BOT Guidance

Kaveri's constitution (Article IX) provides for an advisory body comprising its former Presidents to assist and advise its Executive Committee (KEC) at the request of the latter on any matter pertaining to the functioning of Kaveri. As per the recommendations of a special Committee established by the Kaveri General Body (GB), an existing informal advisory body consisting of past presidents was replaced by a new Board of Trustees (BOT). BOT's principal function is to administer the long term management of Kaveri financial and other assets in accordance with the priorities determined by the General Body (GB). In addition, BOT is also entrusted with the responsibility of performing any advisory functions which may be requested by GB or KEC. Specifically, BOT would have responsibility for the tasks noted below:

  • * Preparation of a long-term vision (in chunks of five to ten year periods) for Kaveri for the guidance of successive KECs, and recommending actions and programs that contribute to the fulfillment of that vision;
  • * Preparation of an initial plan for the investment of Kaveri current assets and any other funds generated as a result of special events such as WKC 2006 that may be undertaken by Kaveri, or donations from Kaveri members or other sources. (The disposition of year-to-year surpluses that may be generated as a result of Kaveri's regular operations will not come under the purview of BOT, and will be handled by KEC);
  • * Review of proposals concerning projects, programs or institutions which could be supported by income generated from Corpus investments, including the final selection of recipients of Kaveri assistance;
  • * Annual review of activities under implementation with a view to monitoring performance, recommending corrective actions if warranted, reviewing priorities when appropriate, and providing a written report to the GB of its findings for discussion preferably at the GB meeting held at the end of each year; and
  • * Advise the GB and/or KEC on such other matters as either of these bodies may seek.


As per the recommendations of the special committee set up by the GB, an initial Board of Trustees was set up subject to following terms:

  • * A total of seven trustees including the President of Kaveri who serves as the ex-officio for the duration of his/her term.
  • * KEC proposed the members of the first BOT and was approved by the GB.

The criteria used by KEC for proposing/approving BOT members:

  • * Longevity ? Good-standing membership of Kaveri for at least five years.
  • * Life members are ipso facto eligible;
  • * Ability to actively participate in, and contribute to, BOT functions;
  • * Requirement to attend a minimum of two BOT meetings per year; and
  • * Commitment to serve on the BOT for a minimum of two years.



The role of BOT is to develop investment approaches for the Corpus, administer strategic programs utilizing the income generated from investing the Corpus, and monitor the program's implementation. The BOT will also provide an annual report to Kaveri's General Body. In general, the BOT will serve as a source of advice and counsel to KEC. However, both BOT and KEC will report only to the GB, and no hierarchical relation is envisaged between the two. While KEC will be fully responsible for planning and implementing Kaveri's day-to-day activities, it will consult with BOT on any major initiatives which impact either on the use of the Corpus or on Kaveri's Constitution, or span multiple years., all of which are subject to final approval by GB.

Section 1 - Primary Functions: The BOT is a body created by the General Body of Kaveri to advise the latter and also KEC on the following matters, with a view to serving the best interest of the institution.

  • * Develop a long-term vision for the next five to ten years for Kaveri for the guidance of successive KECs, and recommend actions and programs that contribute to the fulfillment of that vision.
  • * Prepare a plan for investing the Corpus and any other funds generated as a result of special events undertaken by Kaveri, or donations and grants received from Kaveri members or other sources. (The disposition of any surpluses that may be generated as a result of Kaveri?s year round operations will not come under the purview of BOT, and will be the responsibility of KEC).
  • * Review proposals from individual Kaveri members, KEC, or non-members whose advice BOT may seek concerning projects, programs or institutions for possible support from revenues generated from Corpus investments. BOT would be fully responsible for the final selection of all activities to be supported from Corpus revenues and also for decisions concerning the amounts and duration of such support.
  • * Conduct an annual review of BOT supported programs and activities under implementation with a view to monitoring performance, recommending corrective actions if needed, reviewing priorities when appropriate, and providing an annual report to the GB.
  • * Advise the General Body and KEC on such other matters as either of these bodies may seek.

Section 2 - Number, Tenure and Qualification

  • * The total number of Trustees shall be seven (7), all of whom shall be members of Kaveri. BOT members shall include;
  • * The President of Kaveri who will be an ex officio member during her/his tenure; and Six Trustees appointed by the GB.
  • * KEC will recommend the initial members, subject to the approval of the GB.
  • * The Trustees shall elect a Chairman (other than Kaveri President) from among themselves to serve for a term of two years;
  • * The BOT members, other than the Kaveri President, will be appointed for a term of three years. However, the initial BOT will have a different term as described below.
  • * The initial BOT, other than the Kaveri President, will be appointed for a maximum of 4 years with trustees having staggered term appointments as follows:
    • * In order to encourage rotation among the trustees while maintaining some continuity, two trustees will voluntarily retire at the end of two years, two more at the end of three years and the remaining two at the end of four years;
    • * Trustees elected at the end of year two and beyond will serve a term of three years. This will allow maintenance of rotation and continuity as desired, with two new trustees added each year; and
    • * If trustee retirement and rotation do not take place on a voluntary basis as stipulated above, the President of Kaveri will arrange to draw lots in the presence of trustees to decide who among them will retire at stated intervals.
  • * In the event of a vacancy caused by resignation, retirement or other causes such as a trustee?s repeated failure to attend meetings or actions deemed detrimental to the interest of Kaveri, the KEC in consultation with the BOT shall select a replacement and the nominees would be subject to confirmation at the next GB. (See Section 7 for details).

Section 3 - Meetings of Trustees: The Board of Trustees shall meet at least thrice a year. A majority of the trustees shall constitute the quorum. The business of BOT may be conducted either at meetings or through conference calls.

Section 4 - Disbursement of Funds: The Corpus shall be held by Kaveri in an account which is separate and distinct from its other accounts, but will be overseen by the KEC Treasurer. BOT has sole responsibility for all decisions concerning the use of Corpus resources. When BOT reaches specific decisions on the allocation of funds, its Chairperson will authorize the KEC Treasurer to issue checks or use other means of transferring money to the intended recipients.

Section 5 - Compensation of Trustees: No Trustee shall receive any pay or emolument for their service.

Section 6 - Rules of Order: Rules of order shall be in accordance with Robert?s Rules of Order, as last revised, which are the normal governing parliamentary procedure rules. The Chair of the meeting will resolve all questions concerning such rules.

Section 7 - Process for Induction of New Trustees: It is expected that vacancies will arise from time to time in the Board of Trustees because of resignations, retirements, removal, ill-health or death. As and when vacancies occur in the BOT, KEC in consultation with the BOT shall nominate potential candidates for induction into BOT. All such nominations shall be subject to approval by the GB. The process used for identifying nominees and the criteria for selection are similar to those used for forming the initial board as described below:

  • * As an initial step, the president carefully considers the names of qualified members of the community and proposes a few names for discussion within the KEC.
  • * After obtaining consensus within the KEC, the president consults the potential nominees and obtains confirmation of the willingness of the nominees to be inducted as members of the BOT and informs the BOT.
  • * The president then formally proposes the names of nominees (same as the number of vacancies to be filled) and informs the general membership via the usual communication media, such as, newsletters and/or e-mails, at least two weeks prior to the next general body meeting.
  • * The criteria for consideration for nomination are:
    • * Longevity: Kaveri membership in good-standing of at least five years. (Life members are ipso facto eligible);
    • * Ability to actively participate in, and contribute to, BOT functions;
    • * Requirement to attend a minimum of two BOT meetings per year; and
    • * Commitment to serve on the BOT for a minimum of two years.
  • * The nominees shall be formally introduced at the GBM and the GB shall be requested to approve the nominees by a simple majority vote.
  • * In case of disapproval by the GBM, or in case of withdrawal by the nominee/nominees, the GB may propose names subject to the same Page 5 of 6 qualification criteria used by the KEC for nomination. However, the actual approval shall be postponed to the next GBM such that the KEC can take its time to discuss, assimilate within KEC and disseminate the background of the nominees to all members via formal channels.


List of Possible Projects for Support: Kaveri members were invited both prior to the distribution of the interim report and thereafter to forward proposals for future consideration by the trustees subject to final selection by the latter. These and other suggestions from Committee members are noted below. Upon their appointment the trustees will review these and any others which may be received later, and finalize their decisions.

The list below includes both potential beneficiaries and established vehicles through which assistance can be channeled. It should be regarded purely as an interim list which will be expanded as identities of new potential beneficiaries emerge, and is intended only to give a head start to the trustees. BOT will continue to receive suggestions from Kaveri members and may also seek outside advice. BOT may also be required to gather additional information and consult with the intended recipients and other knowledgeable sources before making any awards.


1. Karuna Trust. Under the leadership of Dr. H. Sudarshan, the Trust has done some pioneering work among the soligas (a very backward tribal community) inhabiting the Biligiri Rangana hills in Karnataka.

2. Joida. This is a very backward and densely forested area in Uttara Kannada district. The backward communities in the area were isolated for a long time, and have only recently been contacted to establish self help groups (SHGs). The reaction is positive, and much remains to be done.

3. Children's Love Castle Trust. Established about seven years ago in Bangalore by a former Kaveri member, it is dedicated to the educational advancement of needy children, particularly to ensure they do not drop out of school.

4. Schools for blind students(e.g. Samarthanam), either for general education or for promoting arts such as dancing.

5. Janapada Loka at Ramanagar


6. Upakar Foundation. The Upakar Foundation was founded in 1997 to provide assistance to needy students of Indian origin to pursue undergraduate studies. Assistance is limited to students who are citizens of the US or green card holders, and are ?descendents of Indian Immigrants.?

7. Association for India's Development (AID). AID was originally started by Indian students in the University of Maryland, but has since developed into a country-wide program to mobilize resources for well-conceived projects in India, which are also under capable management. All work is done on a voluntary basis, and 100% of the donations reach the beneficiaries.

8. Kaveri Kannada KaliyoNa Program: KEC has started a Kannada teaching program for Kaveri kids at three different locations. Around 90 kids are attending these classes every week and the program is proceeding very well. The program needs financial support for expansion and class room material.

9. Literary Contest. Literary competition to promote Kannada literature and to establish a Kaveri brand, with the winner receiving an award from Kaveri.


Among the proposals the Committee received was one to establish a Karnataka or Kaveri Bhavana in the Washington area along the lines of a similar facility in Delhi to serve the future needs of Kaveri, and hopefully some other Indian organizations as well. While the proposal certainly merits consideration, the Committee felt that its financial magnitude is entirely beyond the reach of the Corpus and that it differs significantly from the other proposals, and hence did not include it in the above list. The Committee also believes that it is important to conduct a pre-feasibility study of the proposal, followed by a more detailed study if warranted. The Committee recommends that KEC should follow this up, and appoint a group comprising Kaveri members specializing in architecture, engineering, real estate and finance to undertake a preliminary study. Based on the conclusions of the study, further steps could be initiated following a full discussion at a future meeting of Kaveri's general body.