Listen to this article:
New Delhi: The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) registration of the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), an organisation founded by Mother Theresa, was renewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on January 7, according to reports.
The ministry had earlier rejected the organisation’s application to renew the registration, citing “adverse inputs” that it had received. It is not yet clear why the ministry has reversed its decision.
According to the Indian Express, the new FCRA certificate will be valid till the end of 2026. The newspaper also said that according to annual reports submitted by the MoC, it had received Rs 425.86 crore in the past five years in foreign donations and over Rs 1,099 crore in the last 15 years from foreign sources.
The NGO was set up in 1950 by Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
The renewal comes days after the ministry refused the organisation’s application for renewal of its FCRA registration on December 25 on the grounds that some “adverse inputs were noticed” in its application and that it did not meet certain “eligibility conditions under FCRA 2010 and Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRR) 2011.”
On January 1, the FCRA registration for around 6,000 entities lapsed, which included educational institutions like Jamia Millia Islamia and IIT Delhi and charitable organisations such as Oxfam India. An MHA official noted that these institutions had not filed renewal applications for the registrations which lapsed with the start of the new year.
The MoC, however, was not one of these organisations as it had applied for renewal, but the decision was categorically to refuse the request. The same was observed for 179 entities in the country.
No reason has been provided as to why the application has now been accepted.
The MoC, according to Vicar General, Archdiocese of Calcutta, Father Dominic Gomes, has over 22,000 direct beneficiaries and dependents whose aid was temporarily blocked by the MHA’s earlier decision. It joined a long list of NGOs whose activities were disrupted by the Union government’s decision to amend the FCRA last year.
Yet, despite several RTI applications and questions regarding the changes, the MHA’s rationale remains opaque.