The registration of 5,933 NGOs under the External Contributions Control Act (FCRA) expired on 31 December 2021, for failing to apply for renewal before the due date or the Department of Home Affairs (MHA) rejected their applications.
Sources said FCRA’s registration of 5,789 NGOs was terminated due to their failure to apply for renewals before the December 31 deadline. “The remaining, which had applied for renewal, were refused, as MHA found their operations or accounts to be in violation of FCRA”, sources said.
“The NGOs which did not apply for renewal had been sent multiple reminders by the ministry, but they did not apply,” an MHA official stated.
According to sources in MHA, 12,989 NGOs applied for renewal of their registration between September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2021. “Of these, we have rejected applications of over 170 NGOs for various irregularities,” an MHA official said. Applications of other NGOs were being processed, the official said.
Oxfam India and the IMA are among NGOs whose renewal applications were not accepted by MHA.
Sources in Oxfam India approved that they had applied for renewal of their FCRA registration but were rejected by MHA.
Dr. Jayesh Lele who is the honorary general secretary of IMA, stated, “IMA has already applied for the renewal of its FCRA registration, and we have not received any communication on what has happened about the application.”
However, the IMA’s name remains on MHA’s list of associations whose FCRA registration has expired.
During the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the IMA had on several occasions criticized the government’s stated lack of action.
Due to several reasons, which included the pandemic and amendments got into FCRA by the government in 2020, apart from the foreigners’ division of MHA being short-staffed, the ministry has been unable to process renewal applications of NGOs at a good pace. In this regard, the ministry has extended the validity thrice of expired registrations.
It first planned to extend the validity of NGOs whose FCRA registration was expiring from 29th September 2020 until 31st May 2021. It was then further extended to 30th September 2021. It was again extended to 31st December 2021.
It was again extended on Friday until 31st March 2022.
“These extensions are for NGOs who have applied for renewal before their registration has expired,” an official stated. As for NGOs which does not certainly apply for renewal before their registration is due for the lapse, “their registrations are deemed to have lapsed” the official further added.
In total, FCRA registration of 12,580 NGOs ended over the years due to failure to apply on time or the Department rejecting their applications. From Delhi only, these include the Oxfam India Trust; Jamia Milia Islamia; The Times Of India Relief Fund; Times Foundation; Vishwa Dharmayatan (founded by Chandraswami); Maharishi Ayurveda Pratishthan; Indian Medical Association; Indira Gandhi National Center For Arts; Medical Council of India; India Islamic Cultural Center; Nehru Memorial Museum & Library; Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi; Press Institute Of India; Delhi Public School Society; JNU Nuclear Science Center; India Habitat Center; Lady Shri Ram College for Women; Delhi College of Engineering (Delhi NCT Government); and the Tehelka Foundation, among several others.
On 25th December 2021, the MHA did not accept to renew the registration of Missionaries of Charity under FCRA citing “adverse inputs”. The NGO that was founded by Mother Teresa, had applied for renewal before the due date of 31st October 2021 when its registration was almost expiring.