Union Home Minister launched revamped website for FCRA Services

Union Home Minister launched revamped website for FCRA Services 
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh today launched the new revamped website in order to substantially improve upon the existing services for Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules (FCRA) under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Shri Rajnath Singh hoped that the new initiative will offer the genuine applicants seamless services of FCRA with adequate ease and facilitation. Simultaneously, the amended rules (Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Rules, 2015) are also being notified. 

The Union Home Minister said that the launch will make all services being offered under FCRA, 2010 online reducing human interface to minimum. All kinds of application forms can be filled online, documents can be uploaded online and even payment of fee etc. can be made online. All types of queries and replies to the applicants will be made through emails. Even digitally signed Registration Certificates, Prior Permission sanctions, etc. will be issued to the applicants through emails.

Various details of changes being introduced are given as below:-

• All FCRA services are made online and human interface has been reduced to minimum

• Applications for registration, prior permission and renewal of registration under FCRA, 2010 will be accepted online

• All documents with the application will be uploaded online

• All intimations will be required under FCRA, 2010 including annual returns accepted online

• Fee for various services will be paid through payment gateway

• The condition of applying for renewal one year before the expiry of existing registration certificate for associations implementing multi-year project is removed

• To make the receipt and utilisation of foreign contribution by association transparent, associations are required to place the annual returns and such data quarterly on their website or website as prescribed by the Central Govt.

• All FCRA designated bank accounts and Utilisation Accounts will have to be brought on the online platform of Public Finance Management Service (PFMS) of Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance.

• Certificate of registration/ renewal and grant of prior permission will be sent online and digitally signed.

• All queries with the applicant will be made through e-mail/ Messaging Services

• Simplification of various forms and application procedure has been done.

• Number of application/ intimation forms reduced from 10 (ten) to 6 (six)

• Number of documents to be attached with applications has been significantly reduced.

• Filing hard copy of annual return has been dispensed with

• The condition of submission of certificate from Chartered Accountant and audited statement of accounts with Annual Return is removed in respect of associations who do not receive or utilise foreign contribution in a financial year • Requirement of seeking prior permission for change of name, aims & objects, address of the association, change of bank/ account, change in Governing Body members, etc. is now relaxed to only intimation through FCRA online service

• List of purposes for which foreign contribution can be utilised rationalised and reduced as per the FCRA, 2010

• The periodicity for uploading the details of foreign contribution received and utilised by the associations on their website or the FCRA Website will be kept as three months.

• Information regarding facebook page, twitter handle of the office bearers of the associations is optional.

• Information regarding facebook page, twitter handle and other personal details of the office bearers of the donor organisation is also optional.

• Seeking details of functionaries of the association in annual return has been dropped.

• Declaration and undertaking in the application for registration, prior permission and renewal, and also in annual return has been simplified

Earlier, it may be recalled that the ‘Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled by Electronic Travel Authorization’ (TVoA-ETA) was another initiative by the Ministry of Home Affairs launched on November 27, 2014 to facilitate the travel of foreign nationals to India. Its name was changed to e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) on April 15, 2015. 
“Operation Smile-II” to start from 1st January, 2016 throughout the country 
The Government of India has requested the States/UTs to start “Operation Smile-II” from 1st January, 2016 to 31st January, 2016 to be rolled out throughout the country as a follow up of the earlier campaign to rescue/rehabilitate the missing children. In this regard, the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi has written a letter to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories for whole hearted participation in ‘Operation Smile-II’ in their respective State/UT.

Earlier all States/UTs were advised to take up a one month campaign titled ‘Operation Smile’ in the month of January, 2015 to rescue/rehabilitate the missing children. Similarly, another dedicated campaign titled ‘Operation Muskaan’ was launched in the month of July, 2015 throughout the country.

The States have so far reported that 9146 children under Operation ‘Smile’ and 19742 children under Operation “Muskaan” were rescued/rehabilitated. A large number of missing children have been reunited with their families which is a remarkable achievement made by the field offices. In order to motivate the policemen to take up such causes with sincerity and empathy, 44 Police Officers from different States/UTs who had played a commendable role during Operation “Smile” in January 2015 were recognized and rewarded by the Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh during the National Conference on Anti Human Trafficking held in New Delhi on 7th October, 2015.

Various activities are being undertaken with respect to the rolling out of “Operation Smile-II”. During this operation, all children residing in shelter homes, platforms, bus stands, roads, religious places, etc. are to be screened by trained police personnel. Before 1st January, 2016, the Police Personnel from each state are to be properly trained in methodology to extract information from such children tactfully without their getting intimidated, as well as in various provisions of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ Act, Protection of Child Right Act, relevant sections of Cr.PC & IPC and Advisories issued by MHA etc. To know the magnitude of the problem, data with full details of number of cases of missing children will be maintained and shared at intra-State and Inter-state level. Information about Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) would be prepared and shared among all rescue teams and stakeholders.

During the operation, the particulars of such identified children will be uploaded on the 'Missing child' portal of the Ministry of Women and Child Development by the respective State Police. Rehabilitation measures whenever needed are to be taken up in coordination with the other line Departments like Department of Women & Child Development, Police, Labour, etc so that scope of re-victimization is eliminated. It has also been emphasized that public awareness should be increased by way of national campaign, advertisement on national media, etc.

The States/UTs have been advised to extend all possible cooperation during inter-state rescue operations, to ensure proper provision of availability of food, clothes, medical-aid, professional translators, psychiatrists and shelter homes for rehabilitation/reintegration well before the rescue operation and to ensure that such operations are conducted in strict compliance of the existing legal provisions. 

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