Organisations active in India

Foundation for Critical Choices for India
De Haar 173
2261 ZB Leidschendam
Tel:070 - 327 60 04
Fax:070 - 327 60 04

The basic idea behind the creation of the Foundation is to motivate Indians, especially those settled outside India, to rise above their immediate self-interest and to dedicate themselves to work for the welfare and progress of India. The Foundation provides a forum for channelling the energy and resources of non-resident Indians in this direction.

The Foundation is a purely Indian organization. It was created in 1980 by a group of Indians living in the Netherlands to work for progress and development of India. It is registered under the laws of the Netherlands but it neither expects nor receives any backing - financial or otherwise - from non-Indian sources.

The Foundation is a non-partisan and secular organization. It is not aligned with any political party or force within or outside India. Nor does it represent any political ideology. In the pursuit of its objectives the Foundation may participate in national political activities, but its actions will not be motivated by partisan or sectarian considerations.

The Foundation is committed to the democratic process and rule of law. It will endeavour to achieve its objectives through democratic means.

Foundation is a non-profit making organization. Its purpose is to work for the good of India as a whole and not to serve the personal or sectarian interests of any individual or group.

The Foundation was created in the belief that the Indians are capable of achieving a lot more rapid and substantial progress than what India has achieved during its first thirty-five years of independence. The Foundation intends to rekindle the idealism and spirit of sacrifice, which motivated our countrymen during the struggle for independence. It has motivated and encouraged Indians both in India and outside, to play a role in determining the direction in which India should be heading.

Having satisfied their basic personal needs and achieved a high standard of living, the Indians abroad are very willing to devote their moral, material and intellectual resources for the rapid development of India. The Indians abroad have vast resources in scientific and technological know-how and much needed capital in hard currencies.

These resources can and should be mobilized for the benefit of India. The Foundation provides a very welcome and much needed channel for this purpose.

The Foundation is not intended to be a mass organization. It is a forum, which is open only to those who have the ability and dedication to work for the realization of its objectives.

Any individual who is willing and able to make a full commitment to the cause of the Foundation may be accepted as a Trustee of the Foundation. Organizations and individuals who are in agreement with the objectives of the Foundation and who are willing to help in the realization of those objectives may become Associates of the Foundation.

The Board of Trustees is the highest decision-making organ of the Foundation.

The primary objectives of the Foundation are:
  1. to identify and define critical problems facing India and to suggest their long term rational solutions.
  2. to mobilize intellectual, moral and material resources, in particular of Non-Resident Indians, for the solution of critical problems facing India.
A secondary objective of the Foundation is to protect and promote general interests of Indians settled abroad in relation to various governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The prevailing political situation and norms of political behaviour, especially degeneration of ethics in public life, do not attract people of very high calibre and integrity to active politics. Many of those who are already in politics are greatly preoccupied with securing and or preserving power. The various governmental institutions are busy solving day-to-day problems confronting them. As a result of these preoccupations the long-term thinking and policy formulation do not receive the attention that they deserve. Thus there is an urgent need for a non-partisan organization to fill this important gap. The Foundation will endeavour to fill this gap.

India faces many complex problems. A voluntary organization with limited resources such as the Foundation cannot possibly concern itself with all the problems. It must choose. The Foundation is concerned with those critical choices, which are fundamental to the progress of the country and welfare of its people.

The Foundation pursues its objectives, inter alia, through preparation of detailed policy papers and through interaction with policy makers and opinion leaders. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has prepared various papers and organised various seminars/conferences both in and outside The Netherlands. Some of them are:
  1. A Frame work for the Future – a case for a new constitution, June 1980
  2. Voting Rights for Indians Living Abroad in Indian Parliamentary and state elections and their representation in Indian Legislature – 1982
  3. A case for a new comprehensive Indian tax act governing non-resident Indians – 1982
  4. European Seminar of non-resident Indians, April, 1982
  5. Some aspects of nationality of Indians resident abroad, 1983
  6. Some aspects of voting rights and nationality of Indians living abroad
  7. International Conference, New Delhi, May, 1983 (first ever International NRI conference of its kind held in or outside India)
  8. Inviting NRI Fund to India, 1985
  9. Conference Basis for Indian unity, London, 1985
  10. India in the year 2001, some reflections on the state of economy – June 1987
  11. India in the year 2001, some reflections on the state of polity - June 1987
  12. Technology in India in the year 2001 – June 1987
  13. Punjab Problem and Unity the unity of India
  14. The Transfer of Technology to India & the role of non-resident Indians
  15. The Transfer of capital and the role of the Non-resident Indians
  16. National coordination of the First International Convention of Overseas Indian (now known as GOPIO) – New York, 1989
  17. NRI and European Single Market , April 1992
  18. Role of NRIs in accelerating India’s economic development – a synopsis, 1992
  19. Grant of Dual nationality to NRIs – problems and issues, 1992
  20. Bharat Darshan – a miniature model city based on the model city of Madurodam
  21. Consultation Services by NRIs
  22. Seminar on Tourism in India, Zoetermeer, 1993
  23. Seminar on Indian Economic Liberalization (Reforms) for Sustained and Balanced Growth, Zoetermeer, 1995
  24. An interactive session with Mr P. Chidambaram, the then Minister of Commerce, GOI, on NRI role in investments in India on 7 Nov. 1995
  25. A group discussion on Sub-continental Realities led by Maj. General (Retd.) Vinod Saighal on 29 October 1995
  26. An informal discussion on Economic Outlook and Business Opportunities under the New Government (of India), initiated by Dr John Praveen on 3 July 1996
  27. Publication of the Commemorative Volume 'Fifty Years of Indo-Dutch Cooperation'. First copy was presented to Prof. Drs. Ruud Lubbers, Former Prime Minster of the Netherlands at a ceremony on 22 January 1999
  28. Petition to Indian PM regarding the PIO Card Scheme, Oct 1999
  29. Interaction with Mr Mahendar Chaudhry, Prime minister of Fiji, Sept 2000
  30. Interaction with MEA High Level Committee on dual citizenship, Feb 2001
  31. Interaction with Mr MM Jacob, Governor of Meghalaya on sensitive situation prevailing in the North East of the country, June 2001
  32. Background paper on India-EU Trade Relations, July 2001
  33. Third GOPIO European Regional Conference, Leiden, June 2002
  34. Group Discussion initiated by Mr M Jakhanwal on Strategy for a Substantial Increase in Trade between India and the EU, May 2002
  35. Preparatory work for "Indian Cultural Centre" project, March 2003
  36. Interaction with Bhisham Agnihotri, former Ambassador at Large, in-charge of NRI/PIO Affairs, Oct 2003
  37. Information seminar on Dual Nationality, Leiden, April 2004
  38. Interaction with Dr Amba Pandey of the JNU, New Delhi, on the NRI/PIO community of the Netherlands on 24 April 2005 1

  39. Indo-Dutch Water-sector Meet on New Technologies and Dutch Know-how in Recycle and Reuse of Water Application in Industrial and Domestic Sectors in India, Wassenaar,  February 2007.
  40. Celebration of 60 Years of India’s Independence. An overview of “Sixty Years of India’s Independence and Achievements” Amsterdam, August, 2007.
  41. An interactive session with Hon’ble Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, jointly organized by the FCCI and the Netherlands – India Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Wassenaar, December 2007.
  42. An interactive discussion with Dr. Igor Kotin of St. Petersburg University, Russia, Leiden,  December 2007.
  43. Interaction with Minister Valyar Ravi and his delegation and a presentation by FCCI President Emeritus, Mr RL Lakhina on the subject of “Broadening and Deepening Diaspora Engagements with India”, Leiden, June 2008.
The respective papers have been circulated widely in India and among the NRIs.

The Foundation does not confine its role to identifying problems and their solutions. It works actively for the adoption of policies advocated by it to solve those problems.

Based on its papers, the Foundation has presented following petitions to the Indian Parliament:
  1. Petition for the grant of voting rights to Indians living abroad and for their special representation in the Indian Parliament.
  2. Petition for formulating a new comprehensive Tax Act governing non-resident Indians.
  3. Petition on Grant of Double Nationality to Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and other changes in the Indian Citizenship Act.
  4. Petition to Indian PM regarding the PIO Card Scheme
Indians living in a number of European countries have signed these petitions. A few of the important issues and the policies advocated, by the Foundation were accepted by the Indian government.

1Thanks to Dr. H.U. Qureshi for the corrections, suggestions
and help in compiling the above list of events.