On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

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On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Hari Prasad Nadig-2
Fellow Wikimedians,

As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore has sought
funding of about *1.8 Crores* through the FDC process from Wikimedia
Foundation to carry out work on seven local language projects in India that
includes Kannada, Telugu among others. [1]
The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging to the
CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and other expenses as
outlined on their proposal page.

The proposal was up for Community review and comments until April 30th and
many have recorded their response about it [2]. Several community members
have come forward in pointing out that the staff salaries being paid and
that being proposed - are quite on the higher side (which is up to 2.4
Lakhs per month per person).

Apart from the concerns on extremely high salaries for Indian norms of the
team members of CIS-A2K team, there have been some serious concerns raised
about some apparent Conflict of Interest [3] and non-compliance with the
local laws (mainly Karnataka Societies act and the Foreign Contribution
Regulation Act).

However, looks like the proposal has moved forward through the FDC process
for funding despite the concerns raised and has gotten through to the next
stage.

More concerns have now been raised by several community members on the
Staff Assessment discussion page here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment

I invite you to participate in the discussion and help steer this in the
right direction.

[1] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
[2] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
[3] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads

Thank you,
--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://hpnadig.net
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig
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Re: [Wikimedia-in-blr] [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Dr Pavanaja
Hi,

 

There is a factual error. I am not employed with Prajavani. I write just one column per week as freelancer.

 

Regards,

Pavanaja

 

 

From: [hidden email] [mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Srikanth Ramakrishnan
Sent: 13 May 2014 12:50
To: Wikimedia India Community list
Cc: Kannada Wikipedia Discussion List [hidden email]; Mailing list for Wikimedians / Wikipedians in Bangalore, India
Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-in-blr] [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

 

Hi all, I have one important question here.

The Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act prohibits money received from abroad to be used as payments or salaries to anyone employed with the press or media.

I believe Dr. Pavanaja is a columnist for Prajavani. How does this work out?

It's just a preemptive question.

 

 

On 12 May 2014 17:45, Hari Prasad Nadig <[hidden email]> wrote:

Fellow Wikimedians,

As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore has sought funding of about 1.8 Crores through the FDC process from Wikimedia Foundation to carry out work on seven local language projects in India that includes Kannada, Telugu among others. [1]

The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging to the CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and other expenses as outlined on their proposal page.

 

The proposal was up for Community review and comments until April 30th and many have recorded their response about it [2]. Several community members have come forward in pointing out that the staff salaries being paid and that being proposed - are quite on the higher side (which is up to 2.4 Lakhs per month per person).

 

Apart from the concerns on extremely high salaries for Indian norms of the team members of CIS-A2K team, there have been some serious concerns raised about some apparent Conflict of Interest [3] and non-compliance with the local laws (mainly Karnataka Societies act and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act).

However, looks like the proposal has moved forward through the FDC process for funding despite the concerns raised and has gotten through to the next stage.

More concerns have now been raised by several community members on the Staff Assessment discussion page here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment

I invite you to participate in the discussion and help steer this in the right direction.


[1] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
[2] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
[3] - https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads



Thank you,

--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://hpnadig.net 
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig 


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--

Regards,
Srikanth Ramakrishnan,

What goes around, may not necessarily come around, it may simply bounce back.

 

Please sign this petition for Volvo buses in Coimbatore:

https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-transport-minister-tamil-nadu-introduction-of-volvo-city-buses-in-the-city-of-coimbatore

 

 

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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
In reply to this post by Hari Prasad Nadig-2
Dear Wikimedians,

Some responses here on Meta [1] on behalf of CIS. I have also commented
in my individual capacity on the statutory aspects to the best of my
knowledge. Also see some in-line replies.

On Monday 12 May 2014 05:45 PM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:
> Fellow Wikimedians,
>
> As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore has sought
> funding of about *1.8 Crores* through the FDC process from Wikimedia
> Foundation to carry out work on seven local language projects in India
> that includes Kannada, Telugu among others. [1]
> The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging to the
> CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and other expenses as
> outlined on their proposal page.

As may of you know, please note that CIS has proposed the said budget to
implement 21 plans of which there are 7 language area plans, 8 stand
along projects, 3 community strengthening initiatives, etc.

>
> The proposal was up for Community review and comments until April 30th
> and many have recorded their response about it [2]. Several community
> members have come forward in pointing out that the staff salaries
> being paid and that being proposed - are quite on the higher side
> (which is up to 2.4 Lakhs per month per person).

As you may have already seen in the budget, please note that the salary
proposed is for 7 employees on the CIS-A2K team and the average per
person salary would come to less than 1 lakh per month, per person and
not as stated above.

CIS-A2K welcomes your feedback and suggestions.

Thank you,
Vishnu

> [1] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
> [2] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
> [3] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads
>
>
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [Wikimedia-in-blr] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Hari Prasad Nadig-2
In reply to this post by Dr Pavanaja
Dear Pavanaja,

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You have received an annual compensation of about *17 Lakhs* last year
(that also excludes travel and other reimbursements) as per the declaration
made by Vishnu on the talk page of this proposal [1]. This came from the
funds granted to CIS that was received from WMF through FCRA. And this will
be increased by 20% for this year?

Further, for Kannada alone, *12.3 Lakhs* seem to be set aside out of which
you seem to be the primary beneficiary. [2]

And all this while, you have been a columnist for Prajavani.

This seems to be a clear violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act
as outlined by Srikanth on the copied email.

Regards,

[1] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form#CIS_Staff_details
[2] -
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget



On 13 May 2014 22:29, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Pavanaja,
> as per the FCRA:
> 3. (1) No foreign contribution shall be accepted by any- (g) association
> or company engaged in the production or broadcast of audio news or audio
> visual news or current affairs programmes through any electronic mode, or
> any other electronic form as defined in clause ® of sub-section (I) of
> section 2 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass
> communication; (h) correspondent or columnist, cartoonist, editor, owner of
> the association or company referred to in clause (g).
>
> Writing a weekly column, as a freelancer makes one a columnist.
>
>
>
>
> On 13 May 2014 15:52, Pavanaja U B <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hi,
>>
>>
>>
>> There is a factual error. I am not employed with Prajavani. I write just
>> one column per week as freelancer.
>>
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Pavanaja
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* [hidden email] [mailto:
>> [hidden email]] *On Behalf Of *Srikanth
>> Ramakrishnan
>> *Sent:* 13 May 2014 12:50
>> *To:* Wikimedia India Community list
>> *Cc:* Kannada Wikipedia Discussion List [hidden email]; Mailing
>> list for Wikimedians / Wikipedians in Bangalore, India
>> *Subject:* Re: [Wikimedia-in-blr] [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants
>> request from Wikimedia Foundation
>>
>>
>>
>> Hi all, I have one important question here.
>>
>> The Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act prohibits money received from
>> abroad to be used as payments or salaries to anyone employed with the press
>> or media.
>>
>> I believe Dr. Pavanaja is a columnist for Prajavani. How does this work
>> out?
>>
>> It's just a preemptive question.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On 12 May 2014 17:45, Hari Prasad Nadig <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Fellow Wikimedians,
>>
>> As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore has sought
>> funding of about *1.8 Crores* through the FDC process from Wikimedia
>> Foundation to carry out work on seven local language projects in India that
>> includes Kannada, Telugu among others. [1]
>>
>> The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging to the
>> CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and other expenses as
>> outlined on their proposal page.
>>
>>
>>
>> The proposal was up for Community review and comments until April 30th
>> and many have recorded their response about it [2]. Several community
>> members have come forward in pointing out that the staff salaries being
>> paid and that being proposed - are quite on the higher side (which is up to
>> 2.4 Lakhs per month per person).
>>
>>
>>
>> Apart from the concerns on extremely high salaries for Indian norms of
>> the team members of CIS-A2K team, there have been some serious concerns
>> raised about some apparent Conflict of Interest [3] and non-compliance with
>> the local laws (mainly Karnataka Societies act and the Foreign Contribution
>> Regulation Act).
>>
>> However, looks like the proposal has moved forward through the FDC
>> process for funding despite the concerns raised and has gotten through to
>> the next stage.
>>
>> More concerns have now been raised by several community members on the
>> Staff Assessment discussion page here:
>>
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment
>>
>> I invite you to participate in the discussion and help steer this in the
>> right direction.
>>
>>
>> [1] -
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
>> [2] -
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
>> [3] -
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads
>>
>> Thank you,
>>
>> --
>> Hari Prasad Nadig
>> http://hpnadig.net
>> http://twitter.com/hpnadig
>> http://flickr.com/hpnadig
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> Regards,
>> Srikanth Ramakrishnan,
>>
>> What goes around, may not necessarily come around, it may simply bounce
>> back.
>>
>>
>>
>> Please sign this petition for Volvo buses in Coimbatore:
>>
>>
>> https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-transport-minister-tamil-nadu-introduction-of-volvo-city-buses-in-the-city-of-coimbatore
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Regards,
> Srikanth Ramakrishnan,
> What goes around, may not necessarily come around, it may simply bounce
> back.
>
> Please sign this petition for Volvo buses in Coimbatore:
>
> https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-transport-minister-tamil-nadu-introduction-of-volvo-city-buses-in-the-city-of-coimbatore
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>
>


--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://hpnadig.net
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Hari Prasad Nadig-2
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
Vishnu,

There have been detailed discussion on how the salaries seem to overshadow
everything else in CIS's proposal of *1.8 Crore*. And it is not just me,
many other community members who have logged their comment there have felt
that the salaries are quite extravagant to Indian standards. Even the staff
assessment takes note of this.

You yourself seem to be drawing around *24 Lakhs *per annum (which is 2
Lakhs per month!) that excludes travel and reimbursements as declared by
you. [1] I'm pretty sure even the readers on this mailing list recognize
that these are pretty huge salaries that we're talking about for Indian
standards in non-profits for the responsibilities outlined.

Further, on the FCRA compliance issues, the compliance to Karnataka
Societies Act and the concerns about Conflict of Interest - there are
apparently some grave issues *which require that more documentation is made
public* by the CIS as stated by me at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment#Assessment_overlooks_some_grave_concerns

and at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment#Serious_FCRA_violations.3F

I'm afraid that just the explanations may not suffice here as the concerns
are serious in nature. I sincerely hope that you shall open up the
documents for at least the sake of transparency.

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form#CIS_Staff_details


On 13 May 2014 18:43, Vishnu <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  Dear Wikimedians,
>
> Some responses here on Meta [1] on behalf of CIS. I have also commented in
> my individual capacity on the statutory aspects to the best of my
> knowledge. Also see some in-line replies.
>
>
> On Monday 12 May 2014 05:45 PM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:
>
>  Fellow Wikimedians,
>
> As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore has sought
> funding of about *1.8 Crores* through the FDC process from Wikimedia
> Foundation to carry out work on seven local language projects in India that
> includes Kannada, Telugu among others. [1]
>  The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging to the
> CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and other expenses as
> outlined on their proposal page.
>
>
> As may of you know, please note that CIS has proposed the said budget to
> implement 21 plans of which there are 7 language area plans, 8 stand along
> projects, 3 community strengthening initiatives, etc.
>
>
>  The proposal was up for Community review and comments until April 30th
> and many have recorded their response about it [2]. Several community
> members have come forward in pointing out that the staff salaries being
> paid and that being proposed - are quite on the higher side (which is up to
> 2.4 Lakhs per month per person).
>
>
> As you may have already seen in the budget, please note that the salary
> proposed is for 7 employees on the CIS-A2K team and the average per person
> salary would come to less than 1 lakh per month, per person and not as
> stated above.
>
> CIS-A2K welcomes your feedback and suggestions.
>
> Thank you,
> Vishnu
>
>
>  [1] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
> [2] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
> [3] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>
>


--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://hpnadig.net
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
Dear Hari,

Please see my replies in-line.

On Wednesday 14 May 2014 12:51 AM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:

> Vishnu,
>
> There have been detailed discussion on how the salaries seem to
> overshadow everything else in CIS's proposal of *1.8 Crore*. And it is
> not just me, many other community members who have logged their
> comment there have felt that the salaries are quite extravagant to
> Indian standards. Even the staff assessment takes note of this.
>
> You yourself seem to be drawing around *24 Lakhs *per annum (which is
> 2 Lakhs per month!) that excludes travel and reimbursements as
> declared by you. [1] I'm pretty sure even the readers on this mailing
> list recognize that these are pretty huge salaries that we're talking
> about for Indian standards in non-profits for the responsibilities
> outlined.

Yes, it is no secret how much salary I draw or what the CIS-A2K program
budget is and what we have proposed. Members on this list will remember
that once I took over as the Program Director of CIS-A2K, I have ensured
that we bring transparency to the entire CIS-A2K program including the
project budget. We shared the entire A2K budget with the community in
May 2013 on this list [1]. Staff salaries which also includes my salary
were disclosed. Members on the list do know that we have taken this
transparency measure much before the current FDC application (or at a
time when we were not thinking about this FDC application). Neither I
nor the current CIS-A2K team had any say in determining the salaries.
There has been an extensive discussion on this here [2].

I am afraid that in your earlier mail the proposed A2K program plans
number was wrongly quoted along with the per-person salary and I was
merely highlighting the right facts.

>
> Further, on the FCRA compliance issues, the compliance to Karnataka
> Societies Act and the concerns about Conflict of Interest - there are
> apparently some grave issues *which require that more documentation is
> made public* by the CIS as stated by me at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment#Assessment_overlooks_some_grave_concerns
>
> and at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment#Serious_FCRA_violations.3F
>
We appreciated this effort on Meta here [3]. Again let me appreciate the
community members and your effort to throw light on these concerns. As
stated in the reply on Meta [3], and I quote here for the benefit of the
members:

"CIS has never compromised in getting the best available professional
expertise in complying with the various statutory requirements. So at
the outset we need to state that CIS has always complied with the
statutory advice received from our legal adviser and whenever required
also sought second opinion. Thus to our current understanding we are in
the best possible compliance with the statutory requirements for the
not-for-profits in India. However, because a few of the community
members, in the interest of continuing support to Wikimedia movement in
India, expressed serious concerns, CIS will take every effort to share
these with our legal advisers for their professional opinion. This could
take some days, but we are certainly committed to sharing our legal
advisers' opinion on these matters with the community and FDC at the
earliest. This exercise is also important for CIS as it will help us to
put ourselves in much better compliance, if required."

We are committed to seeking the opinion of our legal advisers on the
concerns raised, as we respect the voice of the community members,
including you. Also it is more in the interest of CIS to better comply
with the statutory requirements.

> I'm afraid that just the explanations may not suffice here as the
> concerns are serious in nature. I sincerely hope that you shall open
> up the documents for at least the sake of transparency.

Please note that CIS has never kept its documents closed to open them
again. CIS gets its financial and institutional documents scrutinized
every year and reports to multiple authorities as part of various
statutory compliances. The Income Tax department periodically
scrutinizes CIS's accounts. All the documents are always open for
scrutiny by the donors. We have made every document available that was
asked by the WMF's visiting team to CIS (which includes WMF's CFO
Garfield Byrd) in February 2014.  We had also thrown open all our
document to the general public for scrutiny during May 2013. I have
written to members on this list and other Wikimedia lists, inviting them
to come and scrutinize all our documents during this Open Week. Please
see the announcement here [4].

Thanks for engaging with CIS-A2K's work, which we always appreciate.

Best,
Vishnu

[1]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2013-May/009980.html

[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form#Q19

[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment#Clarification_on_Statutory_Aspects_-_KSRA_and_FCRA

[4]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2013-May/009980.html
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Hari Prasad Nadig-2
[..snip..]

On 14 May 2014 12:53, Vishnu <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>  I'm afraid that just the explanations may not suffice here as the
> concerns are serious in nature. I sincerely hope that you shall open up the
> documents for at least the sake of transparency.
>
>
> Please note that CIS has never kept its documents closed to open them
> again. CIS gets its financial and institutional documents scrutinized every
> year and reports to multiple authorities as part of various statutory
> compliances.
>

[...]

Noted.

Kindly make the following documents public:

   1. Information about the AGMs and elections held by CIS for its
   governing body for all these years.
   2. Latest copy of the Memorandum of Association as filed with the
   Registrar of Societies, Karnataka (as mandated by Clause 13 of the
   Karnataka Societies Registration act).
   3. The annual filings of CIS with the Registrar of Societies, Karnataka
   for all these years.
   4. The property ownership documents of the premises where CIS office
   works from.
   5. The MoU signed by CIS with WMF.
   6. The FCRA certification and compliance related documents.

Regards,
--
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http://hpnadig.net
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
Dear Ravi,

On Wednesday 14 May 2014 01:02 PM, Ravishankar wrote:

> Vishnu,
>
> //Please note that CIS has never kept its documents closed to open
> them again. //
>
> //We had also thrown open all our document to the general public for
> scrutiny during May 2013. I have written to members on this list and
> other Wikimedia lists, inviting them to come and scrutinize all our
> documents during this Open Week.//
>
> Please let me know when is this open week for 2014.

It was done as part of the CIS's 5th anniversary. I am not sure if we
will have a similar open week for 2014. But should we get the FDC
funding, I would like to explore means by which the community can also
take part in financially auditing the A2K expenses. We could discuss
this separately, later?

>
> I would like to come and have a look at the MoU you signed with WMF.
As stated earlier on this mailing list, we are unable to share this MoU
as WMF has given us a clear instruction not to do so.

>
> Since WMF is silent on answering crucial questions on the MoU, could
> you please answer one question:
>
> What is the exit clause for your working partnership with WMF?

The Grant agreement is for two years.

Best,
Vishnu


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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
In reply to this post by Hari Prasad Nadig-2
Dear Hari,

On Wednesday 14 May 2014 02:11 PM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:

>
> [..snip..]
>
> On 14 May 2014 12:53, Vishnu <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>
>>     I'm afraid that just the explanations may not suffice here as the
>>     concerns are serious in nature. I sincerely hope that you shall
>>     open up the documents for at least the sake of transparency.
>
>     Please note that CIS has never kept its documents closed to open
>     them again. CIS gets its financial and institutional documents
>     scrutinized every year and reports to multiple authorities as part
>     of various statutory compliances.
>
>
> [...]
>
> Noted.
>
> Kindly make the following documents public:
>
>  1. Information about the AGMs and elections held by CIS for its
>     governing body for all these years.
>  2. Latest copy of the Memorandum of Association as filed with the
>     Registrar of Societies, Karnataka (as mandated by Clause 13 of the
>     Karnataka Societies Registration act).
>  3. The annual filings of CIS with the Registrar of Societies,
>     Karnataka for all these years.
>  4. The property ownership documents of the premises where CIS office
>     works from.
>  5. The MoU signed by CIS with WMF.
>  6. The FCRA certification and compliance related documents.
>

We do not have the property ownership documents (no. 4) as CIS does not
own the building. These are with the owners and we cannot provide them.

As stated on this list many times we cannot share the WMF Grant
Agreement (no. 5) without the explicit permission from WMF.

Rest of the documents could be made available. But the admin team is in
the middle of audit. Let me consult Sunil (he will return to office mid
next week) and get back on this.

Best,
Vishnu
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Hari Prasad Nadig-2
On 14 May 2014 16:20, Vishnu <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  We do not have the property ownership documents (no. 4) as CIS does not
>> own the building. These are with the owners and we cannot provide them.
>>
>
In that case, you could perhaps provide the rental agreement made and
signed by CIS with the owner? And perhaps the electricity bill (which
specifies the name of the owner)?


>
> As stated on this list many times we cannot share the WMF Grant Agreement
> (no. 5) without the explicit permission from WMF.
>

Can a 'Society' do that? Shouldn't that be made public as per the law?

It is sad to know that MoU is being kept secretive and apparently seems to
be concealing something on purpose.


>
> Rest of the documents could be made available. But the admin team is in
> the middle of audit. Let me consult Sunil (he will return to office mid
> next week) and get back on this.
>

That would be too late, probably. It is very unfortunate to see a negative
leaning response as well.

If everything is in order, surely, there's nothing preventing you from
sharing it right away?

--
Hari Prasad Nadig
http://hpnadig.net
http://twitter.com/hpnadig
http://flickr.com/hpnadig
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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [Wikimedia-in-blr] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
In reply to this post by Hari Prasad Nadig-2
Dear Hari,

I am afraid that the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) is being
interpreted selectively here. While Section 3 of the FCRA is important
it is important to read it in conjunction with Section 4 of the FCRA (an
exception clause for Section 3), which states that even those who
participate in broadcast and electronic media can receive foreign money,
“*by way of salary, wages or other remuneration due to him* or to any
group of persons working under him, from any foreign source or by way of
payment in the ordinary course of business transacted in India by such
foreign source”.

I do not think there is any violation in Pavanaja writing for Prajavani.

Best,
Vishnu

On Wednesday 14 May 2014 12:15 AM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:

> Dear Pavanaja,
>
> Please correct me if I'm wrong.
>
> You have received an annual compensation of about *17 Lakhs* last year
> (that also excludes travel and other reimbursements) as per the
> declaration made by Vishnu on the talk page of this proposal [1]. This
> came from the funds granted to CIS that was received from WMF through
> FCRA. And this will be increased by 20% for this year?
>
> Further, for Kannada alone, *12.3 Lakhs* seem to be set aside out of
> which you seem to be the primary beneficiary. [2]
>
> And all this while, you have been a columnist for Prajavani.
>
> This seems to be a clear violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation
> Act as outlined by Srikanth on the copied email.
>
> Regards,
>
> [1] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form#CIS_Staff_details
> [2] -
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget
>
>
>
> On 13 May 2014 22:29, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]
> <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     Pavanaja,
>     as per the FCRA:
>     3. (1) No foreign contribution shall be accepted by any- (g)
>     association or company engaged in the production or broadcast of
>     audio news or audio visual news or current affairs programmes
>     through any electronic mode, or any other electronic form as
>     defined in clause ® of sub-section (I) of section 2 of the
>     Information Technology Act, 2000 or any other mode of mass
>     communication; (h) correspondent or columnist, cartoonist, editor,
>     owner of the association or company referred to in clause (g).
>
>     Writing a weekly column, as a freelancer makes one a columnist.
>     *
>     *
>     *
>     *
>
>
>     On 13 May 2014 15:52, Pavanaja U B <[hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>         Hi,
>
>         There is a factual error. I am not employed with Prajavani. I
>         write just one column per week as freelancer.
>
>         Regards,
>
>         Pavanaja
>
>         *From:*[hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>
>         [mailto:[hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>] *On
>         Behalf Of *Srikanth Ramakrishnan
>         *Sent:* 13 May 2014 12:50
>         *To:* Wikimedia India Community list
>         *Cc:* Kannada Wikipedia Discussion List [hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>; Mailing list for Wikimedians
>         / Wikipedians in Bangalore, India
>         *Subject:* Re: [Wikimedia-in-blr] [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's
>         grants request from Wikimedia Foundation
>
>         Hi all, I have one important question here.
>
>         The Foreign Contribution Regulatory Act prohibits money
>         received from abroad to be used as payments or salaries to
>         anyone employed with the press or media.
>
>         I believe Dr. Pavanaja is a columnist for Prajavani. How does
>         this work out?
>
>         It's just a preemptive question.
>
>         On 12 May 2014 17:45, Hari Prasad Nadig <[hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>         Fellow Wikimedians,
>
>         As you all know, Center for Internet and Society, Bangalore
>         has sought funding of about *1.8 Crores* through the FDC
>         process from Wikimedia Foundation to carry out work on seven
>         local language projects in India that includes Kannada, Telugu
>         among others. [1]
>
>         The funds primarily cover the salaries of the people belonging
>         to the CIS-A2K team among other administrative expenses and
>         other expenses as outlined on their proposal page.
>
>         The proposal was up for Community review and comments until
>         April 30th and many have recorded their response about it [2].
>         Several community members have come forward in pointing out
>         that the staff salaries being paid and that being proposed -
>         are quite on the higher side (which is up to 2.4 Lakhs per
>         month per person).
>
>         Apart from the concerns on extremely high salaries for Indian
>         norms of the team members of CIS-A2K team, there have been
>         some serious concerns raised about some apparent Conflict of
>         Interest [3] and non-compliance with the local laws (mainly
>         Karnataka Societies act and the Foreign Contribution
>         Regulation Act).
>
>         However, looks like the proposal has moved forward through the
>         FDC process for funding despite the concerns raised and has
>         gotten through to the next stage.
>
>         More concerns have now been raised by several community
>         members on the Staff Assessment discussion page here:
>         https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Staff_proposal_assessment
>
>         I invite you to participate in the discussion and help steer
>         this in the right direction.
>
>
>         [1] -
>         https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
>         [2] -
>         https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:APG/Proposals/2013-2014_round2/The_Centre_for_Internet_and_Society/Proposal_form
>         [3] -
>         https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/India_Access_To_Knowledge/Draft_Work_plan_July_2014_-_June_2015/Budget#Budget_as_per_Expenditure_Heads
>
>         Thank you,
>
>         --
>         Hari Prasad Nadig
>         http://hpnadig.net
>         http://twitter.com/hpnadig
>         http://flickr.com/hpnadig
>
>
>         _______________________________________________
>         Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>         [hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>
>         To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences
>         visit
>         https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>
>
>
>         --
>
>         Regards,
>         Srikanth Ramakrishnan,
>
>         What goes around, may not necessarily come around, it may
>         simply bounce back.
>
>         Please sign this petition for Volvo buses in Coimbatore:
>
>         https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-transport-minister-tamil-nadu-introduction-of-volvo-city-buses-in-the-city-of-coimbatore
>
>
>         _______________________________________________
>         Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>         [hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>
>         To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences
>         visit
>         https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>
>
>
>
>     --
>     Regards,
>     Srikanth Ramakrishnan,
>     What goes around, may not necessarily come around, it may simply
>     bounce back.
>
>     Please sign this petition for Volvo buses in Coimbatore:
>     https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/the-transport-minister-tamil-nadu-introduction-of-volvo-city-buses-in-the-city-of-coimbatore
>
>
>     _______________________________________________
>     Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
>     [hidden email]
>     <mailto:[hidden email]>
>     To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit
>     https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l
>
>
>
>
> --
> Hari Prasad Nadig
> http://hpnadig.net
> http://twitter.com/hpnadig
> http://flickr.com/hpnadig
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimediaindia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from the list / change mailing preferences visit https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediaindia-l

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Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] On CIS's grants request from Wikimedia Foundation

Vishnu t
In reply to this post by Hari Prasad Nadig-2

On Wednesday 14 May 2014 10:11 PM, Hari Prasad Nadig wrote:
>
>>         We do not have the property ownership documents (no. 4) as
>>         CIS does not own the building. These are with the owners and
>>         we cannot provide them.
>>
>
> In that case, you could perhaps provide the rental agreement made and
> signed by CIS with the owner? And perhaps the electricity bill (which
> specifies the name of the owner)?

Dear Hari,

Yes, this should be very much possible.

Cheers,
Vishnu
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