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NNWN/22-03-2022

The Home Ministry’s decision to bar the Hewlett Foundation from donating funds to any Indian NGOs without prior government’s approval has sent clear signals to foreign funding agencies or philanthropic institutions not to violate law of the land. With this, Hewlett foundation has joined the list of ten foreign donors that have been barred from funding Indian NGOs. These donors are from US, Europe and Australia.

 Ministry of Home Affairs has placed the US based foundation under 'Prior Reference Category’ PRC under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA). The MHA is the final authority to decide whether or not the foreign fund will be allowed to be credited to the account of the Indian NGO concerned. Henceforth, Last year, around ten foreign donors were included in the list.

The US based donor is one of the top American philanthropic institutions that gave over 465 million US dollars to scores of organisations globally, including in India, in 2020. The Hewlett Foundation gives funds to the NGOs working in the fields of education, environment, gender equity and governance. The allegations against the US donor is that funds donated by the Hewlett Foundation were used by the Indian NGOs for purposes not allowed under the FCRA. What are names of NGOs and where are these NGOs based and what did they do with funds provided by the Hewlett foundation. Established in 1966 by engineer and entrepreneur William R.  was the co-founder of the global technology giant Hewlett-Packard (HP).

All NGOs which take foreign funds have to maintain an account at the State Bank of India's parliament street branch in New Delhi. Under the PRC conditions, the bank has to inform the MHA if there is any fund transfer from abroad before being credited to the account concerned. The prohibitive action against the Hewlett Foundation has been taken since November 2021 as the funds donated by the Hewlett Foundation were used by .. by the Indian NGOs for climate awareness campaigns, an activity not allowed under the FCRA rules.