Funding for NGOs in research, publications, monitoring – Innovative Ideas!

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GRANT-IN-AID FOR RESEARCH, PUBLICATIONS AND MONITORING

1. Scope : 1.01The projects sponsored by the Department of Women & Child Development will be in the fields of welfare and development of women and children including Food and Nutrition aspects. However, priority within these broad areas will be given to research projects of an applied nature keeping in consideration plan policies and programmes, and social problems requiring urgent public intervention. The grants will cover (i) research including action research for the development of innovative programmes or for testing the feasibility and efficacy of programmes and services ; and (ii) workshops/seminars/conferences which will be helpful in formulating research proposals, disseminating research findings or in social situational analysis likely to be helpful in planning, programming and review of implementation, (iii) monitoring of programmes and (iv) training of personnel, (v) promotion of innovative activities. Grants (and expenditure) under the scheme cover the following categories : (a)Grants for research (including action research) ; (b)Grants to individual scholar for research studies ; and (c)Grants for Workshops/Seminar/Conferences (d)Grants for monitoring activities (e)Grants for training of personnel (f)Grants for promotion of innovative activities All social science disciplines will be recognized for sponsoring projects. 1.02The detailed rules will be as follows : 2. Research Grants : 2.01 (A) : Grant under this category can be made to an institution or a group of institutions for carrying out a specific research project with one or more scholars directing it. These institutions will include universities, research institutes, and voluntary organizations, professional associations in the field of women and child development and similar organizations/agencies which have the capacity to do research. Institutions set up and fully funded by Central Government/State Governments/Public Sector Undertakings will also be eligible. The voluntary organization should have 3 (three) years experience after registration. It may also be given to an institution for a project which is of the nature of collective effort of a group of scholars writing papers on different aspects of a problem under a broad framework by the editors. Assistance can also be given for a group of projects to be undertaken sequentially by an institution(s). But in this case, the financial sanction of the Department of Women and Child Development (mentioned as Department hereafter) will be given only to one project at a time. Research projects on a specific topic carried out simultaneously by several institutions following a common framework can also be entertained for purpose of financial support. Professional and Consulting agencies/Organisations engaged in research activities will be extended assistance for conducting qualitative research studies. The selection procedure for organizations undertaking qualitative work will however not be governed by general norms, but would be based on technical proposals on competitive basis.

2 | P a g eThe Department can also undertake research activities itself. 2.01 (B)Eligibility : Non University organizations registered under any statute in India e.g. Societies Act, Trust Act, Co-operatives Act, Companies Act etc. normally with three years experience after registration would be eligible for assistance, besides all UGC approved academic institutions engaged in research activities and scholars, under individual research category. 2.02Limits to the number of projects to be sanctioned :The decision as to the exact number of research projects to be sanctioned to any organization will depend upon the strength and quality of staff, facilities available, past performance in research and the research projects already in hand.2.03 Research project : The project should be in the name of the Project Director, who should submit it through the head of the institution where he is working. The head of the institution shall inform (i) whether a similar proposal was submitted to another organization for financial assistance and, if so, the name of the organization and its observations and (ii) particulars of the research projects on which the person whose name has been given as Project Director of the proposed project is currently engaged or is likely to be engaged in the near future. 2.04 Projects are granted to individuals who will have the responsibility for completing them subject to the condition that the scholar should submit a bond in favour of President of India. 2.05 Proposals for research grants will be self-contained and prepared in accordance with the guidelines given later. 2.06 The Project Director will submit five copies of the project, complete in all respects. 2.06.1 The Project Director will enclose : (i)His bio-data in the prescribed proforma, and (ii)A detailed note on the work done so far on the subject and the precise contribution which the research project is expected to make to the existing body of knowledge. 2.07 Items covered under the grants : The following items are covered under the grants : (i)Salaries and allowances of the project staff (research and action component), other than the Director who will be honorary. (N.B. : The salary of peons will not be sanctioned as a part of expenditure on a research project. Any expenditure on this account may however, be met out of the overhead charges mentioned under item (viii) below). (ii)Travel undertaken in relation to the project (iii)Consultancy charges (iv)Printing (v)Equipment and books (vi)Computer and machine tabulation costs (vii)Contingency (viii)Overhead charges. 2.08.1 Components viz. meetings/camps, training, delivery of services on a limited scale will additionally be covered for action research projects.

3 | P a g e(Note : Payment with retrospective effect for work already done before the submission of the research proposal will not be permissible). 2.08.2 Pre-conceptualisation activities like preparation of specialized papers etc. proper designing of projects for improving/implementation of any scheme, with the assistance of external experts will be extended. Expenses for discussions needed with experts for formulating common designs of multicentric studies and for developing schedules during the pre project stage for use in such studies. 2.08.3 The scheme provide for pre-sanction discussions, pre-sanction evaluation of the capacity of the applicant institution which will be done by reputed Organisations to verify the capabilities and claims of the applicants under various schemes of the Department. Periodic on site monitoring of the implementation of the projects sponsored and schemes implemented by the Department would also be funded through competent individuals and institutions. 2.08.4 The following explanations are given in respect of the above items to serve as guidelines in the preparation of financial estimates of the research projects. Items (i) Salaries and allowances of the project staff : (a) The Project Director shall not be entitled to any salary, or allowances (other than TA/DA) from the project funds. Project Director will be honorary, however, in exceptional cases, honorarium may be considered subject to the extent of 10-15% of the total salary component of an approved study project. (b) The remuneration, mode of recruitment and conditions of service of the staff employed in the project, shall be the same as those of the Institution to which the research project is sanctioned. In exceptional cases, remuneration as per slabs or renowned national bodies may be allowed. (c) The staff appointed for the research project should be professionally qualified and confirm to the standards laid down by the Institution for similar positions and such model qualification as the Department may law down. (d) The Institution will inform the Department as soon as possible, of all appointments made for the project, the expenditure on which is to be met from the grant of the Department. (e) All persons appointed to work on the project, and paid from the project funds, will be the employees of the Institution concerned. (f) All employees appointed under the project will be full time and used exclusively for the project work. If any part-time employees are intended, this should be done in consultation with the Department. (g)Items (ii) Travel : As per project requirement and justification and GOI norms.

Eat with It and Then Eat It – Now Edible Cutlery!

When Narayana Peesapati became aware of the harmful effects of plastic, not only to the environment but also to our health when used as cutlery, he was stunned. But he did not stop there. He came up with a solution that most of us wouldn’t have thought of, and actually made it happen!

Whenever I travelled, I used to feel terribly guilty about using plastic cutlery because it created so much plastic waste. Why couldn’t we create an alternative?” asks 48-year-old Narayana Peesapati, the founder and Managing Director of Bakey’s Food Private Limited. Today, he has found a way to replace plastic cutlery with edible cutlery.

Ok, so plastic is bad for the environment. Everyone knows that. But what’s wrong with not washing plastic cutlery and putting it in one’s mouth? Narayana says it is because we “abuse and misuse plastic; plastic should not be applied to food.” He has said as much in this talk, where he gives many reasons as to why plastic, especially cutlery, should be taken out of our lives. Some of these reasons have to do with the manufacturing process for plastic cutlery (explained further down) and others with hygiene.

So does he have an alternative then? He does, and Narayana has been developing it since 2010. Bakey’s manufactures edible cutlery, including spoons in different shapes and chopsticks.

Edible spoons
Edible spoons

Bakey’s edible cutlery is made from a mix of jowar (sorghum), rice and wheat flour. The spoons and chopsticks do not get soggy if placed in water and food. They only soften after some time (10-15 minutes), and thus can be eaten easily at the end of the meal. Even if discarded, they decompose within five to six days, if not eaten by insects or rodents.

The idea about how to make the cutlery struck Narayana during a flight from Ahmedabad to Hyderabad, when he saw a passenger using a piece of Gujarati khakra as a spoon to eat dessert.

Why is plastic bad for your health?

Narayana Peesapaty at a Bakey's stall.
Narayana Peesapaty at a Bakey’s stall.

Plastic consists of many chemical components which are toxic and carcinogenic, and can leech into food. Narayana, who has been to several manufacturing units of plastic cutlery in the country, has observed that the way in which it is manufactured is not very safe for use with food.

n this very competitive market, he says, hygiene has become the first casualty of cost cutting. The process of cleaning the cutlery by manufacturing units in India that he visited, involved just a rag of cloth being used to wipe the final products that came out of the mould in which molten plastic was injected.

A thought even scarier than this struck Narayana when he noticed that in spite of such a huge consumption of plastic spoons, they are nowhere to be seen in the same numbers after disposal. This, he found, was because they were being reused, which makes plastic cutlery a source of bacterial contamination as well.

Why edible cutlery could be good for you

The spoons do not get soggy in food.
The spoons do not get soggy in food.

Prior to becoming a manufacturer of edible cutlery, Narayana was a researcher at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad. Here, he undertook research on groundwater management, studying why groundwater levels were reducing. He concluded that producing less rice and more dryland crops like jowar would help stabilize the levels of groundwater. It was soon after this that he started thinking about creating a huge market for jowar, and this is one of the main reasons why jowar is the chief ingredients in edible cutlery.

With the product being widely acclaimed, Narayana has been able to communicate the ill effects of plastic to a wide audience.

Bakey’s cutlery has made a mark in the international market as well, with orders coming in from the US and UK.

Edible chopsticks
Edible chopsticks

Being a new concept, working on the idea was a challenge initially, as there was no established technology. Everything had to be developed with learning and research. According to this report, it cost Narayana more than Rs. 60 lakhs to develop the prototype machines and moulds and get started (he had to sell two homes he owned to raise the money). But one of the bigger challenges now is to create an awareness about the harmful health effects of plastic. The use of plastic is also a behavioural issue according to Narayana—people accustomed to using plastic products will not find it easy to switch to edible cutlery.

Other than selling the cutlery directly from their website, Bakey’s also sets up stalls at places like organic bazaars and exhibitions. The company is only breaking even as of now and has not started making a profit, says Narayana.

Once it does, he hopes to develop an automatic machine for manufacturing the cutlery.

Edible dessert spoons
Edible dessert spoons

Based out of Hyderabad, the manufacturing unit is an all-women enterprise, which Narayana’s wife, who is currently working as a director in the company, will soon be taking over.

Patanjali is an NGO! Paying Tax? FMCG or Social Entrepreneurship?

What if Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Was Not an NGO And Paid Corporate Tax?

 

New Delhi: Baba Ramdev’s mega fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm, Patanjali recently collaborated with e-commerce platforms to expand the reach of its products. The Yoga guru also declared his plan to continue Patanjali as a non-governmental organization (NGO). However, what if Patanjali was a regular company that falls under the ambit of corporate tax?

Corporation tax is a tax levied on the net income of the company. Businesses, both private and public, which are registered in India under the Companies Act 1956, are liable to pay corporate tax currently pegged at 30%. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his last Union Budget talked about lowering corporate income tax to 25% in a span of four years for companies registering annual revenue of Rs 50 crore or less. The announcement is yet to be put in practice.

Founded in 2006, Haridwar-based Patanjali Ayurved clocked an annual revenue of Rs 10,561 crore in the financial year end of March 2017. Revenue registered for the financial year 2015-16 was Rs 5,000 crore and Rs 2,007 for the fiscal before that.

The Centre’s total collected tax revenue in the last financial year was Rs 17,10,000 crore. Had Patanjali been paying corporate tax, government revenues would have been close to 17,13,000, an increase of roughly 0.2 percent coming from a single organisation.

However, tax experts explained that there are exemptions and rebates that firms get from tax authorities on account of income generation source shown.

Further, it will be wrong to assume that Patanjali does not pay any tax at all. The basic difference between an NGO and a regular company is non-levy of corporate income tax because an NGO is not supposed to make profits on account of it being a holding company.

“Patanjali is a holding company. Smaller companies under it pay all the taxes for production of ultimate sale of products. Further, Patanjali also pays all other taxes such as service tax etc.,” explained DK Srivastava, chief economic expert, EY, a consultancy.

The Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna-led FMCG company has products across 50 categories such as pantry staples, groceries, nutrition, skin care and toiletries, with haircare and oral care products being the best sellers.

The NGO has currently partnered with eight e-commerce firms, including Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Bigbasket, Netmeds, Grofers and Gurugram-based 1mg.

In addition to being available on the above sites, products will also be sold on Patanjali’s own online marketplace – patanjaliayurved.net.

“At present, Patanjali has an annual production capacity of Rs 50,000 crore,” claimed Baba Ramdev in January 2018.

As claimed by Baba Ramdev during a press conference, Patanjali has created an ecosystem that is capable of settling up to 1 million orders every day. The latest move to launch its own e-commerce operations is reportedly aimed at increasing online sales to around 15% of the company’s total sales.

Now Organic Dresses – Sarees from Pineapple Fibre!

‘Sourcing raw materials is a tough job’

After trying their hand at various eco-friendly fabric materials stained with vegetable dyes, the weavers of Anakaputhur have come out with sarees made out of yarn from pineapple leaves.

The weavers, mostly women, said the raw materials are available in abundance in the neighbouring Kerala, but bringing them here to make an earning is a tough task.

Over the years, weaving had lost its sheen and is now restricted to only to a few families. Some of the families own pit looms to weave dress materials from natural fibres, with some government support.

Great demand

Self-help groups and members of Anakaputhur Jute Weavers Association these days are busy trying to meet the deadline for bulk orders.

According to C. Sekar, president of the association, dresses woven from natural fibres are in great demand in the country and overseas. “Raw fibre is purchased in bulk from growers in Kerala and we have been trying to get it from the northeastern States too. The fibres are cleaned through a strenuous bleaching process. After a very delicate process of removing single strands of the fibre, they are woven into fabrics like any other material,” he explained.

As the fibre has an affinity for colours, attractive designs can be woven, he added.

Self-help groups can be trained and encouraged to take up weaving of natural fibre such as jute and banana, which is quite profitable. The Indian Bank at Anakaputhur had provided assistance to self-help groups in the area, which included nearly a dozen groups involved in weaving jute and banana fibre. The bank was satisfied with the re-payment capacity of the groups and the the finished goods would be sold at exhibitions organised by Central and State agencies promoting handlooms, besides select private firms.

The price of a saree woven using pineapple fibre starts at Rs. 3,000 and it takes a weaver seven to eight days to make one. “If more support in the form of additional funding is offered, the weavers would thrive to earn a decent living,” he said.