Terms of Use Agreement ("Agreement") sets out the legally binding terms for your participation in THE EXPRESS LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT (“Project”), organized by IE ONLINE MEDIA SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED (“IEOMSPL”). By this Agreement, You (“User”/ “Funder” /”Journalist” ) agree to abide by all applicable laws and by the terms of this Agreement. If you wish to submit one or more entry to the Project, You must read this Agreement carefully and communicate your acceptance by checking the box below.


2.1 IEOMSPL manages the website indianexpress.com, which is identified with independent journalism.

2.2 IEOMSPL has created this Platform for identifying, crowd funding and promotion of journalism to cover niche issues, in a transparent manner. The aim is to enable information gathering and presentation to facilitate public awareness and discussion through qualitative journalism on niche issues which may have smaller or select audiences or which are not financially viable for newspapers or media companies, but need to be covered having social, economic or human interest concerns or impact. This is not a charitable endeavour.

2.3 The Platform will enable any User to suggest for a nominal fee the niche issue or subject for professional coverage and promotion through this Project. The User’s proposal will be accepted, modified or rejected by an Editorial Board. If the User’s proposal is accepted or modified, the Editorial Board will also determine the funding required.

The Platform will then invite Funders to contribute towards funding of the coverage. The Funder may fund in part or whole the amount of funding required, and where partly funded, the Platform may seek other contributors for funding. Once funded the Editorial Board will invite professional journalists to bid for reportage of the selected issue or subject, prescribing parameters, consideration which will be paid and schedule for preparing the report and crowd sourcing Professional journalists may apply to the Editorial Board through the Platform to offer to cover the selected issue or subject.

The Editorial Board will award to a professional journalist who has applied to prepare the report and crowd-sourcing campaign. Once the report and campaign is released through the Platform it is hoped that awareness will be generated and funds may be raised through crowd-sourcing for the niche issue or subject.

2.4 In addition to crowd sourcing, the Platform may seek support of niche issues or subjects through brand sponsorships, advertising, participation by businesses and integration with NGOs and NPOs.

2.5 The Project will promote professional journalism which is credible, current and investigative while encouraging public awareness and public engagement on the selected subject or issue, for which funds may be generated through the Platform. The Platform will charge a fee for this activity, which may vary depending on the selected issue or subject, but in any event it shall not exceed 30% of the funding collected for each campaign.

2.6 The Platform will generate RSS feeds for the selected issue or subject and may license the Platform content, or part thereof or reports and campaigns to subscribers or licensees to increase visibility.


The Project shall commence from July 1, 2021 9.00 am and the term of the Project may be truncated or extended at any time at the discretion of IEOMSPL. In the event that a selected subject or issue could not be completed for reason that the term is truncated by IEOMSPL for any reason other than force majeure or third parties, the maximum liability of the Project’s organizers shall be, for the uncompleted activity only – to the User, a refund the monies paid as fee, to the Funder refund of monies paid by him/her towards funding to the Platform, to the professional journalist – the consideration agreed for the report and campaign subject to delivery thereof.

The Project mission via the Platform shall commence from July 1 2021, 9.00 am from which date and time you may submit niche subjects or issues, making funding offers etc.


You (User) shall submit a proposal in English, relating to any niche subject or issue (as provided hereafter), consisting of not more than 1,000 words, with an introduction or background, information available with you relating to it, what you seek to achieve, and your interest if any, therein. You may provide with the text, a diagrams, chart, sketch or photograph, which must be drawn or taken by you. The description of the niche subjects or issues in the proposal shall be your original work.

4A.1 Shall relate to Indians residing or working in any part of India;

4A.2 Shall relate to any social, economic or human interest issues or impact;

4A.3 Shall relate to improvements in society or living standards of citizens.

4A.4 Shall not target any community, caste, religion, gender, or individual or have any political party agenda;

4A.5 Shall not relate to any matter which is sub judice or under consideration before a court of competent jurisdiction.

The proposal shall be submitted online along with the requisite information as requested in the online form. Each proposal shall be accompanied with a nominal processing fee of ₹ 100.. (Rupees One hundred only) to be transferred as per the requirements mentioned. If the proposal is incomplete or not accompanied by the said fee, it shall be rejected.

The Editorial Board may (but shall not be bound to) contact You for clarifications, inputs or discussion prior to selection, modification or rejection, at which time You shall provide the same. You give your consent to any modification made to the proposal by the Editorial Board. The decision of the Editorial Board with regard to selection, modification or rejection of the proposal shall be final and binding.


The Editorial Board will determine the amount required for funding of the selected subject or issue and will post on the platform the details of both. Any person may pay the amount specified by the Editorial Board or part thereof. The payment is to be made online.

In case of part payment, and if within the specified period other Funders are not forthcoming the Editorial Board may at its sole discretion either find alternate means for funding or may refund in full the amount received by the (part) Funder.

If the amount required is raised through the Funder (s) or otherwise, the Editorial Board will invite professional journalists to bid for preparation of the news report and crowd funding details.

The Funder shall fulfill the following criteria:

4B.1 The amount remitted shall be from the account of the Funder;

4B.2 Any taxes payable shall be borne by the Funder;

4B.3 The Funder to disclose interest in the selected subject or issue;

4B.4 The Funder to provide PAN card if required;

4B.5 The Funder to provide contact and bank details if the amount is to be refunded.


The Editorial Board will put up on the platform the selected subjects or issues, the size, nature and requirements for preparation of a news report and crowd sourcing campaign, and the time schedule for preparation and submission etc including other terms and conditions. The same will be offered as work for hire and the copyright and intellectual property in the news report and campaign and other submissions to be prepared hereunder shall vest with the Project.

Professional journalists may apply to accomplish and deliver the same, online and through mail as per the requirements.

The Editorial Board shall select the Professional Journalists from the applications and award the work. On completion of the news report and campaign and other submissions submitted to the Editorial Board, the Editorial Board will release the agreed payment by bank transfer within 30 (thirty) days, subject to their satisfaction.

The Professional Journalist if employed, must obtain necessary release from his employer to undertake the assignment specified hereunder. The Professional Journalist shall strictly adhere to the Code of Ethics for Journalists and shall disclose any conflict of interest.


The Editorial Board members shall be experienced Editors and Journalists. One or more member (s) may be an employee or consultant with IEOMSPL. Decisions of the Editorial Board shall be taken in consultation with IEOMSPL and the same shall be final and binding.


You (User/ Funder/Journalist) represent and warrant as follows:

You have completed 18 years of age. Proof of age (Birth certificate/ School leaving Certificate/Passport) to be submitted & original to be produced for verification if required;

You are an Indian national and permanently resident in India;

You are participating as User/ Funder/Journalist voluntarily of your own free will, having read and understood all the terms and conditions contained herein;

You require no consent or permission from any person or organization to participate herein. In case you are a professional journalist in service or under contract, you represent that there is no violation of service rules or contractual obligations on your part to participate in this Project or you have taken prior written consent from your employer to participate herein and to enter into the terms and conditions contained herein.

The proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder is your original work.

If the proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder shall contain non original work eg photo, music, video clip, diagram, quotes etc, You shall acknowledge the same have obtained prior written permission from the copyright owner.

You and your proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder fulfils all eligibility criteria, and there exists no information or documents the disclosure of which would impact your participation herein and /or disqualify you or your submission.

That there is no dispute, claim, notice and/or litigation relating to proposal/ report/ campaign or submission submitted hereunder and that all intellectual property therein vests exclusively with You.

The Editorial Board in consultation with IEOMSPL shall have the right to refuse any submission without assigning reasons.


Your proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder cannot be withdrawn without permission of the organizers. You will be notified if your proposal/ offer for funding/ proposal to report and make the campaign is selected or approved by email. All expenses towards your proposals or offers will be the sole responsibility of You and IEOMSPL or the Editorial Board shall not be responsible for the same.


7.1You shall have no objection whatsoever to the publication in whole or part of Your proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder on the platform, Project portal and websites and apps of IEOMSPL.

7.2You shall grant an irrevocable exclusive license to the IEOMSPL to:

7.2.1 view, exhibit, distribute and display Your proposal/report/campaign or other submissions to the Editorial Board;

7.2.2to cover the entries in print publications, advertising and publicity not limited to The Indian Express print and online editions, and social media

7.2.3archive the news report and campaign on the platform or else where and to store the same in any location;

7.2.4 to license Your proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder to third parties and/or Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (Google) and its Affiliates on such terms and conditions as we shall determine, subject to your moral rights. No personal data other than what has appeared on the Platform (such as your name and a sentence or two from your biographical sketch) shall be shared with any third party. This project is part of the GNI Innovation Challenge which empowers news innovators from around the world to demonstrate new thinking in online journalism and the development of new publishing business models (see https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/innovation-challenges).

7.3 You represent warrant and confirm You have full right and absolute authority to submit the proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder and that no third party has any claim or consideration outstanding relating thereto.

7.4 Your proposal/ report/ campaign or any other submission hereunder may be exhibited by IEOMSPL copied, screened, publicly released, transmitted, displayed, streamed, distributed, or translated in whole or as a part, including any text and title thereof, and/or personal information of to the extent required for identification only ie is name and brief details (but no other personal information) required for promotion and the crowd sourcing campaign, the funding collected and the impact thereof.

7.5 You will permit the platform or Project to make or create a compilation of the campaigns for coverage on television, Internet or any other media, in India or abroad.


The maximum liability of IEOMSPL shall be as follows:

to any User, the refund of the nominal processing fee in respect of the selected subject or issue relating to which a dispute has arisen or if rejected or is abandoned for any reason;

to the Funder, the refund of the amount funded by the Funder in respect of the selected subject or issue relating to which a dispute has arisen or if rejected or is abandoned for any reason ;

to the professional journalist, the fee payable for the successful submission of the report and campaign in respect of the subject or issue awarded to him or her relating to which a dispute has arisen or if rejected or is abandoned for any reason or cannot be proceeded with;

The User/ Funder/ Professional Journalist shall be solely responsible for all information or content submitted by him /her/them hereunder.


Selected campaigns will be made available online on various websites and platforms. The order in which selected campaigns are listed online will be randomly determined. The Project retains the right to cancel or discontinue reports and campaigns or parts thereof on the platform at its sole discretion or on any websites at any time, without notice.

10. FEE

No cash or consideration shall be provided in lieu of the fee agreed with the Professional Journalist.


We respect your privacy and the use and protection of your Personal Information. If you have any questions regarding the Platform’s privacy practices, please send your question to us by e-mail to tech@indianexpress.com


The matter arising out of these terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Indian law and courts of Delhi shall have exclusive jurisdiction.


You shall indemnify and hold IEOMSPL, its Directors, employees and the Editorial Board saved indemnified and harmless from any claim, demand, expense, penalty, liability, loss, damages and costs (including reasonable attorneys' fees), made by any third party due to or arising out of the Your participation in the Project or platform and/or from a breach of your representations and warranties set forth above. The representations, warranties, licenses, indemnification and limitation of liability shall survive the campaign/ Project.


In no event shall IEOMSPL, its Directors, employees and the Editorial Board be liable to You or anyone claiming through You or any third party for any indirect, consequential, exemplary, incidental, special or punitive damages, including loss of profit or damage arising from Your participation in Project or campaign, even if IEOMSPL had been advised