scorecardCould the Ford Foundation be a threat to India's national security?
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Could the Ford Foundation be a threat to India's national security?

Could the Ford Foundation be a threat to India's national security?
PoliticsPolitics2 min read
Cracking down on Ford Foundation, one of the most powerful international funding organisation, Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered that it be put under a watch list in "national interest and security " of the country said an Economic Times report.

ET had reported on Friday that Greenpeace type of action would be taken against Ford Foundation.
Putting Ford Foundation on prior permission list, MHA has ordered that all the funds coming from Ford Foundation, US, for any agency or NGOs in country will first need to be cleared by the ministry. The action has been taken under section 46 of the FCRA.

MHA has asked the RBI to instruct all banks and their branches to ensure that any fund flow from Ford Foundation will first be cleared by the ministry.

About $5 million in grants by the Ford Foundation, arguably the biggest such international funding agency, have been blocked by the Indian government in the past few months, top officials told ET last week on condition of anonymity. The ostensible reason is that the recipient non-governmental organisations (NGOs) haven't filed annual reports and balance sheets with the home ministry. This also includes about $100,000 in grants to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), the ET report said.

The Narendra Modi government has suspended the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, or FCRA, licence that allows Greenpeace India to get funds from overseas.

The suspension of Greenpeace's FCRA licence came after the government prevented a member of the organisation from travelling to the UK to speak to lawmakers there about the rights of indigenous communities. NGOs have been on their guard after a leaked 2014 Intelligence Bureau report said such organisations were creating hurdles to development, ET said.

To be sure, the foundation has been on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies for decades, on account of which the finance ministry was mandated to clear each grant that it made to NGOs. This scrutiny intensified after it became known that the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement of 2011 got a boost from the foundation with Arvind Kejriwal's NGO Kabir getting about $400,000.

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