Attention of Indian NGOs, Individual Social workers and all those in Developmental / Social Service Sector in India and Abroad.
- Dear All,Sub: Attention of Indian NGOs, Individual Social workers and all those in Developmental / Social Service Sector in India and Abroad.Please find enclosed here with two mails received i.e. one from CANA regarding. National Policy on the Voluntary Sector which may be of use to you and another mail received from INDIA DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION which is shocking and thought provoking that in India 2,60,000 (2.6 Lakhs) die of poor living conditions.We request you to spare a few minutes of your valuable time for the welfare of fellow human beings by forwarding this mail to all your friends etc.A SAD TRUTH - A Preventable disaster1,70,000 children (<15years) infected with HIV/AIDS in India .57,000 children are getting infected every year in IndiaEvery day a big number of HIV infected children are dieing without having a access to proper treatment of opportunistic infections precipitated by starvation.Thanking you all,Yours faithfully,Rtn. PHF., Dr. K.I. Jacob, B.Sc., M.B.B.S., PhD.,Chief Executive,St. Paul 's Trust.Our Vision: A WORLD WITHOUT LEPROSY, HIV/AIDS AND POVERTY100,00,00,000 (100 Crores i.e. 1 Billion) good deeds on a single day.Is It Possible ? YesLet us all get prepared for celebrating Mother Theresas Birthday on 26th August in a fitting manner i.e. for achieving the stupendous task of alleviating poverty / starvation deaths from this World, a cause so near and dear to Mothers Heart. You will be receiving 3 more circulars from our side as to how you can celebrate mothers birthday for alleviating poverty / starvation death by doing a good deed on that dayIf one out of every 6 persons in the World can do a good deed on 26th August, you know that the total number of good deeds done on that day will be 100,00,00,000 (100 Crores i.e. 1 Billion), because the World population is 6.7 Billions and 6.7 Billions divided by 6 is approximately one Billion. If one Billion good deeds can happen on 26th August, poverty / starvation deaths can be eliminated on a single day.Mail Received from India Development FoundationFrom:"idfindia group" <noreply@...> Add to Address BookTo:"idfindia abridged email subscribers" <idfindia@...>Subject:1 new message in 1 topic - abridgedDate:Fri, 15 Jun 2007 11:05:19 +0000
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Google Groups: http://groups.google.com?hl=enDear FrinedsGreetings from CANA!Please find attachment on National Policy on the Voluntary Sector which is issued by Voluntary Action Cell, Planning Commission, Government of India in May 2007. Hope this may be useful to you.RegardsBan MakanExecutive DirectorCANAAttachment:NATIONAL POLICY ON THE VOLUNTARY SECTORVoluntary Action CellPlanning CommissionGovernment of IndiaMay 2007Government of IndiaPlanning Commission(Voluntary Action Cell)NATIONAL POLICY ON THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR - 20071. Preamble1.1This Policy is a commitment to encourage, enable and empower anindependent, creative and effective voluntary sector, with diversity in formand function, so that it can contribute to the social, cultural and economicadvancement of the people of India.1.2The voluntary sector has contributed significantly to finding innovativesolutions to poverty, deprivation, discrimination and exclusion, throughmeans such as awareness raising, social mobilization, service delivery,training, research, and advocacy. The voluntary sector has been serving asan effective non-political link between the people and the Government. Thispolicy recognizes the important role that the voluntary sector has to play invarious areas and affirms the growing need for collaboration with thevoluntary sector by the Government, as well as by the private sector, at thelocal, provincial and national levels.2. Scope of the Policy2.1In the Policy, voluntary organizations (VOs) mean to include organizationsengaged in public service, based on ethical, cultural, social, economic,political, religious, spiritual, philanthropic or scientific & technologicalconsiderations. VOs include formal as well as informal groups, such as:community-based organizations (CBOs); non-governmental developmentorganizations (NGDOs); charitable organizations; support organizations;networks or federations of such organisations; as well as professionalmembership associations.2.2To be covered under the Policy, VOs should broadly have the followingcharacteristics:a) They are private,i.e., separate from Governmentb) They do not return profits generated to their owners or directorsc) They are self-governing,i.e., not controlled by Governmentd) They are registered organizations or informal groups, with defined aimsand objectives.3. Objectives of the Policy3.1The specific objectives of the policy are listed below:3.1.1 To create an enabling environment for VOs that stimulates their enterpriseand effectiveness, and safeguards their autonomy;3.1.2 To enable VOs to legitimately mobilize necessary financial resources fromIndia and abroad;3.1.3 To identify systems by which the Government may work together with VOs,on the basis of the principles of mutual trust and respect, and with sharedresponsibility; and,23.1.4 To encourage VOs to adopt transparent and accountable systems ofgovernance and management.The following paragraphs describe how these objectives are to be achieved.4. Establishing an Enabling Environment for the Voluntary Sector4.1 The independence of VOs allows them to explore alternative paradigms ofdevelopment to challenge social, economic and political forces that may workagainst public interest and to find new ways to combat poverty, deprivationand other social problems. It is therefore crucial that all laws, policies, rulesand regulations relating to VOs categorically safeguard their autonomy, whilesimultaneously ensuring their accountability.4.2 Voluntary organizations may be registered as societies, as charitable trusts,or as non-profit companies under Central or State laws. Some States haveadopted the Societies Registration Act (1860), with amendments, whileothers have independent laws. Similarly, laws relating to charitable trustsvary across States. Over time, many of these laws and their correspondingrules have become complex and restrictive, thus leading to delays,harassment and corruption. As the nodal agency for interface between theGovernment and the Voluntary Sector, the Planning Commission willencourage State Governments to review prevailing laws & rules and simplify,liberalise and rationalise them as far as possible. In order to facilitateregistration of non-profit companies, the Government will examine measuresto simplify procedures under section 25 of the Companies Act (1956),3including those for license, registration, and remuneration to memberemployees.4.3 The Government will also examine the feasibility of enacting a simple andliberal central law that will serve as an alternative all-India statute forregistering VOs, particularly those that wish to operate in different parts ofthe country and even abroad. Such a law would co-exist with prevailingcentral and state laws, allowing a VO the option of registering under one ormore laws, depending on the nature and sphere of its activities.4.4 There has been much public debate on the voluntary sector, particularly itsgovernance, accountability, and transparency. It is widely believed that thevoluntary sector must address these issues through suitable self-regulation.The Government will encourage the evolution of, and subsequently accordrecognition to, an independent, national level, self-regulatory agency for thevoluntary sector.4.5 At the same time, there is need to bolster public confidence in the voluntarysector by opening it up to greater public scrutiny. The Government willencourage Central and State level agencies to introduce norms for filingbasic documents in respect of VOs, which have been receiving funding byGovernment agencies and placing them in the public domain (with easyaccess through the internet) in order to inculcate a spirit of public oversight.44.6 Public donation is an important source of funds for the voluntary sector andone that can and must increase substantially. Tax incentives play a positiverole in this process. Stocks and shares have become a significant form ofwealth in the country today. In order to encourage transfer of shares andstock options to VOs, the Government will consider suitable tax rebates forthis form of donation. The Government will also simplify and streamline thesystem for granting income tax exemption status to charitable projects underthe Income Tax Act. At the same time, the Government will considertightening administrative and penal procedures to ensure that theseincentives are not misused by paper charities for private financial gain.4.7 International funding of voluntary organizations plays a small, but significantpart in supporting such organizations and their work in the country. Anorganization seeking foreign funding must be registered under the ForeignContribution (Regulation) Act. This law prescribes stringent screening normsthat often restrict the ability of VOs to avail foreign funds. When approved,there are problems like funds must be held in a single bank account, thuspresenting enormous difficulties to VOs working at different locations. TheGovernment will review the FCRA and simplify its provisions that apply toVOs, from time to time, in consultation with the joint consultative group to beset up by the concerned Ministry (as suggested under para 5.4).54.8 The Central Government has framed guidelines for bilateral agencies to givedirect assistance to voluntary organizations for projects of social andeconomic importance. It controls access to such funds and their utilisation,both through the FCRA and through regulation by the Department ofEconomic Affairs. This system needs to be simplified in consultation with thejoint consultative group to be set up by the concerned Ministry (as suggestedunder para 5.4).4.9 The Government will encourage all relevant Central and State Governmentagencies to introduce pre-service and in-service training modules onconstructive relations with the voluntary sector. Such agencies shouldintroduce time bound procedures for dealing with the VOs. These wouldcover registration, income tax clearances, financial assistance, etc. Therewould be formal systems for registering complaints and for redressinggrievances of VOs.5 Partnership in Development5.1 The voluntary sector can play an important role in the development process,particularly through community participation. VOs can offer alternativeperspectives; committed expertise; an understanding of the localopportunities and constraints; and perhaps most importantly, the capacity toconduct a meaningful dialogue with communities, particularly those that aredisadvantaged. It is therefore essential that the Government and the6Voluntary Sector work together. Where feasible, such partnership may alsoinclude other entities such aspanchayati raj institutions, municipalities,academic institutions, and private sector organizations.5.2 Partnership between Government and VOs implies identifying shared goalsand defining complementary roles. It must be based on the basic principlesof mutual trust and respect, with shared responsibility and authority. Theseprinciples must be explicit in the terms and conditions of the partnership.They must also be evident in the formal and informal systems ofcollaboration.5.3 This Policy recognizes three instruments of partnership, viz., (i)consultation, through a formal process of interaction at the Centre, State andDistrict level; (ii) strategic collaboration to tackle complex interventions wheresustained social mobilization is critical over the long term; and (iii) projectfunding through standard schemes. The Government will ensure that thesethree instruments of partnership are given due attention in Annual Plansprepared by Ministries and States. The action that will be taken in respect ofeach of the three instruments is discussed in the following paragraphs.5.4 The Government will encourage setting up of Joint Consultative Groups /Forums or Joint Machineries of government and voluntary sectorrepresentatives, by relevant Central Departments and State Governments. It7will also encourage district administrations, district planning bodies, districtrural development agencies,zilla parishads and local governments to do so.These groups will be permanent forums with the explicit mandate to shareideas, views and information and to identify opportunities and mechanisms ofworking together. The Government will introduce suitable mechanisms forinvolving a wide cross-section of the voluntary sector in these Groups /Forums.5.4.1 The expertise of the voluntary sector will also be utilized, by including expertsfrom VOs in the committees, task forces, and advisory panels constituted bythe Government from time to time to help address important issues.5.5 The country faces a number of complex problems that require adaptive,multi-sectoral solutions where sustained social mobilization is particularlyimportant. These include poverty alleviation, skill promotion,entrepreneurship development, empowerment of women, populationstabilization, combating HIV/AIDS, managing water resources, elementaryeducation and forest management, to name a few. Such areas urgentlyrequire strategic collaboration between the Government and VOs, throughnational level programmes that are long-term in duration, and utilize multiplestrategies, methodologies and activities to achieve their objectives. TheGovernment will identify national collaborative programmes to beimplemented in partnership with VOs. Each national collaborative8programme will involve a finite set of reputed, medium or large VOs with aproven track record, and the ability to work on a reasonably large scale. TheGovernment will ensure that such national collaborative programmes aregiven due importance in Plan documents.5.6 The third instrument of partnership between the Government and thevoluntary sector is project funding. A large number of Government agenciesoperate schemes for financial assistance to VOs. These schemes usuallydeal with activities such as surveys, research, workshops, documentation,awareness raising, training, creation and running of public welfare facilities,and so on. Project grants are a useful means for the Government to promoteits activities without its direct involvement. They are also a valuable source ofsupport to small and medium VOs. Nevertheless, there are legitimateconcerns regarding the effectiveness of grant-in-aid schemes. Out-dateddesign of funding schemes, arbitrary procedures, selection of unsuitableVOs, poor quality of implementation, and misuse of funds are some of thereasons for the possible defeat of the objectives of such funding. ConcernedGovernment agencies would be encouraged to ensure proper accountabilityand monitoring of public funds distributed to VOs.5.6.1 Some Central agencies have achieved good results by decentralizing theprocess of project funding. Rather than administering various schemesdirectly, they appoint regional or State level intermediary organizations to do9so on their behalf. This allows for closer interaction for better selection andmonitoring of VOs. Intermediaries could include umbrella VOs, professionalor academic institutes, State Government agencies, or multi-stakeholderstanding committees. The Government will review the experience of suchdecentralized funding and make suitable recommendations to Centralagencies.5.6.2 There is reason to believe that accreditation of VOs will lead to better fundingdecisions and make the funding processes more transparent. Further,accreditation may provide incentives for better governance, managementand performance of VOs. No reliable accreditation system is in place atpresent. The Government will encourage various agencies, including those inthe voluntary sector, to develop alternative accreditation methodologies. Itwill allow time for such methodologies to be debated and gain acceptability inthe voluntary sector, before considering their application to Governmentfunding of VOs.6. Strengthening the Voluntary Sector6.1 The Indian society has a well-established tradition of philanthropy. While aregime of tax concessions facilitates donations to charitable organizations,there is considerable untapped potential to channelise private wealth forpublic service. The Government will support and encourage existing, as wellnew, independent philanthropic institutions and private foundations to providefinancial assistance to deserving VOs. It will also promote a dialogue among10public and private grant makers so that they may take advantage of the bestpractices in grant making and fund-raising strategies.6.2 Accountability to all stakeholders and transparency in functioning are keyissues in good governance. The voluntary sector is expected to set its ownbenchmarks in these areas. Since VOs vary in their objectives and activities,it would be impractical to expect uniform norms for accountability andtransparency. The Government will encourage support organizations, andVO networks & federations to facilitate discussion and consensus building onthese issues. It will also encourage such agencies to advise and assist VOsto adopt norms that they find acceptable and useful. The Government willrecognize excellence in governance among VOs by publicizing bestpractices.6.3 Training is a crucial requirement for people working in the voluntary sector.However, this is often neglected on account of limited availability of goodquality training courses that are reasonably priced. The Government willsupport and encourage organizations that train aspirants to enter thevoluntary sector, as well as those already working in the sector. It will makeavailable physical facilities currently available with its training institutes as ameasure of such support.116.4 Innovation in institutional, technical and social approaches to developmentproblems is an essential ingredient of voluntary action. The Government willencourage and recognize innovative & pioneering work.6.5 Databases of VOs working in different fields and at different levels are usefulfor communication within the voluntary sector, as well as between thevoluntary sector and the public & private sector. The Government willcommission suitable agencies to prepare and update such databases.6.6 Information on Government policies and programmes is often difficult for VOsto access. The websites of various Government agencies will be re-designedto provide links to key documents and databases, including those related toproject funding schemes.6.7 The Government will encourage involvement of volunteers in public services,such as, at family welfare centers, primary health centers, hospitals, schools,vocational training centers, sanitation campaigns, etc.This National Policy on the Voluntary Sector-2007 is the beginning of a process toevolve a new working relationship between the Government and the VoluntarySector, without affecting the autonomy and identity of VOs.12Website: www.cana-india.orgDr.K.I.Jacob, B.Sc.,M.B.B.S.,P.hd., Chief Executive,St.Paul's Trust,D/No. 5-3-4, Opp. M.R.O. Office,Samalkot - 533 440Phone: 0884 - 2327 634Fax: 0884 - 2329 699
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