Institutions

The Samhita Development Network currently comprises of 3 organizations:

  1. Samhita Community Development Services is the economic arm of the network. It was registered as a not-for-profit section-25 company in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on September 28, 2007. SCDS specializes in delivery of microfinance and microenterprise services, and web-enabled common markets for poor communities.
  2. eCubeH Research Labs is the technology arm of the network. It was registered as a private limited company in New Delhi on August 31, 2009. eCubeH exclusively uses free and open source technologies in providing software, engineering and social technology solutions to poor communities.
  3. Samhita Development Network is the social arm of the network. It was registered as a not-for-profit section-25 company in Delhi on July 15, 2011. SDN works among poor communities in the areas of health, education and the environment.

Legal Structure

Given the social mission, Samhita has chosen the form of a Section 25 Company for its various service institutions. A Section-25 Company is a special type of Company intended for non-profit activities, and defined under the Companies Act, 1956. Key characteristics of such a Company are as follows:

  • Allows no dividends to be distributed to Shareholders. Any earnings are to be retained and used only to further the Company's objectives.
  • Promoters / Shareholders cannot be on the payroll of the organization.
  • The above principles cannot be bypassed through a customer / vendor relationship with other organization(s) having shareholders in common.
  • The Company is regulated by the Registrar of Companies, and is required to submit annual reports audited by a professional audit firm. In general there is much greater transparency, accountability and professionalism than other legal forms used by the NGO sector.
  • In the event of closure of the Company, assets may be transferred only to another such organization with similar objectives.

Exemption from registration with the RBI

The Reserve Bank of India, under the Master Circular- Exemptions from the provisions of RBI Act, 1934 RBI/2011-12/22 DNBS.PD. CC.No.228 /03. 02.004 / 2011-12 (July 1, 2011), exempts Samhita Community Development Services from any need to register with the RBI.

The notification specifically states the following:

2 (iii) Micro Finance Companies
Sections 45-IA, 45-IB and 45-IC of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934) shall not apply to any non-banking financial company which is
  1. engaged in micro financing activities, providing credit not exceeding Rs. 50,000 for a business enterprise and Rs. 1,25,000 for meeting the cost of a dwelling unit to any poor person for enabling him to raise his level of income and standard of living; and
  2. licensed under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956; and
  3. not accepting public deposits as defined in paragraph 2(1)(xii) of Notification No. 118 /DG(SPT)-98 dated January 31, 1998.

Samhita Community Development Services meets all of the above conditions.

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