Institutions or organizations that give grant-in-aid to those who require are commonly known as Funding agencies. Funding for a business or research or education activities can be obtained from many sources. It can be by way of Grants, Loans, Equity, Asset backed finance, or by Business relationship funding.
Now-a-days, Grants are the most economical form of finance available. But it’s a lengthy procedure. Grants are available for Technology projects, educational trainings, exports, environmental projects, and regional assisted projects. Loans are the best source, if appropriate security is available for mortgage, while equity is not an easy option. Asset backed funding can cover various machineries, sales invoices, and sometimes sales orders. Some examples of relationship funding are joint ventures, partnerships, and franchises.
Funding in India is mostly done through various grants, loans, and sometimes, by relationship funding. There are several funding agencies in India; prominent among them are banks, which are spread all over the country. There are 26 public sector banks, 11 private banks, and 58 scheduled urban co-operative banks. Apart from these, there are many foreign banks acting as funding agencies in India. Over and above this, there are many Non-banking financial institutions in India, which are also involved in funding. These NBFCs are concentrating more on Gold loan and vehicle loans.
As per the latest reports available, there are 181 funding agencies in India, wherein most of them are Foundations and Trusts. These organizations, primarily fund against various grants in the educational and research sector. These Foundations and Trusts provide funds to Individuals, voluntary organizations and/or NGOs for some specific reasons. Most of them are non-profit organizations.
Some of such major Foundations and Trusts which act as funding agencies in India are Aga Khan Foundation, A.H.Wadia Charitable Trust, Ambuja Cement Foundation, Anand Ashram Trust, Asha for Education, Aswini Charitable Trust, Asian paints charitable Trust, Azim Premji foundation, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Bombay community public Trust, Child in need institute, Child relief and you (CRY), Dr.Rammanohar lohia international trust, Dr.Reddy’s foundations, Infosys foundation, Ranbaxy science foundation etc.
There are only a few government funding agencies in India. They are University Grants Commission (UGC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Science and Technology (DST), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and All India Council for Technical Education ((AICTE). Since the government has reduced its funding grants, these funding agencies in India, are not able to give sufficient funds to educational institutions. Apart from this, there are more than 60 foreign funding agencies in India, who are pouring millions of funds into India, and prominent among them are U.S., Canada, UK and other European countries.