Monday, 5 June 2017

Niti Aayog & NGO-DARPAN - Do NGOs need to Register?

Niti Aayog & NGO-DARPAN - 
This article is in response to a number of queries that we have recently received from within the voluntary sector regarding Niti Aayog and whether it is mandatory for charitable organisations / NGOs to register themselves on the NGO-Darpan platform.

What is Niti Aayog?
Niti Aayog came into existence on 1st January 2015 when the Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi abolished the 65 years old Planning Commission. It is “The National Institution for Transforming India”, a premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – ‘Team India Hub’ and the ‘Knowledge and Innovation Hub’. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities.
NGO-Darpan (NGO Mirror) is a platform that provides space for interface between Voluntary Organisations / NGOs and key Government Ministries / Departments / Government Bodies. It is a free facility offered by NITI Aayog in association with National Informatics Centre to bring about greater partnership between government & voluntary sector and foster better transparency, efficiency and accountability.
This portal enables VOs / NGOs to enroll centrally and thus facilitates creation of a repository of information about VOs / NGOs, Sector / State wise. The Portal facilitates VOs / NGOs to obtain a system generated Unique ID, as and when signed.

The Unique ID is mandatory for NGOs wanting to apply for grants under various schemes of Ministries/Departments/Governments Bodies.
As of the moment 28,845 NGOs enrolled on this portal.

Is it Mandatory to Register on NGO-Darpan?
In a recent hearing, the Supreme Court of India had asked the Central Government to explore the possibility of a new law to regulate fund utilization by NGOs who receive government grants. However, instead, the government has framed guidelines requiring NGOs and other voluntary organisations to register with Niti Aayog in order to receive funding under various government schemes and thus, Niti Aayog is now appointed as the nodal agency for the purpose of registration and accreditation of NGOs/voluntary organisations seeking funds from the government.

NGO-Darpan platform is an upgraded version of a similar initiative started by the former Planning Commission in 2006. However, back then, registering on the Planning Commission’s platform was not mandatory, whereas now registering on NGO-Darpan has been made mandatory for NGOs aspiring to secure funding support under various Government Schemes.

NGO-Darpan requires several disclosures including the Aadhaar number and PAN of chief executives of NGOs.

Conclusion: Every NGO need not register on NGO-Darpan. However, registering on NGO-Darpan has been made mandatory for NGOs aspiring to secure funding support under various Government Schemes.

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