ICNL’s resources and information on India.


ICNL works closely with local partners to help build civil society partnerships and provide resources on the non-profit sector and philanthropy in India. These resources include papers on the civil society regulatory framework, a philanthropy law report, and the India Civic Freedom Monitor, which offers a snapshot of Indian laws and various developments relevant to civic space. ICNL also supports efforts to raise awareness around issues related to funding, digital rights, securitization, and other areas affecting civil society in India.

Flag of India (Graphic Credit: Wikimedia)
India flag (credit:

India’s Foreign Contribution Regulation Act

In recent years, India has enacted a number of regulatory measures constricting funding for domestic non-profit organizations, the most well-known of which is the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). The act represents a securitized approach to foreign funding that is out of step with international standards. It has obstructed humanitarian relief efforts in India during the recent COVID-19 surge and other disasters. Our resource page provides analysis, information, and key resources on FCRA.

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Creating a Truly Social Stock Exchange in India

As India, the world’s largest democracy, gears up to construct an SSE, a comprehensive analysis of the experiences, structures, and learnings from SSEs across the world can help civil society, policymakers, and the private sector create a more enabling environment for social organizations. This report written by Samhita in partnership with ICNL, reviews the social stock exchanges of Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Jamaica, the UK, Singapore, and Canada to provide analysis of the recommendations proposed by India’s SSE working group. Read the full report here. 

Young woman on leather couch working at a laptop while browsing her phone (Photo: Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash)

India Digital Freedoms Series

Amidst trends towards authoritarianism and closing civic space, India’s changing landscape calls for attention. This report series, researched and written by the Centre for Internet and Society with support from ICNL,  undertakes an examination of four key topics related to digital rights and civic space in India: internet shutdowns, online censorship, platform governance, and surveillance. Read the full report here

Civic Freedom Monitor


Last updated: 12 September 2022

In an April 2022 decision, the Indian Supreme Court upheld most of the provisions of the restrictive FCRA amendments of Sep [...]

Global Grantmaking Country Notes

In partnership with the Council on Foundations, ICNL maintains reports on thirty-four countries that help U.S grantmakers undertake equivalency determinations for foreign grantees. The reports in this series describe the legal frameworks for nonprofit organizations and provide translations of relevant legislative provisions.

Philanthropy Law Report

Indian culture places great emphasis on giving. The ancient philosophy of Nishkama Karma – “do good without the expectation of getting a reward” – profoundly influences many peoples’ lives. At the national level, the legal framework is considered relatively supportive of civil society, and particularly supportive of philanthropic giving. This report explores the current state of laws and regulations affecting philanthropy, unpacking the history, and the present-day legal environment. It is accompanied by supplemental materials to provide more context on civil society and philanthropy in India.


Growth of Digital Restrictions in India

CCTV at the beach end of VGP 2nd Main Road, Uthandi, Chennai, India (Photo: Timothy A. Gonsalves)
This briefer focuses on surveillance and other digital threats to free expression in India, examining the proliferation of illegal surveillance ... Read More

Freedom of Association and India’s FCRA

Farmers protesting holding India flag (photo credit:
On April 8, 2022, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India issued its judgment in Noel Harper v ... Read More

The Triple Threat to Civil Society in India

Taj Mahal (Photo Credit: Gerard McGovern)
This working paper, by Ingrid Srinath, the Director of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy at Ashoka University, examines ... Read More


Creating a Truly Social Stock Exchange in India

computer with digital bar graph (photo credit:
This report written by Samhita in partnership with ICNL, reviews the social stock exchanges of Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Jamaica, ... Read More

COVID-19, Information Problems, and Digital Surveillance

COVID-19, Information Problems, and Digital Surveillance
In this piece for the Center for Global Development, ICNL Alliance Advisory Council Member Michael Pisa discusses how the use ... Read More

Digital Legal Library