Oct 13, 2020
In this episode we talk to Ingrid Srinath, Director of the
Centre for Social Impact & Philanthropy at Ashoka University
about philanthropy and civil society in India and the impact of new
restrictions have come in as part of the Foreign Contributions
Regulation Act 2020 (FCRA 2020). (Disclaimer: the views expressed
are Ingrid’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of her
employer, or of CAF).
The FCRA 2020
- What is the FCRA 2020?
- Why are CSOs in India concerned about the impact it will
- How much existing funding will be affected by the new
- What is the rationale from government? Does this stand up to
- Has the Covid-19 pandemic played any role in precipitating this
move on the part of the Indian government?
- What is the rationale for prohibiting onward granting? Why is
this a particular cause for concern?
- Will this particularly harm smaller organisations and less
- As part of the new FCRA the Indian government has stipulated
that no more than 20% of a foreign contribution can be spent on
“administrative expenses”. How are these defined? What is the
rationale for this?
- Will this new limitation on administrative expenses make it
harder to invest in infrastructure, digital capabilities,
- The new law also requires CSOs in receipt of FCRA funds to do
so in a dedicated bank account at a New Delhi branch of the State
Bank of India- what is the rationale for this?
The wider context for Civil Society & Philanthropy in
- What is the overall makeup of the Indian civil society sector,
in terms of formalised vs informal orgs, large vs small, different
cause areas etc.?
- What is the attitude of the Indian government towards civil
society in general? What is the attitude towards CSO advocacy and
- How has the Covid pandemic affected Indian civil society?
- What is the infrastructure for civil society in India like? Are
there gaps, and if so where?
- What is the history and current context for philanthropy in
India? E.g. how much HNWI giving is there? How much mass market
giving? What role does corporate philanthropy play? What role do
- What kind of domestic causes receive philanthropic funding in
- What is the attitude of the Indian government towards
- What is the attitude of the Indian public towards
- What kind of philanthropic responses to the covid-19 crisis
have we seen in India?
- Do recent critiques of philanthropy in the US and elsewhere
resonate in the Indian context? (E.g. re that philanthropy
exacerbates inequality, that it is anti-democratic, that some
source of wealth are “tainted” etc.).