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New Delhi: The HRD Ministry today clarified that the institutions created through an Act of Parliament do not need an FCRA licence to receive foreign funds.

The Home Ministry has cancelled the FCRA licences of several hundred organisations, including DU, JNU and IIT Delhi, for failing to file annual returns for five consecutive years.

"Institutions created through an Act of Parliament are exempt from filing returns as they are covered under the annual government audit," a senior HRD ministry official said.

Citing Section 50 of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) 2010, the official said the statutory bodies created though central or state Acts are exempt from the FCRA.

They are required to have their accounts compulsorily audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, he added.

"IIT Delhi was filing returns even after the completion of audit," he said.

The institutions whose FCRA licences have been cancelled include: JNU, DU, IGNOU, IIT Delhi, Panjab University, Indian Council Of Agricultural Research, Gargi College and Lady Irwin College.

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Supreme Court Bar Association, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Armed Forces Flag Day Fund, School Of Planning & Architecture, Delhi and FICCI Socio Economic Development Foundation, Doon School Old Boys Association, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, Dr Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia International Trust, and Co- ordinating Voluntary Adoption Resource Agency have also been barred from receiving donations from abroad and their FCRA registrations cancelled.

The official said there was no information or notice about "non-filing of returns or any other compliance pending".

The organisations whose FCRA licences have been cancelled are mostly societies, NGOs and trusts, he said.

"Names of statutory centrally funded institutions, which are exempt from filing returns, figure in the list," he added.

IIT Delhi had yesterday claimed that there were "procedural lapses" in the cancellation of its licence.

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According to norms, no organisation is allowed to receive funds from abroad unless it is registered under the FCRA.

It is mandatory under the law for such organisations to submit income and expenditure statements to the government annually else their registration is cancelled.

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