Trustees & Patrons





Govindraj Ethiraj is Founding Editor & Managing Trustee of The Spending & Policy Research Foundation. A television & print journalist, he is also the Founder of Ping Digital Network and BOOM, both next generation television networks. He is a former Founder-Editor in Chief of Bloomberg TV India, a 24-hour business news service launched out of Mumbai in 2008. He also worked with television station CNBC-TV18, from near start-up point in 2000. He has worked in the digital space – with Business Standard as head of new media – as well as traditional print, at The Economic Times, Business World & Business India magazines. His writes for newspapers such as Business Standard. He is a Fellow of The Aspen Institute, Colorado.



Other Trustees


Ayaz Memon


Shrikant Karwa




Rohini Nilekani is Founder-Chairperson of Arghyam, a foundation she set up with a private endowment, to work on water and sanitation issues in India. She is also Founder-Chairperson of Pratham Books, a charitable trust which seeks to put “A book in every child’s hand.” An ex-journalist, author and philanthropist, Rohini has been deeply involved with development issues for more than a decade. She is currently a member of the Audit Advisory Board of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. She sits on the Boards of many non-profits, notably ATREE (the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment) and Sanghamithra Rural Financial Services. Rohini has authored two books published by Penguin India- a novel – Stillborn – and also a non–fiction account of dialogues she moderated between social and corporate leaders called Uncommon Ground.


Vikram Lal is former Chairman of the Eicher Group. He did his Senior Cambridge from the Doon School in 1957, after which he went abroad to study mechanical engineering at the Technical University Darmstadt in West Germany. He joined Eicher, the family company established by his father, in 1966. Eicher started as the first tractor manufacturer in India in 1960, and eventually branched out into light commercial vehicles in 1986, and then into heavy vehicles. Amongst other businesses, it acquired Royal Enfield, an iconic brand of motorcycles, in 1990. Mr Lal is the president of Common Cause, a public interest NGO pursuing major issues relating to reform, governance and the enforcement of law, since December 2004. He was Vice President of the World Wide Fund for Nature – India for 7 years and a member of the Board of Governors of the Doon School for 6 years. Currently, he is on the boards of Pratham Delhi Education Initiative and Resource Alliance India.


Pirojsha Godrej Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Godrej Group and is instrumental in carrying out Group’s charitable works across many areas like including immunisation for children, family welfare and nature conservation. It was established in 1972 and owns stakes in the holding company, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd. The income from dividends is utilised for promoting the objectives of the Trust.


The Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation (IPSMF) has provided financial support to the Spending & Policy Research Foundation (SPRF) for the purpose of reporting and publishing stories of public interest. The IPSMF does not take any legal or moral responsibility whatsoever for the content published by SPRF on its website or on any of its other platforms.

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How We Are Funded


The Spending & Policy Research Foundation (SPRF) was set up in August 2011, and started with a corpus of Rs 10,000 from Govindraj Ethiraj, SPRF’s managing trustee.


The funds/donations received by SPRF have been deployed to further the cause of data
journalism. As part of this endeavour, SPRF runs IndiaSpend and FactChecker.


The details of funds received by SPRF over the years are as follows:


Financial Year 2012-13:


In the year 2012-13, SPRF received Rs 1,205,000 as corpus funds and Rs 840,000 from general donations. The details are as follows:


Corpus Funds
Received from Amount (In Rs)
Gaja Advisors Pvt Ltd 1,000,000
Cedar Management Consulting Pvt Ltd 80,000
Nachiket Mor 50,000
Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd 50,000
Ganesh Rengaswamy 25,000
Total 1,205,000
General Donations
Received from Amount (In Rs)
RSM Foundation 290,000
Idiscoveri Education Pvt Ltd 25,000
Bala Pathasarathy 75,000
TVS Capital Funds Limited 250,000
Sanjay Swamy 25,000
Praveen Chakravarty 165,000
Rashmi Prahlad Bansal 10,000
Total 840,000

Financial Year 2013-14:


In the year 2013-14, SPRF received Rs 2,000,000 as corpus funds from Vikram Sarabhai Foundation, and Rs 4,744,160 from general donations. The details are as follows:


General Donations
Received from Amount (In Rs)
Bala Pathasarathy 70,000
Rohini Nilekani 3,174,160
Prabhakar Kalavacherla 300,000
Sunil Kaul 100,000
Pirojsha Godrej Foundation 1,000,000
India Value Fund 100,000
Total 4,744,160

Financial Year 2014-15:


In the year 2014-15, SPRF received Rs 3,000,000 as corpus funds from Vikram Sarabhai Foundation, Rs 9,564,000 from general donations and Rs 32,453 in online donations. The details are as follows:


General Donations
Received from Amount (In Rs)
Rohini Nilekani 7,000,000
Sudarshan Securities 2,500,000
Impact Foundation 44,000
Srijan Foundation 20,000
Total 9,564,000

Financial Year 2015-16:


In the year 2015-16, SPRF received Rs 8,500,000 from general donations and Rs 41,950 in online donations. The details are as follows:


General Donations
Received from Amount (In Rs)
Pirojsha Godrej Foundation 1,500,000
Vikram Sarabhai Foundation 3,500,000
Lal Family Foundation 3,500,000
Total 8,500,000

Financial Year 2016-17:


In the year 2016-17, SPRF received Rs 10,000,000 as corpus funds from Independent Spirited Media Foundation, Rs 1,500,000 as general donations from Pirojsha Godrej Foundation and Rs 47,850 in online donations.


Financial Year 2017-18:


In the year 2017-18, as of August 31, 2017, SPRF received Rs 4,000,000 as general donations from Lal Family Foundation and Rs 25,200 in online donations.