Mandate of KICS
May 13, 2011
The Trust Deed of KICS (Art. IX) says that “on registration, the BOT shall, as early as possible, constitute a group consisting of competent persons, including the BOT members and Core Group ---- to draft the Mandate of KICS work subject to all the provisions of the Trust Deed, which on approval by BOT, shall guide the work of KICS. The BOT in consultation with partners may have the Mandate reviewed from time to time”.
The BOT in its post-registration discussions, decided that the process of drafting the Mandate may commence with consolidating the thoughts so far over the subject (Sastri’s concept note and his Paper to the Commons Conference, Sreekumar’s papers presented to the BOT and other inputs).
The dictionary meaning of the word “Mandate” is “command” from a superior body on how to act, and this is quite apposite to invoke in the present context. Therefore all the points that would figure in the Mandate document should be in conformity with the provisions of the Trust Deed, which itself (to recall) was the outcome of discussions spread over a considerable period. This draft of the Mandate document tries to be in line with all that preceded.
2. Objectives of KICS:
It would be instructive to recapitulate the objectives as laid down in the Trust Deed:
a) To work with organisations and individuals who relate to development and justice aspects of Science and Technology*.
b) To advance knowledge dialogues on Science and Technology and press their outcomes as the basis for government’s policies ; and
c) To encourage organisations to do more work that would enrich knowledge to further KICS objectives.
* Here, three kinds of S&T domains are distinguishable:
(1) “Mainstream S&T” - mostly emerges from formal scientific institutions; has a theoretical basis as the initial seed; most often is undemocratic and non-participatory with regard to ordinary citizens; is top-down and centralised; is usually at a big scale; mostly does not emerge from the needs of deprived communities; is highly commercialised
(2) “Community S&T” – interactive; emerging from the creative tension of modernity confronting traditional wisdom; in the people’s domain with people’s innovations being a hallmark; neglected
(3) “Traditional S&T” - imbibed into community practices with the knowledge basis not always known or internalised; evolved by people from experiential knowledge; sometimes codified; mostly neglected or discounted
KICS acknowledges the strengths and weakness of each of these three domains: is conscious of the unequal relationship between these as well as the differing sustainability considerations and socio-cultural dimensions.
3. The worldview of KICS
There are unlisted, and yet vital, corollaries of what KICS Trust Deed articulate. These are covered under the shared world view of KICS. The KICS world view focuses on the following:
a) KICS should never be oblivious to the lives of the majority in India facing economic and social deprivation and take care to view Science and Technology as a means and as a key in eradication of the deprivation of the majority. By now it is clear that Science and Technology is not always positive in its impacts on such deprivation, and an important part of KICS work consists of pointing this out as also promoting positive innovations, especially from neglected and discounted knowledge domains to counter this.
b) The track of thinking given in a) above needs
i) recognition of plurality of knowledge
ii) Ensuring sustainability of S&T contribution in the long run to counter the deprivation of the majority and
iii) Keeping watch to introduce justice through democratisation of S&T.
c) The KICS approach is to empower people through dialogues, innovation and through encouraging them to respect their own knowledge, as a basis for extending knowledge further.
d) KICS also believes in the crucial need for decentralisation due to its potential in empowering people to take decisions involving them and acting as a counter to constant aggregation
e) The importance of optimal and appropriate self-sufficiency would also be a key element.
f) Relating with all efforts of strengthening the civil society in the arena of S&T, so as to empower the historically neglected ---- the poor, women, minorities, dalits and adivasis as also concern for children and the physically challenged ---- to secure their human rights, would be a key guiding element.
4. Locating KICS in the civil society space
Essentially, KICS seeks to pool knowledge from out of the work of other relevant bodies, and work on its own as appropriate. It is pertinent to point out here that work would be demarcated by issues that involve some form of S&T and would mostly centre around S&T from civil society domain, to bridge the gap between this domain and the mainstream domain, to further sustainable development objectives. KICS also seeks to build a two way link between S&T policy and Development policy. It can be seen clearly that KICS works with other organisations and individuals, including NGOs, CBOs and their networks as also government and academic bodies.
Not for a moment should KICS present itself as a body trying to be superior per se to NGOs, CBOs and their networks or to government or academic bodies. In fact the success of KICS depends on how this two-way relationship is developed in a healthy and respectful fashion. Of course KICS should itself be knowledgeable to acquit itself with credit in any such interface, which is why a (lean) team of competent staff would be needed for KICS to be constantly engaged in work of criticality.
The work of KICS is also contemplated to help extend the knowledge base of KICS, and for this reason, its Core Group is made as much involved functionally in the KICS work as its BOT or its team of staff members. The mandatory Consultative Meetings (Art. X of the Trust Deed) are visualised to be the sounding board to ensure that KICS is reined in to do its work in the manner contemplated, as co-equal of the bodies its work with, and develops the sensitivities and skills
needed for interfaces and is seen, and increasingly recognised, by everyone as a body essential in:
a) Pooling knowledge from all other appropriate sources whose contribution is suitably acknowledged.
b) Advancing knowledge for policy purposes ; and
c) Acting as a trigger to extend the knowledge by its own catalytic, un-obtrusive work.
5. Skills essential for KICS work:
From the above, it can be seen that KICS has a daunting (though not impossible) challenge to it. Its work takes it far, to (eventually) as yet unreached geographical regions and languages (and dialects) of India, and even beyond. A considerable part of the work consists of collating what is available: information revolution of the last few decades makes this possible provided the KICS staff is computer-savvy and is updated in matters relating to the internet. While this is a great advantage, a word of caution is necessary: one may be carried away by the information blizzard and even be swamped by it. The ability to separate the grain from the chaff is important, and this ability comes out of what KICS is expected to do strictly within its processes, in terms of the objects as also the consultations contemplated for KICS. These processes are not included pro forma, but are an essential part of the KICS template.
6. Role of KICS:
From the above, it emerges that the primary role of KICS is that of a think tank, drawing its strength from networking with appropriate organisations and individuals, which will
(a) showcase and strengthen people’s knowledge;
(b) democratise policy and planning in the S&T domain;
(c) support mainstreaming of the results of innovative pilots
(d) provide a platform for engaging with, and rethinking on the mainstream S&T paradigm
In seeking to fulfil the above role, KICS will pro-actively promote multi-dimensional, multi-sectorial integrated approaches, bridging the gulf separating academic research, and grassroots day-to-day crisis handling/establishment of sustainable alternatives.
7. In conclusion:
An essential part of KICS work is reporting to and getting the sanction of, consultative groups consisting of NGOs, CBOs, their networks and academic and government bodies, and getting further ideas from these bodies. In that sense, KICS Mandate would be underpinned by constant checking and renewal --- tough but necessary for KICS to be relevant, as otherwise KICS runs the risk of turning out to be yet another establishmentarian set-up.
KNOWLEDGE IN CIVIL SOCIETY (KICS)
---------------- TRUST DEED OF KNOWLEDGE IN CIVIL SOCIETY
The Deed of Declaration of Public Charitable Trust executed at Secunderabad, this 27th day of August 2010 by
1. Prajit K. Basu Trustee
2. Kavitha Kuruganti Trustee
3. C. Shambu Prasad Trustee
4. M.V.Sastri Trustee
5. N. Sreekumar Trustee
hereinafter called the Settlers and /or the Trustees.
The proposed Trustees, having been closely associated with the work of various voluntary agencies, are interested in coming together to promote an organization that will work towards development of Indian people, based on knowledge-dialogues and promote the creation of a clean and healthy environment, contributing to poverty alleviation in the country : towards this purpose they have contributed an amount of Rs. 1,000/- (Rupees One thousand only) each to create the corpus of the Trust.
Now therefore, this Deed of Declaration of Public Charitable Trust witnesses as follows:
The Public Charitable Trust will be known as Knowledge In Civil Society ("Trust" or "KICS" hereinafter) and shall be non-profit, without affiliation to any political party and secular in character and shall promote knowledge-dialogues and models on Science and Technology that further the capacity of common people without consideration of religion, race, caste or creed, and this the Trust intends doing by associating itself with other organizations across India, particularly non-government organizations and community-based organizations with a track record of contribution, by their on-going work, to people's science. It shall also relate with all other relevant institutions including academic, government and other set-ups that can contribute to the objects of the Trust.
II. REGISTERED OFFICE:
The Registered Office shall be situated at H.No: 12-13-450, Street No: 1, Tarnaka, Secunderabad.
The Objects of the Trust shall be:
I. To work with organizations devoted to Science and Technology, with special reference to all aspects of agriculture, village industry, environment, health etc. to help usher in a just and equitable society by pooling, documenting and making accessible knowledge derived from the work and experiences of such organizations and from all other relevant sources.
II. To advance knowledge-dialogues on Science and Technology as the basis for policy formulation by government through pooled and well documented studies.
III. To encourage various organizations to undertake and carry forward work that would enrich and enhance knowledge that would expand the focus of the objectives of the Trust.
I) To develop and strengthen networks of NGOs and CBOs and enhance their knowledge and capacities in Science and Technology by future work by them.
II) To encourage NGOs, CBOs and their networks, along with other associates from the academic world and government, to initiate, and/or strengthen, work based on knowledge derived from their own work and all other appropriate sources.
III) To work in cooperation with other national and international institutions in furtherance of KICS objectives within India.
IV) To carry out research, training, documention and pilot projects in the areas relevant to KICS objectives.
V) To strive for achieving the Trust's objectives through facilitating the work of, or working with, other agencies and their networks as far as practicable, and collaborating with them in the effort to build progressively a comprehensive body of knowledge.
VI) To conduct such other activities as may be necessary to further the objects of the Trust. The Trust may do all deeds, acts and things necessary for the furtherane of the objects of the Trust, but shall not do any activities of profit. Its income, if any incidentally, shall be applied only for public charitable purposes/objects of the Trust.
1. The Board of Trustees shall have five members as Trustees, with a term of office of three years for each trustee :
2. a. The First Board of Trustees, whose term of office is for a period of three years from the date of registration of the Trust Deed, shall consist of the following :
1. Prajit K. Basu Trustee, Aged , 56 years, Son of (Late)
Pradyumna Kumar Basu, with permanent residence at 3-3-108/51, New
Friends Colony II, Hyderguda (Near Attapur), Hyderabad.
2. Kavitha Kuruganti Trustee, Aged 39 years, Daughter of Mrs. K.G.
Bhavani & Mr. K. Ramesh, with permanent residence at # 501, Maphar's
Cascade Apartments, 12-2-709/1/A, Karol Bagh, Padmanabha Nagar,
3. C. Shambu Prasad Trustee, Aged 43 years, Son of (Late)
C. Ramakrishna Sastri, with permanent residence at Block 3, Flat 16,
Faculty Quarters, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
4. M.V. Sastri Trustee, Aged 72 years, Son of Late M. Rama
Murthy, with permanent residence at H.No: 12-13-624, Nagarjuna Nagar,
Street No: 14, Tarnaka, Secunderabad.
5. N. Sreekumar, Trustee, Aged 49 years, Son of (Late) C. Raman
Kutty Nair, with permanent residence at Flat No: 405, Divya Enclave,
12-5-34, Vijayapuri, Tarnaka, Secunderabad.
3. The first Trustees, who shall hold office for a term of 3 years, shall retire through a staggered method, to be decided by the Board of Trustees following registration, and this is so as to avoid retirement of all at one time.
4. Whenever vacancies arise, the BOT shall strive to nominate persons as Trustees with care, on the basis of their subscribing to the Trust's objects. Such new Trustees should be drawn from among lists recommended by joint deliberation of Consultative Meetings (see Article X below) of KICS partner groups, networks of groups and KICS staff.
5. The retiring members can be renominated, the renomination being done by the continuing members by consensus or vote.
6. All Trustees shall be Indian nationals, ordinarily resident in India.
7. There shall be Chairperson of Board of Trustees (hereinafter Chairperson), chosen, as early as possible on registration of the Trust Deed, by, and from among, the Trustees, to look after the affairs of the Trust for a period as decided by the BOT, not exceeding the length of her/his term as Trustee. On conclusion of the term of the Chairperson, the Trustees would elect a successor, the retiring incumbent being eligible for re-election.
8. Casual vacancies in the Board of Trustees shall be filled up by the continuing Trustees for the unexpired part of the term after consultation between the Trustees, the staff of the Trust and partner groups and network of groups of KICS.
9. The Board of Trustees shall meet at least once a year and as often as necessary at the Registered Office of the Trust or at such places as may be decided from time to time.
10. Any business requiring urgent decision by the Board of Trustees shall be transacted by circulation among the Trustees by the Chairperson. Such approval shall be placed before the next meeting of the Board for ratification.
11. If any Trustee carries out any action detrimental to the work of the Trust or his/her continuance is considered detrimental to the Trust, such a Trustee shall be removed by the other Trustees from the Board of Trustees after giving him/her an opportunity to explain his/her position, by a vote in a meeting of the Board and the fact shall be intimated to the Trustee concerned in writing.
12. The Trustees, including the Chairperson, shall function in an honorary capacity. Notwithstanding their honorary capacity, the Trustees can be called upon to do any specific work of relevance as decided by the procedures of the Trust to be laid down by the BOT following registration and may be compensated appropriately, as decided by the BOT in each instance.
VI. PROPERTIES VESTED IN THE TRUST:
a) The Board of Trustees shall hold the properties or funds, whether of the present or the future which may hereafter belong to the Trust, and shall be held in the name and on behalf of the Trust ; the BOT shall expend the income arising therefrom for the use and purposes of the Trust and the institutions, if any, under the Trust.
b) The Trust may receive funds from the Governments, State and Central, National and International foundations, funding agencies, individuals and institutions, to further its objectives.
c) The Board of Trustees shall, from out of the income thus realised, expend such sum or sums of money as it may deem fit and proper towards the maintenance of the properties of the Trust in good and tenantable condition and meet all expenses which the Board of Trustees may think necessary for the proper management of the Trust and for carrying out its programmes efficiently.
VII. POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
1. The Board of Trustees shall, in accordance with the Mandate developed for the Trust under Article IX below, formulate rules and bye-laws, covering work procedures, service of staff and the like, for the effective management of the Trust and for amendment of the same from time to time to meet all exigencies. The Board of Trustees shall have powers to lay down the policies for the work of the Trust and review the same from time to time in terms of the Mandate (Article IX below) of the Trust.
2. The Trust may recommend, sanction, grant or give donations to other institutions with similar objects.
3. The Trust may receive/ reject donations in any form, to raise funds by advertisements, through publications brought out by the Trust, by organising appropriate programmes, by accepting fees, by service charges, by contributions and by subscriptions.
4. The Trust may purchase or take on lease lands, buildings, equipments, materials and things, to erect and maintain buildings and other structures and to sell, mortgage, dispose of or otherwise deal with all or any of the same as the Board of Trustees may think fit and proper.
5. The Trust may sanction loans or borrow sums of money, for short or long term, as it may think fit and proper, to control and manage the assets of the Trust and to execute, become party to, sign, acknowledge and register all deeds, agreements, contracts, amounts, receipts and other documents and writings and to give effectual discharge on behalf of and against the Trust.
6. The Trust may borrow from time to time, for furthering its objectives, such sum or sums of money at such rate of interest for such period and on such terms with or without security, movable or immovable, as the Board of Trustees may think fit and to secure payment thereof with interest by mortgage or by bond, promissory notes and other negotiable securities.
7. The Trust can institute, conduct, defend, compound, withdraw, compromise, adjust, refer to arbitration or abandon any legal or other proceedings, claims or disputes by or against its officers or employees concerning the affairs of the Trust and to sign and verify vakalats, plaints, written statements, affidavits and other documents.
8. The Trust may appoint from time to time, staff, professional, technical, non-technical and other, with such powers and duties and upon such terms as to duration of office, remuneration or compensation otherwise and at any time to suspend, dismiss, terminate, or discharge any or such of them as the Board of Trustees shall think proper or necessary.
9. The Trust may open and close accounts in the name of the Trust in any scheduled bank or Post Office, and to operate such accounts.
10. The Trust may insure and keep insured, if deemed expedient, all or any of the buildings and other assets of the Trust.
11. The Trust may invest surplus funds, if any, of the Trust in securities approved by law relating to Trusts as per IT Act 1961, or in such manner as the Board of Trustees may think fit and proper in the best interest of the Trust.
12. The Board of Trustees may delegate to the Chairperson all or any of the powers, authorites and directions vested in the Board of Trustees and generally to carry out such transactions as the Board of Trustees considers expedient in the best interest of the Trust and to make all such arrangements and such acts and things on behalf of the Trust as may be usually necessary, desirable or expedient for sound management of the affairs of the Trust or for carrying out work to achieve the objectives of the Trust.
VIII. CHAIRPERSON OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES :
I. The Chairperson of Board of Trustees shall be chosen by the Trustees from among themselves, for a period not exceeding his/her term as Trustee.
II. The Chairperson's term is governed by provisions of Article V above, and for purposes of retirement, renomination and termination of membership, the Chairperson shall be considered on par with the Trustees.
III. The Chairperson shall preside over the meetings of the Board of Trustees and in her/his absence, the members present may elect a Trustee present to preside over that specific meeting.
IV. The Chairperson shall carry out faithfully such responsibilites as may be delegated to her/him by the Board of Trustees from time to time.
V. The Chairperson shall be the official representative of the Trust and may sue or be sued in the name of the Trust.
IX. MANDATE OF THE TRUST :
On registration, the BOT shall, as early as feasible, constitute a group consisting of competent persons, including the BOT members and Core Group Members (Article XI below) to draft the Mandate of KICS work subject to all provisions of the present Trust Deed, which on approval by BOT, shall guide the work of KICS. The BOT, in consultation with partners, may have the Mandate reviewed from time to time.
X. CONSULTATIVE MEETINGS:
I. The Board of Trustees, through its Chairperson, shall convene each year a Consultative Meeting of all those groups, bodies, institutions and networks with which the Trust intends to work or has been working. The subjects to be discussed in such consultative meeting include review of work in the previous year, proposed future work of the Trust, and such other matters as suggested by the Trustees, staff of the Trust and the assembled group representatives with a view to improve the work of the Trust. Such Consultative Meetings shall take place as many times as necessary but atleast once in an year.
II. The Trustees and staff of the Trust shall be invited to such Consultative Meetings.
III. Such Consultative Meetings are entitled to receive reports of the work of the Trust as also statements of accounts.
IV. The Board shall consider in the fullest measure the recommendations of such Consultative Meetings in carrying out its tasks and shall normally base the Trust's work on such recommendations. Recommendations for appointment as Trustees in vacancies on the Board shall also be made by such Consultative Meetings.
XI. CORE GROUP :
The BOT shall constitute a core group consisting of its own members and not more than 5 knowledgeable others to guide continuously the work of the Trust. The Core Group, members, appointed in their capacity as Trustees, shall cease to be Core Group members on conclusion of their membership in BOT. The Core Group members, who serve for a renewable term of 3 years, shall be part of the Consultative Meetings ; the Core Group does its work either through correspondence, or meetings, as many times, as necessary. The Core Group shall help the Trust on implementation of the Mandate and such other matters referred to it by the BOT from time to time.
XII. OPERATION OF BANK ACCOUNTS:
The bank accounts of the Trust will be operated by three Trustees to be designated soon after registration by BOT, any two signatures being required for drawl. One of the three designated signatories shall be the Chairperson.
XIII. MAINTENANCE OF BOOKS OF ACCOUNTS:
Regular books of accounts of the Trust shall be maintained and closed on 31st March. The same shall be got audited by a Chartered Accountant every year to reflect the state of affairs of the Trust.
XIV. AMENDMENT OF THE TRUST DEED:
The Trust Deed may be amended by a resolution passed by a unanimous decision of the five Trustees present and voting in a meeting of the Board of Trustees called for the purpose. Any addition, alteration or deletion to the existing objects of the Trust shall be made only with the approval of the Commissioner of Income Tax concerned.
The funds of the Trust shall be utilised only for the attainment of the objects of the Trust and no portion thereof shall be transferred or paid directly or indirectly to any of its members or their relatives.
XVI. NON-PROFIT NATURE OF THE TRUST :
a. The Trust herein declared shall not undertake any activity of profit for the benefit of its members.
b. However any incidental profits accruing shall be utilized for achievment of the objects of the Trust.
XVII. DISSOLUTION :
In the event of dissolution of the Trust the properties and funds remaining shall be transferred and paid to some other institution which has similar objects and been registered under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act
XVIII. IRREVOCABLE NATURE OF THE TRUST:
This Deed of Declaration of Trust and the Trust herein declared are irrevocable.
XIX. PUBLIC TRUST ACT PROVISIONS BINDING:
Matters not covered in the present Trust Deed shall be governed by the appropriate provisions of the Public Trust Act under which this Trust is registered.