations might have fueled some recent agitations in the country.
The web-based tool helps various government departments to conduct big data mining and exploration of foreign funds and their actual use in the country.
This, said the ministry in an official statement, would empower the departments to take data-driven and evidence-based decisions to enforce compliance of the provisions of the FCRA. Its dashboard will be integrated with the bank accounts of the FCRA-registered entities through the Public Financial Management System for updation of transactional data on a real time basis, stated the ministry.
The ministry sources said there is more to recent people’s agitation that forced the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant at Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) in Tamil Nadu. The stir led to police firing that killed 13 people and wounded scores of others, including a Catholic priest.
A senior ministry officer said its suspected that some NGOs and other elements took advantage of people’s sentiments to fuel the agitation but the federal government is waiting for detailed inquiry report from the state government.
The ministry had earlier analyzed social media trend of the March 20 ‘Bharat Bandh’ called by Dalits to express their reservation against dilution of SC/ST act by the Supreme Court. It was reported that without any organization and political parties’ calling for agitations, SCs and STs had hit the street in large numbers in many parts of the country just by SMSs and other online posts.
A report prepared by the intelligence agencies showed that masked online identities were prepared on Facebook and Twitter to incite passion of Dalits against the government and Apex Court. The probe had revealed that some of the Twitter handle, which carried objectionable information, had their origin outside India, including in the Arab countries, said ministry sources.
The Modi government had launched a major crackdown against NGOs after it came to power in 2014. According to a reply by the home ministry to a query in Lok Sabha in January this year, licenses of 4,842 NGOs were cancelled in 2017 for violation of various provisions of the FCRA. Earlier, the home ministry had cancelled registrations of 18,868 NGOs from 2011 to 2017 for violating laws.
(Source: The Economics Times)