Top educational institutes such as the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management, and Indira Gandhi National Open University are among 5,922 associations that received show cause notices from the Ministry of Home Affairs for failing to file their annual returns for five consecutive years, PTI reported.
These associations or non-government organisations are at the risk of losing their licence to receive foreign donations under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.
In May this year, more than 18,000 NGOs were given a one-time opportunity by the MHA to provide details of their annual returns by June 14, without having to pay any penalty. The MHA said that despite sending regular reminders to these organisations on emails and SMS alerts, several have failed to file their details.
“However, in spite of sufficient and adequate notice, it has been observed that 5,922 associations have not uploaded their annual returns for three or more than three years within the stipulated time given in the notice,” the MHA circular read.
The associations were asked to submit their annual returns for five years – between 2010 to 2011 fiscal year and 2014 to 2015 fiscal year. The notice was served to them on July 8 and they have been given time till July 23 to file their replies.
The list of organisations also include religious organisations such as Sri Ramakrishna Sevashram, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Young Mens Christian Association and Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust, among others. Delhi Technological University, Punjabi University in Patiala, Indira Gandhi National Centre For the Arts are among those who have been issued the show cause notice. International rights group Oxfam also appears on the list.
In December 2016, 20,000 NGOs were barred from receiving foreign funding for allegedly violating provisions of the Act. Opposition leaders had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision. They had urged the Centre to refrain from indulging in vindictive politics by “selectively” cancelling the foreign funding licences of NGOs that are critical of government policies. A number of civil society organisations and activists, too, had accused the government of using the Act to suppress dissenting voices.