New Delhi: Non profits are required to register with the Niti Aayog’s portal NGO Darpan, according to the draft guidelines for regulating non profits and voluntary organizations placed before the Supreme Court by the Centre on Wednesday.
“The existing portal will be strengthened to provide a snapshot of the organization’s ongoing and past work so that the authority granting funds can check," additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the court.
A bench comprising chief justice J.S. Khehar and justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate M.L. Sharma seeking regulation of non profits receiving government funding.
Over 3.2 million non profit and voluntary organizations are registered in India.
“This can be a good move to weed out fly-by-night organizations, if implemented correctly. But our past experience with the government does not give us hope," said Harsh Jaitli, CEO of Voluntary Action Network of India (VANI), an umbrella organization for grassroot non profits.
Organizations receiving funds from the government are required to register with the Niti Aayog on the ‘Darpan’ platform, which is an upgraded version of a similar initiative started by the erstwhile Planning Commission in 2006.
However, registering on the Planning Commission’s platform was not mandatory, while registering on Darpan has been made mandatory. Darpan also requires a number of new disclosures like the Aadhaar number and PAN numbers of chief executives of not-for-profit organizations.
Jaitli added that not-for-profit organizations working in the development sector have been campaigning for a separate law and policy for themselves since 2001. “At present all kinds of entities from charitable religious and temple trusts, educational societies, hospitals and even sports clubs are under law seen as not-for-profit organsiations… There needs to be a clear definition for these different kinds of entities because their operations and functions are different," he said.