In 1984 the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) was registered as a society (hereinafter referred to as society/trust) under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860. The Memorandum of Association and the Rules and Regulations (Appendix A) spell out its objectives and the manner in which these objectives are sought to be realized. Clause 3 of the Memorandum of Association of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) states the objectives for which the Society/Trust (INTACH) is formed. One of the objectives according to Sub clause (xvi) of this Clause is "to constitute or cause to be constituted Regional Brandies or Chapters at convenient centres in India to promote the objectives of the Society".
Section V of the Rules and Regulations of the Society/Trust (INTACH) pertains to the powers and functions of the Governing Council and the Executive Committee. Sub clause (xviii) of Clause (D) of Rule 17 of these Rules and Regulations states that the Governing Council shall have the power to set up centres (chapters) in India or elsewhere as and when deemed necessary for the furtherance of the objectives of the Society/Trust (INTACH). By implication this power extends to the closure of a Chapter as well. The Governing Council has delegated these powers to the Member Secretary.
The above mentioned provisions are flexible enough to enable the Governing Council to approve the establishment of a Regional Branch or a Chapter for any geographical area, be it a State, a Region, a District or a City or any other that may be considered convenient. However, any Regional Branch or Chapter thus created is an organic part of the Society/Trust and legally it has no independent existence of its own. The Society/Trust, through its executive bodies, remains responsible for the acts of any such units created by it. Thus, the Annual Report and the Annual Audited Accounts of the Society/Trust have to incorporate the annual report and audited accounts of such units as well. The accountability is thus legally indivisible. Similarly, a person (or institution) may be on the rolls as member of a Regional Branch or Chapter, yet he or she is a member of the Society/Trust (INTACH). All this implies the observance of a certain discipline by the Regional Branches and the Chapters.
Each Chapter shall have a convener whose nomination shall be approved by the Chapters Division of INTACH. The Convener should propose the name of a co-convener or co-conveners and obtain approval from the Chapters Division of INTACH. As far as possible, the convener/co-convener should be from amongst members who are known for their interest in preservation and conservation of art and cultural heritage and for their integrity and team work. The choice should ensure stability and continuity of the Chapter.
Each Chapter shall have an Executive Committee with at least five (5) members, including the convener. Members of the Executive Committee shall be proposed by the convener and approved by the Chapters Division of INTACH. They should consist of concerned citizenry forming a team responsible for conservation of the local heritage.
Common factors in choosing the members of the team should be:
- Social respect
- Fund raising acumen
- Academic excellence
- Administrative ability
- People’s representatives
- Public standing as a professional (architect, planner, historian, lawyer, Environmentalist, archaeologist, epigraphist, and similar relevant professions) and
- Communication skills
The normal tenure for the convener, co-conveners and the Executive Committee shall be three (3) years with further extensions, three years at a time, if necessary. The Chapters Division may bring about a change of the convener, co-conveners or the Executive Committee members at any time if circumstances so warrant. The membership of the Executive committee should reflect the entire range of the concerned citizenry committed to the cause of preservation and conservation of the local cultural heritage and the arts. The Executive Committee should meet at least once every quarter to deliberate on the activities that the Chapter has undertaken or proposes to undertake to achieve the objectives of INTACH.
The Executive Committee of a Chapter may decide to constitute councils, committees, working groups, task forces, etc for specific functional or activity areas and delegate such responsibility and powers to them as it considers necessary. Similarly, it may (in fact should), join hands with other organizations or networks to achieve common objectives. Some Chapters have a very wide range of resource persons that can enable them to address a correspondingly large range of issues pertaining to preservation and conservation of art and cultural heritage. In such places, the Chapter can and should act as a nodal point to establish forums or platforms to bring such resource persons together to formulate concrete programmes of activity wherein they can play the role best suited to their capacity and capability. Such bringing together can also result in synergy for achieving our common objectives. However, in doing all this, the responsibility of the Chapter to the INTACH as a legal entity does not cease.
A Chapter may have within its jurisdiction trusts, societies and other institutions registered under the Central or State laws which have objectives similar to those of INTACH. Such bodies can become institutional members of INTACH.
In brief, the Chapter can adopt a flexible approach in its internal structuring as long it does not dilute its legal and financial accountability to INTACH as stated in its MOA and the Rules and Regulations.
The Administration of INTACH Chapters is carried out following the given guidelines.
A Chapter consists of INTACH members who are on its rolls. It thus has only volunteers and, generally speaking, no regular support staff or professionals on its payroll. To start with a Chapter must increase its membership base. It must have a convener, a co-convener and an executive committee from amongst its members. It can then deliberate on the type of establishment that it can afford. A minimum requirement would be the assignment of responsibility, either to volunteers or part time staff, for maintenance of records and accounts. Proceedings of meetings and discussions have to be maintained as they constitute the memory of the Chapter. The VIRASAT now carries an account of the activities of many of the Chapters. Some Chapters have their own PATRIKA which gives an account of their activities and also carries articles of interest in respect of local heritage.
It is not necessary that every INTACH member on the rolls of the Chapter should have similar interests. However, there are always a few members who have a common interest in respect of a programme or activity that can be taken up within the short term vision spelled out at the beginning of these Chapter Guidelines. The Chapter Executive Committee could recognise such a group and empower it to implement the programme or activity of their common interest. The human resource is generally the most critical resource but some fund raising may also be necessary. Projects that can attract sponsors and funding can be formulated by the group and negotiated by the Chapter for implementation. As mentioned earlier, it is for the Chapter Executive Committee to decide what type of organizational structures it should evolve for smooth functioning of the Chapter activities and implementation of its project. The approach should be flexible but it should be within the legal framework of the INTACH with required administrative and financial accountability of the Chapter and the accepted objectives of INTACH as a Society.
Convener, Co-Convener and the Chapter Executive Committee
The appointment of the convener and co-convener(s) of a Chapter is made by the Chapters Division. The main role of the co-convener is to assist the convener and to discharge the functions of the convener in his/her absence. There could be more than one co-convener, depending on the workload and the need for assistance felt by the convener. There could also be separate co-conveners for specific functions or for handling specific projects or areas or fields of activity. However, all conveners and co-conveners must be resident within the area of the chapter so as to be available to the member of their chapter, various concerned authorities and members of like-minded organizations The Executive Committee is constituted by the convener in consultation with the members on the rolls of the Chapter and the approval of the Chapters Division. The Executive Committee's primary function is to deliberate and decide on matters related to programmes and activities to achieve the objectives of INTACH in the Chapter area. It also has to concern itself on matters related to enhancing and enriching the membership base. Fund raising has also to be its concern so that the programmes and activities decided upon can be effectively implemented.
The convener in most Chapters is the prime mover in programmes and activities that are taken up by the Chapter. Most Chapters have hardly any support staff and very little by way of funds to support the needed infrastructure. In such a situation the convener is required to provide the necessary sustenance to the Chapter organization. However, team work and harmonious relationships are crucial to the viability and sustainability of a Chapter.
A convener, as the leader of the team, must ensure that the Chapter and its members do not
publicly debate or bring out contentious issues involving the chapter or other chapters or
the head office without first bringing them to the notice of the Chapters Division and seeking
clarifications for mutual resolution. Particular care should be taken while taking up matters directly
with outside authorities. It must be ensured that such communications do not bring INTACH in
an unfavorable light. Such matters should first be brought to the attention of the Chapters Division in writing.
As has been mentioned there could be cases where there is no chapter in the area of
residence of an INTACH member and he is seconded by the Chapters Division to a neighboring
chapter for participating in INTACH activities and programmes. Such a chapter may resolve to
authorize such a member or one of the members residing in the area outside the jurisdiction of the
chapter, yet attached to the chapter for participating in INTACH activities and programmes, to
represent it in the area of his residence or to liaise with authorities and agencies in that area for
promoting INTACH’s interests and activities. It should be the endeavour that such areas are
enabled to have their own chapter in due course.
Each Chapter should notify the Chapters Division of its office postal address, telephone number, FAX number, and e-mail address as soon as it is constituted and inform it of any changes that take place in this regard from time to time.
The minimum record that must be maintained by each Chapter is in respect of the following:
- Permanent Register of INTACH members on the rolls of the Chapter, along with the category to which they belong and the amount of the fee received from time to time along with the receipt number.
- Register of attendance at meetings.
- Register containing the proceedings of meetings of the Executive Committee and the Chapter meetings and of its other committees.
- Register of books (library).
- Files or folders for each activity or programme taken up by the Chapter.
- Miscellaneous File or Folder for general correspondence.
The Chapter convener may decide what other records have to be maintained. The main objective in maintaining the records should be to provide continuity and stability to the Chapter as an organizational entity and to ensure accountability and audit.
The Chapter should keep the Chapters Division informed of its activities so that they may get reflected in the VIRASAT. Chapters that bring out a PATRIKA will cover their activities in it for wider publicity. Such efforts can be a potent force in advocacy of local issues related to preservation and conservation of the local heritage.
Chapter Accounts and Audit
As mentioned earlier, INTACH is an indivisible legal entity registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Branches, Chapters or any other units created by it are an integral part of it and as such do not have any independent legal status. Individuals/institutions admitted to its membership are thus members of INTACH and their attachment with a Chapter is to enable them to participate in the programmes and activities of INTACH to achieve its objectives and goals. Enrollment of members at a Chapter is necessary for a nation-wide voluntary organization such as INTACH that wants to address issues that are as much of national and regional importance as of local importance. A decentralized structure is inherent to the very concept of INTACH.
However, it must be appreciated that all actions of the Chapter are deemed to be actions of
INTACH as the legal entity.
There may be places where there is already a registered body with objectives similar to those of INTACH. That does not exclude INTACH from having a Chapter. INTACH can, in that event, collaborate with such a registered body through its Chapter in taking up activities and programmes to achieve the common objectives. Such institutions can also become institutional members of INTACH. INTACH can also become an institutional member of any such institution if the constitution of that institution permits. As mentioned above, all actions of the Chapter and its members are deemed to be actions of INTACH as a Society. This is particularly so where financial accountability is concerned. The format in which the Annual Statements of Audited Accounts are compiled may be seen at Appendix. These have to be prepared after merging the income and expenditure accounts of the Chapters
and other similar units created by INTACH.
It is recognized that many of the Chapters have hardly any supportive staff to maintain elaborate accounts. The procedures have, therefore, been simplified and are outlined below:
1. Book of Accounts
Each chapter is now required to maintain the following account books:
- Book for recording Income and Expenditure Accounts.
- Receipt Book
- Bank Pass Book showing the state of the bank account
- Annual statement of income and expenditure.
Each entry in these books of accounts must be authenticated under the signature of the convener or a person duly authorized by the Executive Committee of the Chapter in this behalf.
2. The receipt and retention of membership fee by the Chapter
Appendix ‘C’ contains the information needed for making an application for membership. Any further clarifications can be sought by the chapter convener from the Chapters Division. It may be mentioned that the receipt for membership fee has to be executed by the convener in triplicate as per die form of the receipt enclosed at Appendix 'C’. One copy is to be given to the applicant, one to be retained for purpose of record of the chapter and the third is required to be forwarded to the Chapters Division along with the completed application form.
Membership fee including the membership renewal fee for all categories of membership can be retained in full by the chapter except for the fee received from Corporate and Donor members in which case fifty per cent (50%) can be retained by the chapter and the balance fifty per cent (50%) remitted to the head office through the Chapters Division. Similarly, any amount received by the Chapter by way of donations for specific projects/programmes may be retained by it in full under intimation to the Chapter Division.
3. Audit of the Chapter
The accounts of the Chapter for the financial year (1st April to 31st March) should normally be audited by a Chartered Accountant. However, where the total transactions during the financial year does not exceed Rupees Twenty thousand (Rs. 20,000 only), Receipt and Payment Account may be prepared and duly certified under the joint signatures of the convener and the co-convener or in the absence of the co-convener by a member on the rolls of the Chapter. The Annual Receipt and Payment Account Statement should be accompanied by a duly authenticated Bank Statement for the period of the financial year with the following information:
- Name of the Bank
- Bank Account Number
- Name of the Account Holder/Authorised signatories
The Audited Statement of Accounts or the Annual Statement of Receipt and Payment Account (where the total transactions in the year do not exceed Rupees Twenty thousand (Rs. 20,000 only) should be submitted to the Chapters Division by the 30rh of June every year.
4. Opening a Bank Account
Each Chapter Convener has been authorized to open a bank account in a scheduled bank by the following resolution dated October 6th 1995 of the Executive Council of the INTACH:
KResolved that each State Convener/Regional Convener/Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) may be authorized to open an account in a scheduled bank to maintain the Trust's account.
Resolved further that the account may be operated jointly by the Convener and Co-convener of the State or Regional Chapter".
The Chapter Division in case of each Chapter shall issue a letter to the specific Bank Manager conveying the authorization of opening the Bank account in the name of a specific chapter.
5. Accounts for Larger Projects
However, Chapters engaged in handling projects funded by government and other funding agencies may have to maintain more elaborate accounts in the formats prescribed by the funding agencies and should submit the accounts accordingly in the prescribed formats of the Statements of Accounts to enable INTACH Chapter Division to render the utilization certificate.
Periodical Reports and Returns
Besides the Annual Statement of Accounts (duly audited) or the Annual Receipts and Payment Account Statement as referred to above, each chapter is required to submit an Annual Report on the programmes and activities undertaken during the financial year. This report should also reach the Chapters Division by the 30th of June every year.
It is important that both these reports and statements are sent by the Chapters within the prescribed time limits so as to enable fulfill the requirement to compile the consolidated statements of accounts and to submit the audited statements for the consideration and approval of the General Body of the Society, and also to enable the Income Tax Return of the Society to be submitted within the time limit (31st October) laid down under the Income Tax Act, 1961. It is important because failure to do so can result in penalties and die withdrawal of the exemptions granted to the Society under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
It is undoubtedly true that the human resource within the membership is the most critical resource of a Chapter. However, it is difficult to sustain any activity for long unless there are adequate funds available with the Chapter for implementing its programmes and activities.
The principal sources of funding for a Chapter could be:
1. Membership fees
This is a limited resource and may sustain the Chapter for a while only. Using up this fund amounts to eating into the capital of the Chapter.
Grants for specific programmes or projects received through the INTACH Central office.
4. Specific sponsors
Funds received for specific projects of local importance in which sponsoring agencies (such as the National Culture Fund) may be interested.
5. INTACH's Annual Budget
Funds earmarked for Chapters in INTACH's annual budget. From this budget provision
the Chapters may expect the following:
- A basic grant to cover administrative expenses and awareness raising activities taking into account the Chapter fund position, membership and number of Chapter meetings held
- Seed grant for projects, melas. Chapter events and programmes
- Seed grant for Chapter Newsletter
- Reimbursement of expenses on project reports either in part or full
- Reimbursement of expenses on listing (inventory preparation for Heritage Regulations)
6. Sale of Heritage Products
Net accruals from marketing of heritage products, souvenirs, publications, etc.
Where project funding is received, a certain percentage (10-15 percent of the total) should be earmarked to build a Corpus Fund for the Chapter. This should enable a Chapter to take up programmes and activities for which sponsors may not be available yet form core concerns of the Chapter.
As mentioned earlier, INTACH is an indivisible legal entity and, therefore, the various concessions and exemptions under the Income Tax Act or other laws are available to the organization as a whole and not to its various components, such as the chapters or branches. Necessary certificates should be obtained by the chapters through the Chapters Division.
It is a place earmarked by the Convenor, to facilitate interaction by the general public with INTACH
and to receive information. A Board giving timing of its functioning on selected days of the week
should be displayed prominently, along with the address of the Chapter and telephone numbers.