The Indian Humanist Union was established in 1960, devoted primarily to the promotion of human values through free thought and the scientific spirit of free enquiry into religious and ethical questions. It seeks to effect attitudinal changes through diverse means and brings out a quarterly journal, the "Humanist Outlook" which has been under publication since 1966. To give financial viability to the humanist movement in India, the Humanist Endowment Fund Society was established in 1970. All contributions/donations received are judiciously invested and only the dividend, interest or profit accruing from them is available for expenditure. Contributions, donations, etc. to Humanist Endowment Fund Society are eligible for deduction from taxable income in terms of Section 80(G) of the Income Tax Rules 1961.
The IHU is affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which was founded at a Congress held in 1952 at Amsterdam with Sir Julian Huxley in the chair. The IHEU is headquartered at London and over 100 organizations from more than 30 countries are affiliated to the IHEU representing nearly 5 million members. The principal object of IHEU as set forth in its Certificate of Incorporation is "to bring into active association groups and individuals throughout the world interested in promoting ethical and scientific humanism, understood as dedication to and development of human values, cultivation of science, loyalty to democratic principles and repudiation of authoritarian principles in all social relations and practice of good faith, without reliance upon authority and dogmas." The "Minimum Statement" of Humanism as adopted by the IHEU Board in their meeting at Mexico City in November 1996 says: "Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance which affirms that human beings have the right and the responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethics based on human and other natural values in a spirit of reason and free enquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality." The IHEU has NGO Consultative Status with the U.N. & UNICEF and maintains Operational Relations with UNESCO