FOREIGN CONTRIBUTION REGULATION ACT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Internal Security)

News-CRUX-10     11th July 2024        
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Context: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has revoked the FCRA registration of the parent organization of the non-profit Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA).

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA)

  • About: Regulates the receiving and use of foreign contributions by individuals and corporations established in India. The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 has come into effect from 2011.
  • Objectives: The law sought to regulate foreign donations to individuals and associations so that they functioned “in a manner consistent with the values of a sovereign democratic republic.
  • Extend to: It extends to the whole of India.
  • Apply to:

oCitizens of India outside India.

oAssociate branches or subsidiaries, outside India, of companies or bodies corporate, registered or incorporated in India.

  • Validity: Once granted, FCRA registration is valid for five years. 
  • Renewal: NGOs are expected to apply for renewal within six months of the date of expiry of registration. 
  • Expiry: In case of failure to apply for renewal, the registration is deemed to have expired, and the NGO is no longer entitled to receive foreign funds or utilise its existing funds without permission from the ministry.

FCRA registration granted to NGO

  • Apply online: NGOs that want to receive foreign funds must apply online in a prescribed format with the required documentation. 
  • Granted to: FCRA registrations are granted to individuals or associations that have definite cultural, economic, educational, religious, and social programmes.
  • Inquiry and process of application: Following the application by the NGO, the MHA makes inquiries through the Intelligence Bureau into the antecedents of the applicant, and accordingly processes the application.
  • Should not involve in illegal activity: Under the FCRA, the applicant should not be fictitious or benami; and should not have been prosecuted or convicted for indulging in activities aimed at conversion through inducement or force, either directly or indirectly, from one religious’ faith to another.
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