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  • Meeting Minutes for Asha Chennai on 22nd Oct 2017


Volunteers Present:

          Mr. Rajaraman Krishnan, Bhaskar, Ananth, Kavitha, Kasthuri Easwaran, Bhuvaneswari R, Venkat Ramasamy,Lokesh, Akash - Representative of 180 degrees from IIT Madras.

The monthly review meeting of Asha India’s Chennai Chapter was convened at 9.30 am on 22nd October, 2017 (Saturday) at Mr. Ananth Sir’s residence in Sholinganallur.

The agenda and decisions taken at the meeting are summarized below. Decisions are in blue.

  1. Mr. Rajaraman explained how ARC and AfE decision making works. Bhaskar presented the questions for voting on ARC poll for 2H2017. .

Here are

      1. An increase in the quorum of core volunteers from 3 to 6 – Approved (unanimously). Asha Chennai already had a quorum of 5.

      2. Changing the policy on quorum for approval of project funding from a minimum of 50% of members to two thirds majority for project funding -- Approved (unanimously).

      3. Increase the quorum for projects that require higher funding – Approved (unanimously) for projects that require over 1% of AfE’s total funding. Note Asha Chennai currently have 3 projects that will fall under this category (Scholarships, Project Sangamam and Sangamam Kanini).

      4. Exception for site visit once every 24 months under unusual circumstances – Not Approved (unanimously). We all felt even a 24 months requirement is very weak. It should be once every 12 months.

      5. Exception for funding projects without FCRA or prior permission – Approved (unanimously). We didn’t understand what the special circumstances may be. We know that during the December 2015 flood relief, government relaxed the FCRA restrictions. Under such circumstance Asha may also need to relax the FCRA requirement. It makes sense.

       2. Asha India Related Matters

      1. Mr. Rajaraman briefed the group about the query from IT department with respect to the returns of 2014-15. He stated that financial queries raised by the department has been answered and the department has raised a question about the reasons for late submission.

      2. The group was informed about a conflict on funding process for Asha India and AfE. It was decided that Mr. Rajaraman will discuss the issue with other chapters to develop a process for project funding that would work for the non-AfE Asha India chapters as well as AfE.

      3. Mr. Rajaraman underscored the urgency to register the new Asha India trust. Ananth Sir will send the documents he has worked on to Rajaram.

      4. The logistics for hosting the next Asha India conference in Chennai was discussed. It is tentatively decided to organize the conference for three days, on the 10th, 11th and 12th of February 2018. Members are requested to suggest suitable venue and accommodation for the delegates. Mr. Rajaraman highlighted the importance of deciding the venue before the end of November 2017.

      5. Anant Sir volunteered to prepare a file on the minutes of all the meetings of Asha Chennai.

 3. Updation of Asha Chennai Policies

Suggestions proposed by Mr.Rajaraman for updating Asha Chennai’s policies was taken up for discussion and the following decisions were taken:

      1. Unanimously voted to remove point no. 2.b.6.

      2. Unanimously Agreed to point no 2.b.8 which captures the requirement coming from the ARC poll.

      3. New point under 2.b (decision making) – Bhaskar proposed an additional point that new salary for all teachers that impact multiple projects (which we take once a year) should also be approved by two thirds majority. Four voted in favor of the proposed change, two voted against it and two abstained.

      4. Unanimously Agreed to the rest of the changes – points 2.b.9, 2.b.11, 2.c (electronic voting) and 2.e (selection of volunteers).

The new policy document was approved unanimously with the changes mentioned above in points i and iii.

     4.   Loan to Staff:

      1. Loan amount to staff will be approved in accordance with the staff guidelines (October 19 2017)

      2. All loans require a guarantor.

      3. If an employee is laid off due to lack of project funds, any pending loan amount in their name can be written off.

There was a new request for loan which would require us revisit our decision on cap on total loans to staff that was taken in the August meeting. In keeping with our policy to not revisit decisions made within 6 months, we decided to not take this up for discussion at the moment.

   5. Contingency fund for Asha scholarship :

It was decided to approve Rs.20000 as contingency fund for Asha scholarship budget. This was approved unanimously.

   6. Decision on the continuation of UQE Tirunelveli project was discussed.

The urgency of locating funds for the project was highlighted. Since decision for only funding the project till December 2017 from Asha Chennai funds was taken only in July/August meetings, we will not revisit the decision of extending the funding for the project at the moment.

It was decided that the project steward Mr. Ananth sir and Mr. Sundaram sir should work towards obtaining funding for the project from Asha chapters and any other sources.


As a follow-up to the ARC proposal voting in this meeting, there was an online poll set up for volunteers to vote on three more ARC-2017H2 proposals on 5-Dec-2017. The decisions approved in that poll were as follows:

  1. AfE Internal Audit Committee Reform - Approved (8 Yes, 1 No)
  2. Collecting Input Metrics annually from all Asha Projects - Approved (8 Yes, 1 No)
  3. Chapter Lifecycle Criteria and Non-Compliance Reform - Not Approved (3 Yes, 6 No)

Mrs. Kasturi voted over phone and Bhaskar changed his vote from Yes to No to the third proposal above. The minutes to this poll are attached.

-Minutes taken by R. Bhuvaneswari with edits by K. Rajaraman


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