April 22nd, 2023

Apr 24, 2023

About attempted takeovers of Auroville services and units:

RA WCom: Important information about attempted takeovers

Dear Community,

We would like to share with you the advice that we have offered to the executives and managers of units and services who have received requests for online meetings with the Secretary, in which it was communicated verbally that there will be changes in executives and teams. Not everyone who was contacted attended these meetings, and in several cases, including those who didn’t attend the meeting, this was followed very quickly by access to auroville.org.in (http://auroville.org.in/) email accounts being blocked.

Due process is not being followed, according to their own Standing Order (attached) and the Code of Conduct of 2017 (approved by the GB). Therefore we advise that no one considers handing anything over or stepping down until and unless the following is produced:
1 A resolution from the relevant trust
2 A resolution from the ‘FAMC’ signed by the JSFA (Joint Secretary, Finance Advisor to Ministry of Education and ex-officio member of the GB) who is listed in the Office Order appointing the ‘FAMC’ according to Section 16 of the AV Foundation Act.
3 An Office Order from the Office of the Secretary.
More information that would be needed in any handover:
• A clear date when responsibilities go from current executives to new ones, with names.
• Certain things that are cleared and handed over such as: financial responsibility (accounts and balance sheets), assets with inventory list, data, legal responsibilities (pending or ongoing cases in court, eg), etc.
It may also be useful to understand point 2 in a bit more detail. Section 16 of the Auroville Foundation Act says:
16. Committees of the Governing Board.—(1) The Governing Board may appoint such committees as may be necessary for the efficient discharge of its duties and performance of its functions under this Act.
(2) The Governing Board shall have the power to co-opt as members of any committee appointed under sub-section (1), such number of persons who are not members of the Governing Board as it may think fit, and the persons so co-opted shall have the right to attend the meetings of the committee, and take part in the proceedings of the committee, but shall not have the right to vote.

This means that only GB members have ‘voting’ rights/authority in any committee created by the GB under Section 16. The current GB FAMC has been created under this Section with only one GB member included, which is the Finance Advisor of the Ministry of Education, who is an ex-officio member of the GB. Therefore, he is the only ‘FAMC’ member who can sign decisions and actions of the ‘FAMC’ and would have to be the one to sign any resolution to change executives.

Yesterday an Office Order (attached) was shown to executives at the Visitors’ Center, in which a number of entities were listed with individuals named under each that were being ‘appointed’ in positions of responsibility by the Office of the Secretary. A few points to note:
• The entities listed were a mix of trusts, units, services, a board and a ‘task force’, all being clubbed in one Office Order and appointments being made in the same way;
• A number of the individuals listed have either not been asked or have been asked and declined;
• It is stated that this has been discussed with the Governing Board jointly by the Working Committee and the Funds and Assets Management Committee. We, the Working Committee duly selected by the Residents’ Assembly, were not consulted in this matter and do not agree with the way in which these changes are being implemented, where once again the wider RA is being sidelined and ignored.
If individuals claiming to be newly appointed executives or team members appear on site and do not produce the above documents and do not accept a refusal to withdraw and hand over, please inform us immediately.

In community,

Your Working Committee
Aravinda, Bharathy, Chali, Hemant, Mael (TOS), Sauro, Valli

Units SO
Office Order for Units