The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that the International Solar Alliance will no longer be treated as a foreign source of funding for Indian non-governmental organisations and other entities under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act. The announcement was made in a notification issued on Tuesday.

Unidentified ministry officials said the decision was taken to increase India’s use of solar energy in meeting energy needs, PTI reported.

The International Solar Alliance is a treaty based inter-governmental alliance of 122 sunshine-rich countries that lie fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Their adoption of solar energy will help reduce the use of fossil fuels and combat climate change.

India, which initiated the alliance, and France co-hosted the first International Solar Alliance summit in New Delhi in February last year.

The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, which was passed in 2010, seeks to regulate the foreign donations given to NGOs and other entities. However, these entities can accept foreign donations only after clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The FCRA certificate has to be renewed every five years.

In December 2016, 20,000 NGOs were barred from receiving foreign funding for allegedly violating provisions of the Act. In 2015, the government cancelled the FCRA registration of Greenpeace India.