Business Today


Print Edition: Apr 1, 2012

Fund of Worry
Four non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Tamil Nadu face police investigation for allegedly diverting funds towards organising protests against the proposed nuclear power plant at Koodankulam. A primer on NGO funding:

Sources: The 3.3 million NGOs in the country - a 2009 government estimate - get funds from both foreign and domestic donors, both governments and private agencies.

Foreign funding: NGOs seeking overseas funds have to take permission from the Home Ministry under the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The ministry conducts its own checks before providing it. The FCRA has existed since 1976. But a new, more stringent FCRA became operational from May 1 last year, under which, for instance, NGOs engaging in any political activity are barred from getting foreign funds. The ministry estimates that foreign funds worth around Rs 110 billion are currently being accessed by around 20,000 NGOs annually.

Domestic funding: Government funding to NGOs is largely channelled through the Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), an autonomous body attached to the Rural Development ministry. Many corporate houses also fund NGOs, as part of their corporate social responsibility activities.

Ultimate Easter Egg
Is it an egg? Is it a chocolate? It is both. An Easter egg to be auctioned next month - prepared by Britain's renowned chocolate maker William Curley - is expected to set a record as the world's most expensive non-jewelled egg. The current record is 1,000. This is part of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt, being held for charity, with 200 Easter eggs being hidden across London for people to hunt down.

A Bridge Too Far
Young men of Paharpur village in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh have a hard time finding brides. Girls living elsewhere mostly refuse to shift there. Reason: the lack of a bridge over the adjoining river Nakatiya, and the abject condition of the link roads. When the river rises during the rains, it floods the roads turning the village into an island. Bachelors from the village have had at least 100 marriage proposals rejected.

Missing at Birth
The latest report of the Registrar General of India - for 2007 - shows that 25 per cent of babies born in India are still not registered at birth. But this is an improvement over 1996 when only 54.4 per cent of births were registered. Bihar has the worst record with 75 per cent of its births not being officially recorded.

Compiled by Basudha Das

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