Ford Foundation funded think tank to stay in touch with Indian MPs

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New Delhi, April 25: A funding by Ford Foundation to a think tank which kept in close contact with the Members of Parliament had come under the scanner of the Intelligence Bureau. There are various such payments made allegedly by the Ford Foundation, which led to it being placed under the watch list.

The Ford Foundation has now sought a clarification from the Indian Government which has placed it under the watch list and barred it from funding any NGO unless there is a clearence from the government.

Ford Foundation

Watching the MP's:

The Intelligence Bureau had tipped off the Home Ministry several times about Ford Foundation and the Omidyar Network funding a think tank, which was in direct engagement with the Members of Parliament.

The think tank, which was based out of Mumbai had sought permission from the Home Ministry to receive funds to the tune of Rs 3.1 crore and Rs 5.6 crore from Ford Foundation and Omidiyar Network respectively. The Home Ministry had however refused permission to receive such funds.

What is the need for direct engagement:

The Intelligence Bureau had raised concerns that the think tank was in direct engagement with the MPs. They had questioned the need for the same and had even expressed apprehensions that the proximity to the MPs would lead to several documents being leaked.

The MPs have access to several documents of national interest and such proximity to a foreign funded think tank could be fatal to the security of the country, the IB had also noted. It was also found that the think tank was engaged with 46 MPs of 19 different political parties.

The Home Ministry too had said that it was not right on the part of the think tank to receive funds from abroad and work with the MPs in India. There is no need for such direct contact especially by some organization which is being funded from abroad, the Home Ministry also noted.

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