Kanpur: The union
ministry of home affairs (MHA) has barred Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT)-Kanpur from accepting foreign donations, citing
the premier institute's laid-back attitude in submitting documents
supporting the usage of foreign funds, an official said.
The institute has been barred under the provisions of Foreign
Contribution Registration Act (FCRA), 2010, with immediate effect,
informed sources said.
The prime objective of the act is to "regulate the acceptance and
utilisation of foreign contribution and foreign hospitality by
persons and associations working in the important areas of
While IIT-K authorities refused to react to the development "at
this point", MHA has officially put the institute's name in the
list of organisations whose FCRA registration has been cancelled.
In the list for 2011-12, which carries 4,139 such institutions, 72
are from Uttar Pradesh.
MHA officials said the move to scrap the FCRA registration was
"necessitated" after these top educational institutions failed to
"submit satisfactory supporting documents of the fund usage".
"The IIT-Kanpur has been very lethargic in supporting the usage of
these donations in their annual receipts and hence we were forced
to act in such a manner," an official said.
Besides IIT-K, FCRA registration of eight other premier
institutions in the country, including Jamia Milia Islamia and
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), has also been scrapped.
While no official communique was received by the institute,
officials said they have been "sounded on the matter".
"We are aware about the matter... We are positive that this
decision would not, in any way, hamper our growth," a faculty
member said, adding that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)
audits the financial transactions of IIT-K.
However, a senior faculty member admitted that the decision "would
certainly create a lot of problems".
"For many researches and other activities, foreign funding by our
alumni is very crucial. MHA's decision will hit us for sure," he
Another IIT-K professor said that last year the institute was
exempted from such requirements as pressed by the government on
the ground that the CAG was a "competent authority" thus foreign
funding could not be stopped.
"Why did they bail everyone earlier and why are they hounding us
now," the professor asked.
IIT-K, one of the foremost institutes in the country for higher
education, receives generous grants from its alumni and overseas
organisations for research and other activities.
According to MHA officials, IIT-K (FCRA registration
No.R-136530050) received foreign funding amounting to about Rs.6
crore in the previous financial year.
In 2010-11, the institute's planning and resource generation
department received a donation of Rs.4.08 crore from 772 donors of
which 501 were domestic donors while 271 donors were from foreign
countries, official said.
Many in IIT-K see the MHA decision as yet another "deliberate
attempt" to push the premier institute into "submission before the
central government's authority". Earlier, they alleged it was the
move to hold common entrance tests.
(Mohit Dubey can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)