The GOPIO Silicon Valley Chapter is bound by the GOPIO Constitution, details of which are mentioned below:
THE GLOBAL ORGANIZATION OF PEOPLE OF INDIAN ORIGIN (GOPIO)
1. NAME AND PURPOSE: The Global Organization of People of Indian origin (abbreviated as GOPIO) is a nonpartisan, non-sectarian global organization engaged in prompting wellbeing of non resident Indians and people of Indian origin enhancing cooperation and communication between groups of Indians living in different countries and in furthering their cooperation with India.
2. OBJECTIVES: Within the above overall purpose the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) will have the following specific objectives:
(a) To promote legitimate interests of the Indian community as a whole and of specific groups resident in particular countries.
(b) To help the Indian communities in different countries to promote legitimate secular and developmental interests of the countries in which they are resident.
(c) To promote the common cultural heritage of India abroad.
(d) To mobilize professional, financial. and intellectual resources of the community of Indians abroad for their mutual advancement and for the development of their country of origin.
(e) To organize interaction between communities of Indians abroad on a global level to deliberate and decide on common issues and problems facing them, including education and technology.
(f) To provide a forum at periodical intervals to discuss, debate and decide on common problems and issues facing groups of Indians abroad and initiate measures to redress their grievances.
(g) To disseminate regularly information on global, regional and national developments affecting Indian community abroad as a whole or substantial parts thereof.
(h) To further the interaction between Indian people and other communities at global level in promoting world peace, progress and ecological harmony.
(i) To develop channels of communication between groups of Indians resident in different countries and between them and India.
(j) To raise funds through contributions and other means on regular basis and at special occasions for promoting social and cultural activities at a global level as well for the relief and rehabilitation of groups of Indians affected by natural and other calamities.
(k) To constitute Think Tanks and Task Forces of Indians abroad on particular issues of interest to the Global organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) or to India.
3. DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES PERMEATING GOPIO: The directive principles which should permeate all structures and work of the GOPIO are:
(a) GOPIO should address problems and issues of the community and refrain from involvement with individual complaints.
(b) No one country should dominate the decision-making in GOPIO and organizations of people of Indian origin in all countries should be provided access to bring common problems and issues before the GOPIO.
(c) Philosophy of participation and democratic decision-making should pervade GOPIO.
(d) There is a need for flexibility and an experimental approach in view of different status of development of organizations of Indians in various countries.
(e) GOPIO organizational structure should encourage widest participation while ensuring responsible decision-making by as representative institutions as possible.
(f) The principles of GOPIO shall be applied uniformly and universally.
(g) Books and financial records of GOPIO shall be made available to all members of GOPIO, upon request who will be required to bear photocopying and postal expenses.
(h) GOPIO should promote the creation of GOPIO national chapter in each country in which people of Indian origin are residing. The membership of GOPIO national chapter should be open to GOPIO chapters and qualified organizations of people of Indian origin. Details about GOPIO national chapter are given in Appendix II.
4. ACTIVITIES OF GOPIO: In realization of objectives of GOPIO, GOPIO will engage in the following types of activities:
a. Conducting campaigns in newspapers and other media to focus attention on specific problems affecting community of Indians abroad.
b. Act as a lobby, pressure group in support of cause of people of Indian origin.
c. Undertake regular and periodical publication activity.
d. Raise funds for specific activities of GOPIO.
e. Undertake studies or commission studies on specific problems and issues affecting Indians abroad.
f. Act as a liaison between groups of Indians in specific countries and national governments, Government of India and international organizations in realization of the objectives of GOPIO.
5. GOPIO will have the following three tier structure:
(a) Global Convention
(b) General Council
(c) Executive Committee
For specific activities, there will also be a Human Rights Council, a Business Council, a Cultural Council, an Academic Council, a Philanthropic Council, a Health Services Council, a Youth Council, a Women’s Council and an International Advisory Council, a Credentials Committee and the Secretariat.
5.A. GLOBAL CONVENTION: GOPIO will organize once in two years a Global Convention of People of Indian Origin, at a place and time decided by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Chairman of GOPIO.
- The Global Convention will provide a platform for exchange of ideas and experiences for People of Indian Origin from different parts of the world. It may adopt resolutions expressing support or concern of People of Indian origin on issues which interest them. It will make recommendations to the Executive Council of GOPIO on issues which require further study, action or GOPIO commitment.
- It will be GOPIO policy to encourage broad participation in GOPIO Conventions. All organizations of people of Indian origin whose objectives and principles are consistent with objectives and principles of GOPIO will be eligible for participation in GOPIO Conventions.
- The meetings of the Global Convention will be presided by the chairman of GOPIO and in his/her absence by the President of GOPIO. The Agenda for the Global Convention will be prepared by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Chairman of GOPIO. It will be open to any participating member organization to suggest items on the agenda for discussion at Global Conventions.
- All participants of the Global convention will pay their own travel and other expenses, save in exceptional cases where the Executive Committee may decide to pay itself.
5.B.1. General Council or Executive Council: The General Council will be the main policymaking body of GOPIO. It is the organ which will elect the President, Vice Presidents and members of the Executive Committee from amongst its membership. It will also ratify the recommendations of the Executive Committee for the Secretary General, members of the credentials Committee, International Advisory Council and the chairpersons of other Councils .
5.B.2. General Council meeting will be chaired be the Chairman. The Council will discuss and approve annual budget and accounts prepared by the Executive Committee.
5.B.3. It will be responsible for giving shape to the guidelines given by the Global Convention and will direct the executive committee to take appropriate action to implement various resolutions passed by the Convention.
5.B.4. It will meet as and when decided by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Chairman of the General Council.
To qualify for representation in the Executive council, a GOPIO national organization and GOPIO chapters should be non-profit making, non-partisan and non- sectarian. It should be registered or incorporated. It should subscribe to the objectives and principles of GOPIO. It should have a written constitution and follow GOPIO Chapter initiative documents. It should have completed one year of existence at the time of application. The formula for representation is given in Appendix No.II. In case of a country which does not have a GOPIO chapter or a national organization, the General Council, on the recommendations of the Credentials Committee will nominate a particular association or an individual to represent the interest of the PIO community in that country. Such nominated representatives will not have the right to vote.
5.C. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: Will be responsible for the ongoing work of GOPIO between the meetings of Executive Council. It will execute all decisions of the Executive Council and prepare all meetings of the Executive Council.
5.C.1. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE will consist of the President, Executive Vice-President and nine vice presidents, one for each of the following 9 regions:
Oceania and the Pacific
Central and South America
South East Asia
5.C.2. The chairman will be ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.
5.C.3. All the members of the Executive Committee including the office bearers will be elected as per the bylaws and by the General Council from amongst its membership. However the candidate for the position of president must have held a position at the international level for at least one full term.
5.C.4. The term of the committee and other office bearers will be for a period of 2 years but the members will continue to hold their offices until new ones are elected to replace them.
5.C.5. Individuals cannot be re-elected to the same position more than twice and in the composition of the Executive committee, no one participating country will have more than two positions.
5.C.6. The Executive Committee will report to the General Council and to the Global Convention on the activities of GOPIO, provide guidance to the Secretary-General and other staff of the GOPIO. It will meet at least once a year at a place and time to be decided by itself.
5.C.7. It will prepare annual budgets and accounts and present to the Executive Council for approval.
5.D.1 CHAIRMAN will be the head of the organization. He/she will preside over the meetings of the Global Convention, General Council and the International Advisory Council. He/she will provide overall leadership to GOPIO Conventions and the General Council and help the Executive Committee in convening GOPIO Conventions and meetings of the General Council. He/she will be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee. He/she will be consulted by the President of GOPIO on all important matters.
5.D.2. To ensure stability and continuity within the organization, the outgoing immediate past president shall become the new chairman with endorsement from the Council.
5.D.3 PRESIDENT will be the Chief Executive Officer of the organization. He/she will be responsible for planning and execution of programs and activities of GOPIO and liaison with other organizations engaged in similar activities. He/she will present state of the organization reports to the General Council. He/she will represent the GOPIO to the third parties in accordance with GOPIO policies. He/she will lead all deputations and delegations of which he/she is a member. In the absence of the chairman he/she will preside over the meetings of the Global Convention and/or General Council. He/she will consult the Chairman on all important matters and keep the Chairman fully informed about the activities of GOPIO. The candidate for the position of president must have served for at least one full term in the Executive Committee, as Secretary General or International Coordinator or GOPIO Council Chairperson. (Council co-chair is not same as chair).
5.D.4 EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT will perform all functions of the President in his/her absence. He/she will be responsible for preparing and presenting financial reports to the meetings of the Executive Committee and General Council. He/she will assist the President in raising funds for GOPIO.
5.D.5 REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS are elected by the delegates in the region provided there are ten chapters in “good standing”.
5.D.6. GOPIO International, if there are ten or more chapters in a region, shall seek email recommendations from eligible chapter delegates and life members of the region for the position of Vice President for the region. A regional coordinator, a country coordinator, a life member or a delegate of a chapter shall qualify for the position. Any person, who gets majority of the recommendations with a minimum of 50% of the qualified life members and delegates, shall become the recommendee for the position of regional vice president. The Executive Committee will accept recommendation or if there is no recommendation, shall appoint a qualified person as Vice-President of the region.
5.D.7 If there are fewer than 10 chapters, GOPIO International shall appoint Regional coordinator for the region in consultation with the chapters, if any.
5.D.8 GOPIO International, if there are ten or more chapters in a country, shall seek email recommendations from eligible chapter delegates and life members in the country for the position of Country/National Coordinator . A life member or a delegate of a chapter shall qualify for the position. Any person who gets majority of the recommendations with a minimum of 50% of the qualified life members and delegates, shall become the recommended for the position of country coordinator. The Executive Committee will accept recommendation or if there is no recommendation, shall appoint a qualified person as country coordinator.
5.E.1. SECRETARY-GENERAL(s) will carry on GOPIO work on a day to day basis under the guidance of the Chairman and the President of GOPIO. He/she will also be the Secretary of the Executive Committee.
5.E.2. He/she will be responsible for communications with members of the Executive Committee and with others interested in the activities of the GOPIO. He/she will also be required to give shape to the decisions of the Global Convention and General Council, report periodically on the activities of the GOPIO and assist the President, Vice-Presidents and others in realization of the objectives of the GOPIO.
5.E.3. The Secretary-General(s) will be appointed by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Chairman for a period of 2 years. Appointment can be renewed for one more term.
5.E.4. International Coordinator or Regional Coordinators will be appointed by the President at the recommendations of the Executive Committee for a period of 2 years. Appointment can be renewed for one more term. President may give specific tasks to these coordinators and in particular for initiating new GOPIO chapters.
5.F ELECTION COMMITTEE AND ELECTION PROCEDURE
- The election of the GOPIO Executive Committee shall be conducted during the biennial meeting of the General Council in accordance with the GOPIO by-laws.
2. The Executive Committee shall appoint a nomination/election committee consisting of three members of the General Council and/or past Presidents who are not themselves candidates for any elective position for the current election or from among any other individuals of outstanding merit. These three members shall elect a chairperson of the committee.
- The nomination/election committee shall invite nominations by electronic mail from eligible delegates.
- An eligible delegate is either an active life member (as per Article 13 GOPIO Bylaws) of GOPIO International or an authorized representative of a GOPIO chapter in good standing (See I.D of Appendix 1 of GOPIO Bylaws at GOPIO website www.gopio.net).
- All nominations shall be submitted in writing on the prescribed form duly signed and accepted by the nominee at least 30 days prior to the biennial meeting of the General Council.
- The receipt of nominations duly endorsed by a nominating delegate should be received by the Chair, Nomination/Election Committee at least 30 days prior to the biennial meeting of the General Council.
- Withdrawal of nominations must be received in writing at least 20 days prior to the biennial meeting of the General Council.
- The nomination/election committee shall compile a list of all nominations at least 20 days prior to the biennial election.
- A nominee shall contest election for only one elected office in this election.
10. The Nominating Committee shall announce the names of nominees at least 20 days prior to the biennial election.
- Nomination from the floor shall be permitted only if there is no previously nominated candidate for a specific office by the prescribed deadline.
- The nomination/election committee shall be responsible for conducting the elections.
13. The person receiving the majority of votes for a designated position shall be declared winner. However, in terms of President and Executive Vice President, the persons can not be from the same country or a region. Therefore, if both President and Executive VP candidates elected are from the same region, the Election Commission will invalidate the election of the Executive Vice President and the person getting the next highest votes from another region will be declared as elected.
14. In the event no candidate receives majority vote, the top two candidates shall face a run-off election on the same day.
15. All deadlines pertaining to nominations and elections are subject to review and change by the GOPIO board before the elections of officers each year, provided at least 30 days notice is available for any deadline.
16. The name of the chapter delegate(s) shall be submitted by the chapter president through the country coordinator/regional VP 60 days prior to the election.
17. In the absence of any designated chapter delegate at the time of elections, only the chapter president shall be eligible to vote in place of the designated delegate.
18. The elections shall be conducted according to the Protocol approved by the Executive Committee, before each election. The protocol shall be in accord with these bylaws.
- Electronic mail shall be the preferred mode for communication.
As per GOPIO bylaws, the officers to be elected are: president, executive vice president and regional VPs. However, election of regional VPs is by electronic mail.
- The candidate for the position of president must have served at the international level for at least one full term. (International level positions are: President, Executive Vice President, Regional Vice President, Council Chairperson, Secretary General or International Coordinator. (Neither International Coordinator for a region nor Council Co-Chairperson is eligible).
- An individual cannot be re-elected to the same position more than twice. In the composition of the Executive committee, no one participating country will have more than two such positions.
- The voting chapter delegates and life members must be qualified as per GOPIO by-laws and registered for the convention.
- The decision of the nomination/election committee shall be final and binding. Any such decision can be challenged within 60 days at the General Council meeting after the end of the convention at which the elections were conducted. The General Council is empowered to overrule the decision of the nomination /election committee, provided at least half of its total members vote to do so by mail, E-mail or in person.
- For the position of regional vice presidents, GOPIO International shall seek email recommendations from eligible chapter delegates and qualified life members of the region, if there are ten or more chapters in a region. A regional coordinator, a country coordinator, a qualified life member or a delegate of a chapter in good-standing shall qualify for the position of Regional Vice President. Any person who gets majority of the recommendations with a minimum of 50% of the qualified life members and delegates, shall become the recommended candidate for the position of regional vice president. The Executive Committee will accept recommendation or if there is no recommendation, shall appoint a qualified person as Vice-President of the region in consultation with the Chairman.
5.F.1 CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE: There will be a Credential Committee consisting of 9 members, including a Chairperson, representing different regions of the membership of the GOPIO for a period of 4 years. They will be nominated by the Executive Committee and approved by the General council.
5.F.2. The main task of the Credential Committee will be to verify the credentials of organizations seeking representation in GOPIO General Council and to make recommendations to the General Council. It will also be the responsibility of this Committee to identify groups of Non-Resident Indians and people of Indian origin who are not represented at the global meetings of the GOPIO and to initiate measures to secure their representation in due course.
5.G.1 INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL: There will be an International Advisory Council of persons of Indian origin who have helped the PIO communities in their countries or regions and who are able to contribute to the development of GOPIO. The members of the International Advisory Council will be nominated by the General Council on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. The Chairman of GOPIO will chair the meetings of the Advisory Council. The members of the Advisory Council will be invited to GOPIO Conventions and will be kept informed about the activities of GOPIO. The President of GOPIO will be an ex-officio member of the Advisory Council.
5.G.2. The members of the Advisory Council will be expected to advise and help GOPIO in raising funds. The Advisory Council will be expected to create and maintain a trust fund to be used in an emergency effecting GOPIO and or any PIO community.
5.H.1 GOPIO INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION:
5.H.2 The GOPIO Foundation shall act in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee. The Foundation shall be responsible for the coordination of raising, managing and disbursing funds collected for charitable and educational causes in India as well as in other parts of the world.
5.H.3 The Foundation shall be composed of 8 voting members, called trustees excluding the GOPIO President, chairman and the treasurer who will be ex-officio members. Every year, the executive committee will appoint one half of the Foundation members for a term of two years. The Trustees will be responsible for all the Foundation activities and will provide a yearly report to the Executive Committee of all its activities.
5.H.4 Except for ex-officio members, a voting member of executive committee shall not be a voting member of the Foundation and vice versa. If a person is elected or appointed as a voting member of both these bodies, he/she shall have to relinquish one of the positions.
5.H.5 The Foundation shall meet as deemed necessary. The notice of the Foundation meeting and the quorum required shall be the same as that of the Executive committee. The Foundation Trustees can make a decision to distribute up to $5,000 to a charity. However, any amount above $5,000 has to be pre-approved by the Executive committee. The limit of disbursement by the Foundation Trustees can be raised by a decision of Executive Committee.
5.H.6 An annual report of its activities and a financial report of the Foundation shall be submitted by the Executive Trustee to the Executive committee.
5.H.7 The Executive Trustee of the Foundation shall be appointed by the incoming (newly elected) GOPIO Executive committee from the trustees who have served at least two terms either on the Executive Committee or as a trustee of the foundation. The immediate past GOPIO chairman shall be eligible for appointment to the position of Executive Trustee.
5.H.8 The Executive Trustee shall be member of the Executive Committee and will also perform any other duties as assigned by the Executive Committee.
5.I GOPIO COUNCILS
GOPIO Councils shall be established by GOPIO General Council at the recommendation of the Executive Committee to serve the diverse interests of the global Indian community. Refer to Appendix III: “GOPIO Councils”
5.J.1 The term of all appointees shall coincide with the term of the Executive Committee.
6. IMPEACHMENT: The office-bearers of the GOPIO can be impeached by the Executive council for misdemeanor and for gross and willful violation of GOPIO constitution. Impeachment proceedings can be initiated by at least five members of the Executive Council. The office-bearer concerned will be provided a written statement of the charges against him/her and given thirty days to reply to the charges. The impeachment charges and replies from the person charged will be circulated to all members of the Executive Council at least 30 days before the meeting of the Executive Council at which they are to be discussed. Impeachment decision can be made only with the three/fourth (3/4) majority of the Executive Council present and voting in a meeting with due prior notice concerning this agenda item.
7. PATRONS: Persons who have made outstanding contributions to the cause of GOPIO may be honored as Patrons. All patrons will be invited to Global Conventions and will be kept informed about the activities of GOPIO.
8. MEMBERSHIP FEE: It will be desirable to establish contribution amounts for different countries, based on some system like the United Nations which takes into consideration the size of the group, its economic well being, its financial possibilities, etc. Pending this, it is necessary to have an initial MEMBERSHIP FEE of US Dollars 500 PER ANNUM, in any currency convertible in US Dollars for each national organization, US$100 for GOPIO chapters. However, the Executive Committee will have the power to waive this payment or adjust it in case of a particular country, keeping in view the circumstances. The Executive Committee may review and change the annual membership fees from time to time.
9. AMENDMENTS: Amendments to this Constitution shall be made only with the approval of the two-third (2/3) majority of the members of the Executive Council present and voting. The amendments may be initiated by the Executive Committee or by five voting members of the Executive Council acting together. If the amendments are initiated by five voting members then the members concerned shall send them in writing to the Executive Committee at least 60 days in advance of the Council meeting at which they are to be considered. Whether the amendments originate with the voting members or the Executive Committee, the Executive committee shall circulate them to the members of the Council along with their own recommendations at least 30 days in advance of the Council meeting at which they are to be considered.
10. SEAL: The Executive Committee shall provide a seal for the purpose of the Council and shall determine the manner in which it shall be used.
11. OFFICIAL YEAR: The official year of the GOPIO shall be the same as the calendar year.
12. HEADQUARTERS OF GOPIO: The headquarters and the location of the other organs of GOPIO will be decided by the Executive Committee in consultation with the GOPIO Chairman.
13. QUORUM: Quorum for taking decisions by the General Council shall be 20 % of its membership plus one and for Executive Committee shall be 50 % plus one. Membership includes registered delegates and active life members. Any life member who has participated in any scheduled GOPIO activity during the preceding three (3) years, at any function or event organized at the international level, is deemed an active member.
14. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English will be the official language of the GOPIO.
15. DISSOLUTION: The GOPIO may be dissolved with the approval of the three-fourths majority of the Executive Council members present and voting at an extra-ordinary meeting specially called for this purpose. In the case of dissolution, the Executive Committee shall donate the net assets of the GOPIO to an organization whose objects are similar to the objectives of the GOPIO.
GOPIO would facilitate city, regional and national chapter development for a global network of all NRIs/PIOs. To achieve that objective, GOPIO would encourage opening of chapters every where, instilling a culture of service among the NRIs/PIOs worldwide and making GOPIO an international service organization.
I.A Starting a Chapter
There must not be a GOPIO Chapter within a 5 mile radius of your local area unless it is in another state. A “mentor chapter”, mutually selected or GOPIO assigned will guide in the start-up process.
I.B Process of Starting a Chapter
I.B.1. Gather 5 people who will work cohesively on the new chapter before writing a Letter of Intent (LOI).
I.B.2. Submit the LOI to GOPIO Secretariat and Regional V.P indicating intent to start a local chapter
I.B.3. GOPIO President, International Coordinator or Regional V.P will help with the selection of a mentor chapter.
I.B.4. On receipt of LOI by GOPIO Secretariat and Regional V.P, GOPIO president shall officially authorize the “start-up chapter” to be in “probationary status”, which entitles:
Participation in GOPIO activities without voting rights;
Organization of events and activities under GOPIO banner.
Mentor chapter & GOPIO International/RVP can help with ideas;
I.B.5. Use GOPIO bylaws/constitution on chapter functioning to elect officers;
I.B.6. Chapter incorporation, under the laws of the country, if needed. Also, obtain tax exempt status, if needed.
I.B.7. Chapter progress is formally reviewed by International Coordinator, GOPIO RVP and Executive Committee approximately 3 months after organization of “start-up chapter” to ensure that the new chapter has met all obligations of local laws and has increased membership to a minimum of fifteen. Thereafter and before the expiration of 6 months from the date of authorization, GOPIO International at the recommendation of National coordinator/Regional vice president and on receipt of annual dues, authorize the “start-up chapter” to be an official chapter with voting rights in GOPIO International.
I.B.8. For sake of uniformity, the chapter will be named with a city or an area after the word “GOPIO,” e.g. GOPIO New York, GOPIO Mumbai, GOPIO South-West Los Angeles. In cases of a large metropolitan area, there can exist multiple chapters within that metropolitan area with chapter names of that city identified with suffix of specific areas such as North, South, East, West. There shall be clearly defined areas of operation for each such chapter even within five (5) mile radius without territorial conflicts.
I.C.1 Chapter Officers
Each GOPIO Chapter will elect an Executive Committee consisting of President, Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Treasurer and other committee members for a term of two years. No individual can hold the same office for more than two terms.
GOPIO chapters need to maintain change, continuity and challenge as a hallmark for GOPIO chapter formation.
Change: Change should bring in new volunteers into position of organizational responsibility. Encourage people to move up the ladder in the organization;
Continuity: Experience gained at one position is used at the next level;
Challenge: The new position should present leadership challenge to the holder, particularly when one moves to the position of president. Also, it should be a challenge for the new and less experienced in the organization to learn more and take more challenging volunteering responsibilities.
I.C.2 No two (2) members of the chapter Executive committee shall be blood relatives.
I.C.3 Chapter Membership Fee
- Individual members in a chapter will pay an annual fee prescribed by the chapter Executive Committee.
- If there are multiple chapters in a country, the fee should be decided by the chapter presidents in consultation with the country coordinator.
- Membership fees shall be uniform for all chapters in a country.
I.D Remaining a Good Standing Chapter
A chapter is deemed in Good Standing, if it:
a. pays annual dues to GOPIO International, currently US $100. (For more than one delegate, $100 per delegate/per year)
b. Follows GOPIO International bylaws as they relate to chapters.
c. Participates in all GOPIO wide projects, committee(s) and Councils.
d. Communicates all GOPIO issues to GOPIO International and to local membership.
e. Has an elected and structured Executive Committee and holds regular monthly meetings. If the Committee has failed to conduct election of new officers at the expiration of the two year term, National Coordinator/Regional Vice President in consultation with GOPIO International President can appoint an ad-hoc president for up to three months during which new executive committee can be elected.
f. Sends Activity Report to GOPIO Int’l regularly, every 3 months.
I.E Country Coordinator
I.E.1. A country coordinator will be appointed by GOPIO International Executive Committee in consultation with the chapter presidents from that country, if there are fewer than ten chapters in a country.
I.E.2. Where there exist 10 or more chapters in a country, there shall be a President to coordinate the activities of those chapters. Example: President of GOPIO New Zealand.
I.E.3. Where there exist multiple chapters in a country, an Area Coordinator shall be designated for every five (5) chapters, reporting to the country President (or Regional Vice President if there is no country President).
I.F Chapters and Life Members
a. Chapters are encouraged to enroll Life Members for GOPIO International. From the one time Life Membership fee paid to the GOPIO International, 25% will go to the chapter (if in “Good Standing” for consecutive two years) where the member comes from which also entails GOPIO Life member to become a Life Member of the local chapter. If the life membership is not originated by the chapter, GOPIO International can still pay up to 20% to the chapter chosen by the life member.
b. Life membership fee is decided by the Executive Council (current rate is U.S.$1,500 (silver), $2500 (gold) and $5000 (platinum) for developed countries and one-half for developing countries includingIndia)
I.G Relationship Between Local Chapter & GOPIO International
- Local chapter has its own officers and is run and managed at the local level
- A chapter in “good standing” will have the voting rights in the GOPIO Executive Council according to the following sliding scale:
Up to 25 members – 1 delegate
26 to 100 members – 2 delegates
101 to 500 members – 3 delegates
500 + members – 4 delegates
GOPIO chapter will pay GOPIO International an annual fee of $100 per delegate, one-half for developing countries including India.
c. GOPIO chapter will pay GOPIO International an annual fee of $100 per delegate, one-half for developing countries including India.
I.H Whom to Contact
Regional Vice Presidents, International Coordinator and/or President, GOPIO International (see http://gopio.net/team.htm)
Any country with five or more chapters/qualified organizations (any registered, not-for-profit, member supported organization which has duly elected governing committee) in “good standing” may form GOPIO national chapter. Chapter delegates as per I.G of Appendix I shall become members of the national chapter and elect the management team as per I.C of Appendix I.
Each GOPIO national chapter will send a minimum of one and a maximum of four representatives to GOPIO General Council as per following formula:
Qualified Voting Members Representatives
Up to 15 1
15 – 25 2
26 – 50 3
51 + 4
These representatives have the right to participate in the deliberations of the General Council.
APPENDIX III GOPIO COUNCILS
GOPIO International has eight Councils, namely, Human Rights, Business, Cultural, Academic, Philanthropic, Media, Health Services, Youth and Women’s to serve the diverse interests of the global Indian community.
A. Each GOPIO Council shall conform to the following guidelines:
1. Each Council shall consist of a chairperson and a no. of co-chairpersons with regional representation as deemed necessary.
2. The chairperson shall be appointed by the President of GOPIO in consultation with the Executive Committee.
3. The co-chairpersons shall be appointed by the President of GOPIO in consultation with the Council chairperson.
4. The term of all appointees shall coincide with the term of the Executive Committee.
5. The chairperson shall provide plan of activities and periodic reports to the President of GOPIO and to other appropriate bodies within GOPIO.
B. The following are the GOPIO Councils:
1. GOPIO HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
a. To actively monitor all aspects of human rights conditions and treatment of persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and non-resident Indians (NRIs), and to seek prompt and full remedy and redress from the respective governments, the United Nations, the Government of India, human rights agencies operating locally and globally, and forums of local and international jurisprudence, using “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948 and all subsequent amendments and changes as the basis for fair and equitable treatment for all peoples.
b. To monitor and address human rights conditions including, but not limited to, physical, social, economic, cultural, political, religious, and artistic conditions affecting PIOs and NRIs in various countries.
c. To engage the participation and to support efforts of any and all local Indian and non-Indian organizations and groups, where possible, without compromising their safety and well-being, to compile and report all human rights abuses perpetrated against PIOs and NRIs.
d. To recognize those among NRI/PIO human rights advocates who have made notable achievements and for their community service.
2. GOPIO BUSINESS COUNCIL
a. To encourage and promote increasing levels of business investments by and among NRIs/PIOs in various parts of the world.
b. To develop and conduct business and investment seminars, forums, symposia, trade exhibitions and conferences at regional and global levels to facilitate networking among investors and potential investment countries and selected industries.
c. To facilitate more awareness among non-Indians of the potentials and benefits of investments and trade with India and PIO countries.
- To recognize those among NRIs/PIOs in the business community who have made notable achievements and for their community service.
3. GOPIO CULTURAL COUNCIL
a. To develop, enhance and encourage continued promotion and preservation of the Indian culture and heritage among NRIs/PIOs on community, regional and global levels.
b. To facilitate increased communications, dialogue, exchanges and travel among individuals, groups and institutions involved in teaching, performing and promoting the Indian culture and heritage.
c. To actively promote the richness and value of the Indian culture and heritage by holding events in collaboration with other cultural organizations worldwide.
d. To recognize those among NRIs/PIOs who are actively involved in cultural activities and have made notable achievements, and for their community service.
4. GOPIO ACADEMIC COUNCIL
a. To identify, recognize and link persons involved in Indian Diaspora studies and writings, and by identifying and linking academic institutions actively engaged in such studies, as a means of promoting and furthering Indian Diaspora studies and establishing a global network beneficial to NRIs/PIOs.
b. To develop, maintain and enhance respective directory of academic institutions, scholars, writers by category of works, and those who are the recipients of internationally recognized awards for their respective work on the Indian Diaspora.
c. To plan, coordinate and hold conferences, seminars, symposia and forums on issues related to the Indian Diaspora, both regional and international levels, including global conferences on behalf of GOPIO International as become necessary.
d. To recognize those among NRIs/PIOs academicians who have made notable achievements and for their community service.
5. GOPIO PHILANTROPIC COUNCIL
a. To cater to the continuing and emergency needs of the NRI/PIO community by monitoring activities of the Indian Diaspora, using available and funded resources to alleviate such needs.
b. To facilitate increased communications, dialogue and exchanges among various groups and institutions involved in philanthropy and to increase awareness of continuing needs of people in the Indian Diaspora.
c. To provide prompt responses to emergency needs and referrals for services and resources to alleviate critical conditions, including fund raising and solicitation for resources to provide needed assistance.
d. To recognize those among NRI/PIO philanthropists who have made notable achievements and for their community service.
6. GOPIO HEALTH SERVICES COUNCIL
a. To cater to the increasing health services needs of the growing population of non-resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) community by monitoring the health trends, statistics and reports among this group and encouraging community involvement in seeking such services for improving health conditions in the community.
b. To foster collaborative health seminars and services for the benefit of the non-resident Indian (NRIs) and persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) on health related issues and services that are of current interest and concern.
c. To provide, where possible and expedient, guidance and referrals on health services based on categories, region and other pertinent factors.
e. To recognize those among NRI/PIO health services providers who have made notable achievements and for their community service.
7. GOPIO YOUTH COUNCIL
a. To cater to the growing population and needs of the non-resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) youths by providing community service programs that addresses the pertinent issues and interest of the NRI/PIO youth.
b. To foster collaborative forums for dialogue and exchanges among non-resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) youths to maintain their interest and participation in the Indian Diaspora, now and in the future.
c. To encourage inter-group relations among non-resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) youths on local, regional and global levels for better understanding, cooperation and community service.
d. To recognize those among NRI/PIO youth who have made notable achievements in their respective fields of work and for their community service.
8. GOPIO WOMEN’S COUNCIL
a. To cater to the growing population and needs of the resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) women by providing community service programs that addresses the pertinent issues and interest of the NRI/PIO woman.
b. To foster collaborative forums for dialogue and exchanges among resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) women to maintain their interest and participation in the Indian Diaspora, now and in the future.
c. To encourage inter-group relations among non-resident Indian (NRI) and persons of Indian Origin (PIO) women on local, regional and global levels for better understanding, cooperation and community service.
d. To recognize those among NRI/PIO women who have made notable achievements in their respective fields of work and for their community service.
9. GOPIO MEDIA COUNCIL
a. To actively monitor local, regional and global news of the growing population and needs of the non-resident Indian (NRIs) and persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and provide items of interest and concern to GOPIO Executive Committee for deliberations and action where necessary.
a. To provide timely news releases on instructions from GOPIO Executive Committee on current events that affect non-resident Indian (NRIs) and persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) c. To collaborate with local, regional and global GOPIO officers, chapters and committees for news conferences and other media activities to promote GOPIO and its efforts.
d. To recognize those among NRI/PIO media who have made notable achievements in media and journalism, and for their community service.
Revised by incorporating amendments approved in General Council meeting on August 20, 2009 in New York, USA
Any updates to this constitution will be updated on this website: http://www.gopio.net/constitution.htm