News & Notes 626:Report of the Working Committee

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626 icon.jpg   News & Notes 626
5 December 2015

Report of the Working Committee

Major topics dealt with in November 2015:

  1. Delhi visit for visa issues: Together with François Gautier, two members of the Working Committee visited the Joint Secretary (Foreigners) Home Ministry, New Delhi. We discussed seven pending cases and the Indian volunteer policy with him and requested him to expedite the process where possible. We are grateful to François for his help in getting us this appointment.
  2. A new way of meetings: We held a WCom session in an attempt to fine-tune our team dynamics. Elisa proposed and facilitated a two-hour introduction session at Vérité. The purpose of this experiment was to taste and sense a different way of relating with ourselves, with others, with the topics on our agenda, and finally with the sacred element in a meeting space. It helped us build the foundation needed to experience a different way of working together with tools supporting a deeper consciousness. Each member has committed to try to use the tools we resonate with and retain the sacredness during all our meetings. “KINDNESS” was the chosen popular tool amongst us. The process has begun, as has the unfolding of something yet un-established.
  3. Aurovilians residing and/or working in/outside Auroville: We would like to inform and remind everyone that residents of Auroville are expected to reside in and work for Auroville predominantly. As requested by the Under-Secretary, the WCom is in the process of contacting those Aurovilians (of Indian or foreign origin) who seem to have been frequently out of Auroville for a considerable time asking them for their reasons for absence.
  4. GoI Grant: We are preparing the budget for the upcoming financial year 2016-2017 along with the beneficiaries, and are integrating some additional infrastructure development in view of the civil development required for Auroville’s 50th anniversary.
  5. Request for tax relief for Indian donors: We sent a request to Dr. Karan Singh proposing that another attempt be made to obtain 100% tax exemption for donations made to the Auroville Foundation by requesting that the Auroville Foundation be included the list of entities mentioned in section 80 G (2) of the Income Tax Act 1961, donations to which are eligible for 100% deduction without a qualifying limit. The first attempt was made in July 2012, but this request was considered not feasible by the then Finance Minister.
  6. Appeal process: One member of the Working Committee has a joined a sub-group constituted by the Auroville Council to draft an appeal proposal which will be shared soon with the larger community.
  7. Auronet Postings: This month we have observed several postings on Auronet that have been experienced as offensive and insulting. The Working Committee and Auroville Council have decided to initiate a community decision-making process about censoring or moderating postings on the Auronet. A request has been sent to the RAS to organize this decision-making process. Pending the decision of the community, we request everyone to refrain from using the Auronet as a platform for “fighting.”
  8. Centralised Auroville Accounting Service: The WCom, along with the FAMC, is in the process of strengthening our existing system on accounting by raking through objections we have received in the past, and proposing a more transparent system. The process is on-going; we will keep the community updated.

Ongoing matters: The Working Committee is also involved in the following topics, which are still ongoing and not yet concluded:

  • Car Stickers
  • Appropriate Mobility for Auroville
  • Water Harvest / Water Service complaints
  • Kottakarai conflict
  • Windarra conflict
  • Non-Aurovilians occupying Auroville assets
  • Security
  • Selection process for the new members of the Working Committee and Auroville Council

The Working Committee (Angela, Carel, Elisa, Eric, Mandakini, Manohar, Ranjithkumar)