Issues related to Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010
- Recently, India clarified before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that action has been taken against some civil society organizations for indulging in illegal activities.
- The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India’s human rights record is being conducted at the UNHRC. During this review some members have expressed concern on issues related to India’s Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010.
- India stressed that the activities of human rights defenders, journalists etc. should be in accordance with the law of the land.
- Through the UPR, member states of the United Nations can review the human rights records of all other member states. It aims to improve human rights conditions globally.
- An intergovernmental working group of the United Nations Human Rights Council edits the UPR.
These reviews are done on the following basis:
- the country being reviewed,
- information provided by him,
- Reports of independent human rights experts and groups,
- reports of other United Nations institutions, and
- Information received from national human rights organizations, NGOs, etc.
What is FCRA?
- FCRA regulates foreign contributions to ensure that such contributions do not adversely affect internal security.
- FCRA was enacted for the first time in the year 1976. In the year 2010, it was revised after the adoption of new measures to regulate foreign contribution.
- FCRA is applicable to all associations, groups and NGOs receiving foreign contributions. It is mandatory for all such NGOs to get themselves registered under FCRA.
Recent Amendments in FCRA
- Submission of Aadhaar number has been made mandatory for office bearers of NGOs for registration.
- All foreign contributions are to be received in a bank account opened at the main branch of State Bank of India at New Delhi.
- Certain individuals/organizations are prohibited from accepting any foreign contribution.
- Including candidates participating in elections, newspaper editors or publishers, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, political parties, etc.
Source – The Hindu