THE AUROVILLE FOUNDATION ACT, 1988

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The Auroville Foundation Act, 1988 was enacted by the Central Government to safeguard Auroville as an exceptional legislation. The legislation provides for the acquisition of the entire assets and the establishments that are connected with Auroville but without compensating the entire sum of money. Before the commencement of the Act, these assets were administered by an administrator. The administrator was appointed by the Auroville Emergency Provisions Act. But at present, the assets are transferred to the Government of India for the purpose of transferring it to a company constituted to the Auroville Foundation. The initiation of the foundation was in 1991 and the assets were transferred in 1992 to the Foundation. The Act was formulated by the legislative department under the Ministry of Law and Justice on October 3, 1988 and obtained the assent of the President of India on September 29, 1988. The Auroville, international cultural township was pioneered on February 28, 1968. But there arose many impediments in the administration of the township and hence, its control was transferred to the Government of India by enacting the Auroville (Emergency Provisions) Act in1980 for restricted duration.

With the administration vested with the Government of India and the complete supervision of the International Advisory Council constituted as per the 1980 enactment, the township progressed in the past eight years with various advancements and the people living in the township also introduced numerous functions to expand the township. These activities need more support and back-up. Moreover, various institutions contributed grants for the development of the township in India as well as abroad. The State and the Central Government also made contributions for its development. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed resolutions that the advancement of Auroville is essential for global perceptive and promotion of international order. With respect to these matters, it is vital to persuade, continue and unite the activities relating to the township and also to get hold of the industries and events of the Auroville and transfer them to a body corporate which is constituted to fulfill the mentioned objectives.

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The Act states that from the commencement of the enactment, the activities of the society, institution or organization that are connected with the township and all the privileges, identity and interest of such body with respect to the undertakings shall be assigned to the Central Government in the manner provided under the Act. The undertaking so transferred shall consists of the properties and obligations, authority, projects, assignments, equipments, assets, activities, structures, bank accounts, cash deposits, investments etc. The assets so assigned to the Central Government shall be unchained from any body, liabilities, suits, stay order or other impediments in the prescribed manner. The obligations and debts with regard to the undertaking for any term previous to the commencement of the Act shall be implemented against the Government of India or next to the Foundation. Subsequent to the commencement of the Act, the Central Government is empowered to issue direction that the enterprises and the privileges, identity and interest vested with the organization relating to the enterprise that are under the control of the Central Government shall be transferred to the Foundation.

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The Act provides for the constitution of Auroville Foundation. The primary authority under the Foundation is the Governing body. Thereafter the resident’s assembly and the Auroville International Advisory Council shall form the authorities. The Central Government is entrusted with the power to appoint Secretary to the Foundation to perform some functions as provided under the Act. The governing body shall promote the principles and harmonize the activities of the Foundation. It shall evaluate the strategies and programmes, to give sanction to such activities and to supervise the activities of the Foundation. The resident’s assembly shall assist the governing body in conducting the activities of the Foundation with regard to the residents of the township. The working committee is constituted to help out the resident’s assembly to perform the responsibilities. Moreover, the Central Government is empowered under the Act to frame rules to effectually implement the legislation.