ICNL Publishes Two New Reports on the Legal Environment for Civil Society in India


Civil society in India is noted for its vibrancy and innovation. However, India’s legal framework undercuts the sector in critical ways. For example, over-bearing registration and reporting requirements, such as the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, and government intrusion undermine the ability of nonprofits to contribute to Indian society.

The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law is pleased to announce the publication of two papers that explore the legal environment for Indian civil society. The papers were commissioned for workshops on Indian civic space held in December of 2018.

Analysis of the Current Legal Framework for Civil Society in India, written by Noshir H. Dadrawala, provides a detailed analysis of the regulation of nonprofits in India. The report focuses on the obstacles that nonprofits face as a result of onerous regulation. These include challenges around registration and termination, as well as legal barriers surrounding political activity, assembly, and foreign funding. Nonprofit Legal Reform in India: The legal treatment of for-profit entities and other approaches to the reform issue by Mark Sidel compares the regulation of nonprofits in India to the regulation of for-profit enterprises. It explores whether reform efforts for the nonprofit sector in India could be aided by adopting regulatory practices, appropriately modified, applied to the for-profit sector.