End of UK aid to India

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by LETHALFORCE, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    End of UK aid to India divides opinion | World news | guardian.co.uk

    Some Indians welcome the end of British aid for India on grounds of national pride. In a Times of India article countering a pro-aid editorial, Meghna Roy set out the nationalist case: "There's something deeply condescending about receiving aid from a foreign country, especially one that has ruled you for 200 years. Self-respecting nationalists should welcome the UK's decision to stop aid to India in 2015."

    Playing down Britain's decision, India's president, Pranab Mukherjee, a former finance minister, described the £280m annual aid programme as "peanuts" totalling less than 0.03% of India's national income.

    Since 2007 India has been the world's largest recipient of recorded remittances from abroad. In 2010 these inflows were worth $54bn. UK foreign direct investment in India is considerable, reaching £1.8bn in the same year.

    With that kind of money flowing India's way, opponents of aid to India question why Britain, undergoing its own belt-tightening, should send money to a country that has enjoyed high economic growth and that has its own aid and space programmes.

    Yet the "India shining" image co-exists with massive poverty. India is home to a third of the world's people living on less than $1.25 a day – more than all the poor in sub-Saharan Africa. India's poverty rate, although falling, was 37% in 2008, the most recent year for which figures were available.

    Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy at the Centre for Global Development, a US-based thinktank, acknowledged that British aid for India was small in absolute terms, but said it could still make a big difference especially in India's poorest states.

    "If in the poorest states most of the budget goes on pensions or salaries of civil servants, a donor's small amount of money for health or education can make a large difference," she said.

    "It is worthwhile investing in vaccinations to prevent the spread of infectious diseases," she added. "Only 44% of children under five are fully vaccinated. Aid money could be used to leverage higher vaccination rates."

    Remittances go to the states of origin of British Indians, mainly Punjab and Gujarat rather than the poorest states. Investment tends to be concentrated in big urban areas such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune.

    In a recent paper, the Institute for Public Policy Research criticised the decision to end aid to India as a move to placate disgruntled Tories who think Britain's aid budget should not be protected from austerity cuts.

    "Given the outstanding development challenges facing India, the UK government's decision to end aid in 2015 looks both premature and politically motivated," the thinktank said. "Any arbitrary reduction or sudden stop in official development assistance which would jeopardise much of the hard work already undertaken should be rejected."

    In justifying her decision in November, Justine Greening, the international development secretary, said the growing two-way trade and investment between the UK and India meant "our development partnership should increasingly be about trade not aid".

    Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru university, New Delhi, has said India would be better off without British aid. "Minute dribbles of UK aid cannot hope to work PR magic in India, when the UK government is seen trying to bully the Indian government into accepting completely unjustifiable intellectual property clauses that will increase essential drug prices in a trade agreement, or pushing the interests of its own companies in getting extra protection and compensation in the face of laws that protect Indian citizens who are adversely affected by the investments, or indulging in protectionist practices against Indian exports."
     
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  3. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    UK/US aid is nothing but part of their defence expenditure, a tool to interfere in other countries to get their "Neo-Colonization" efforts this way. India gives much more Aid to others countries than what it receives from UK. but if you receive aid from UK, for what they generally beg in India as reported by UK's front line newspaper as below too, then it all means for inviting a "pig talk" with British, before any big deal like MRCA :toilet:

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...9s-transition-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html

     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
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  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Farhaan will be very Un-happy with that.

    he has 2 topic in hand
    toilets and UK aid for moon mission

    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  5. Defenceindia2010

    Defenceindia2010 Regular Member

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    :india::dharma::rock::hurray::finger::cheer2::dancemasti::balle:
     
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  6. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    He doest not need this much attention,dont bring that guy here
     
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  7. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    @ FARHAAN, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR MOON MISSION

    nahiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. roma

    roma NRI in Europe Senior Member

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    i think the official date of the cessation of aid should be marked on the indian national calendar as a day of remembrance - not a day of rest from work but rather a mark of the hippocracy of one certain nation that pretends to "help" ...... and on the image to mark that day we should have a picture of the rafael - to remind us all of the main reason for giving that aid in the first place - i.e. to get it back multiple times in defence sales
     
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  9. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    I had talks with a British and an American on a forum as below. I would like to share them with other here too :thumb:

    => these British pigs first beg in India to accept aid and after that they leave British in market singing all these. US/West use Aid as an arm to interfere in other countries, like for this MRCA deal as discussed in this same article too... ....


    =>
    the living standard of migrants in US/UK is as below, in which category you put yourself, Winner or Victim, find out?
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...s-rank-top-education-income-5.html#post679103

    here its about living standard of Indian in UK as below:
    Indians account for 22% of Britain’s ultra-rich club - Hindustan Times

    Indians living among the British living standard itself, as below..... :toilet:
    =>
    o yaah, big American/British mouth but worth for nothing :disagree:. over 30% people not getting even $10/per hour job, the minimum living wage? while 41% Americans working class dont have any source of income :tsk:. wives of even the western MPs are trying for hardly 70 pounds, but not getting customers???????

    check the post#42 of this same thread as below and make a comment on it, its a comparison of IQ between Indians and Americans :coffee:

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...du-americans-rank-top-education-income-3.html


    look these also

    Over a quarter of US kids on food stamps, under-50s dying young, reports RT

    better share some more ideas on this forum as below


    =>
    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...9s-transition-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html

    sir I gave you a link showing how even India has committed billions of dollars for the developing countries, please check that thread Im running. and its true that UK has a good share of aid, but did you check my post#174, they in fact beg in India to receive their aid, as they want to keep India type countries always engaged. I mean, why they want to offer Aid to India if India first insult them and in fact India give much more aid to other countries than what it receives from UK? check post#174, it was news of a front line British newspaper....

    Western nations use Aid to get their 'Neo-Colonialism' efforts, mainly. they want to keep a say in any particular country in either way, even if they have to beg to the opposite side to receive aid also. its more like, out of total around £40 billion defence expenditure, they have around £8.7billion for "Neo-Colonization" efforts also.....

    and in return, see the same news of my that post, they want big projects from India in return and remind their aid whenever the 'time' comes, like that M-MRCA deal :rofl:

    but we also have news that after full insult from India, like in the same news of post#174 too, they have withdrawn their aid from India now. but as its a 'tool' of foreign intervention, its less likely that UK/US will drop their 'Aiding' efforts to developing countries. while we also find that UK's economy won't able to sustain aiding other countries for longer


    =>
    since even winning WW1, since the time of late 19th century, US/UK became a place for 'Brain Drain' from the developing countries which helped them a lot. by making a better place to live, the US and the UK, it did help their economy a lot by inviting the best talents from rest of world, and hence making the best technologies this way. its no secret that many science awards are given to those Western bosses for the works their juniors (migrants) do. it was never easy to get visa of US/UK till the 90s, upto 2007, and those who got a place in US/UK till then were the best of their home country...... and until US may maintain this superiority to invite the best people of the world, they will remain a rich status in future also. otherwise bb

    "nothing came from sky and nothing will ever come from sky. a nation is made by its people, and we need those people who may develop new technologies and improve the existing ones too."


    =>
    again you are losing the track. check the above news again, why do they need to beg in India to make it receive British Aid????? hardly 8.7billion pounds as compare 40billion pounds defence expenditure of Britain, to get their Neo-Colonization efforts this way??? check the post#14 of the thread as below, it is called, "Philantrocapitalism"

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...9s-transition-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html

    after MRCA face to face, UK has preferred to withdraw its aid from India as they didn't get MRCA deal. but check in this thread too, how much UK offers to India and how much India offers to others? then why to invite pig talks with UK before any big deal like MRCA, just because they can beg to India to make it receive UK's aid???


    =>
    first, never say that UK offer Aid to India for its Mars mission, it will be a joke on British itself. and second, India gives much more aid to other countries than what UK has been offering to India, for what UK used to beg for in India, making India in the position to accept their Aid 'anyhow'. check that same post again, its reported by UK's front line newspaper. refusing to accept UK's Aid is more about avoiding 'pig talks' with the British before any big contract like MRCA, check the same news and get to understand it.


    ho, it was also made confirmed in the same news, these 'peanuts' of hardly around $400mil Aid doesn't fit with the level of corruption in India too. the recent corruption of India is worth around $35billion as below, check

    British rulers have to understand the language Indian side. one time they were told that we dont want British Aid, they didn't understand. the second time in a little hard way but still they came after India to 'Aid'. and this post#174 was the news when they 'begged' in front of the Indian side to make it receive Aid anyhow .....


    =>
    after losing almost every war, US is hopeful to help a country of the size India?????

    Im running a thread on this issue as below, Indian dcik size is too big, check the whole thread as below

    http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...countries-highest-military-expenditure-3.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
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  10. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    I would like to share my experience while talking to the American and British member on a forum as in post#8. when he raised the question that British Aid money may go in corruption, as the same was mentioned in the full article of "Daily Mail" too, the main news. it was more annoying for me as, how much be the share of corruption in hardly $400mil? hardly $50mil or to $100mil may go in corruption?? while Indian latest coal corruption is worth $35billion, around 350 times?????

    is this the standard of India, as mentioned in this Daily Mail's full article of post#8 too, even in regard of corruption? and after my that response that this "peanut" isn't fit with the level of corruption of India too, he gave me response as below: and then i answered him as below too: :laugh: :rofl:


    =>
    :rofl: be happy with this belief from now onward, it will at least help India avoid 'pig talks' with British before any big deal/tender like MRCA. :wave:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
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  11. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    this is how the main article of Daily Mail quoted as below. :ranger:
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  12. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    i dont know what what i have been writing since late November 2011, when i started participating in forums while in free time in India. all are my own ideas, something i always try by myself....... it was clear that i was always very angry with the rulers of us/uk/australia since the beginning, but im always worried about false statements/ wrong information in behalf of mine............

    i just received a like on the above post, and here, who destroyed link of the above statement? its as below, post#14 about "Philantrocapitalism" :ranger:

    => http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...on-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html#post668779
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Good that aid is being terminated.

    It was basically to pay the NGOs who were working on behalf of UK and to pay fror British goods used for such 'causes'.

    Added Later

    I forgot the NGOs who get funds from abroad and foreign NGOs also fund movements in India, and indirectly political party so that they can influence decisions as also elections!

    Therefore, all the crocodile tears that the UK raised about not stopping aid for the 'poverty stricken' Indians is a bit too bogus.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
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  14. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    Instead of money, let them give us tech and ideas.......
     
  15. Dovah

    Dovah Untermensch Senior Member

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    Expect lot of butthurt from NGOs and their shills.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
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  16. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Nooo.....how will we launch our future space missions!!:pound:
     
  17. Dinesh_Kumar

    Dinesh_Kumar Regular Member

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    UK aid not reaching the Aam Aadmi ...........
     
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  18. debasree

    debasree Regular Member

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    if the aid stop the numerous hgos will cry foul as the money is spent for maintain their lavish lifestyle rather than poverty ...removal prog..:)
     
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  19. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    sir, nowdays foreign funds and then NGOs on the back of them, are just the tactics to run a parallel government in developing nations. there is no other meaning of these 'NON' Government Organizations.......

    foreign funds from the western nations have been considered as their 'neo-colonialism' efforts only, and NGOs on the back of these foreign aids, are just to provide enough reasons to interfere in other countries, as explained in the article of post#1 of the thread as below too :ranger:

    => http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...on-receiver-donor-foreign-aid.html#post622231
     
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  20. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    duplicate post
     
  21. hello_10

    hello_10 Tihar Jail Banned

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    NGO'S Foreign Funding - A Security Threat

    In 1976, at the height of the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi, India’s Parliament enacted a piece of legislation called the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. It prohibited political parties and ‘organisations of a political nature’, civil servants and judges, as also correspondents, columnists and editors/owners of registered newspapers and news broadcasting organisations— and even cartoonists—from receiving foreign contributions.
    The very fact that the Act makes a specific reference to cartoonists should be hint enough of the establishment’s paranoia vis-à-vis the ‘invisible hand’ of foreign powers back then. During a Rajya Sabha debate on the proposed bill on 9 March 1976, the term ‘CIA’ (Central Intelligence Agency) was mentioned at least 30 times by different legislators, while ‘Lockheed Martin’ (a military aerospace corporation) came up at least six times in the context of alleged instances of Americans pumping dollars into governments worldwide to buy influence during the Cold War. :ranger:

    The sentiment of the times was captured by the following statement made during that debate by Khurshid Alam Khan, father of India’s present Minister for External Affairs: “The CIA’s doings all over the world have very clearly indicated as to what could be done by foreign money and foreign interference.” :ranger:

    In 2010, a different parliament, with opposition members who had not been imprisoned like those in 1976, unanimously voted to update the law by passing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). In fact, the Parliamentary Standing Committee that examined the bill was headed by the BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and it had no major objections.

    This time round, there was no talk of the CIA or Lockheed Martin. Instead, concern was focused on the increasingly influential role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as institutions of civil society in India. The term ‘NGO’ found at least 40 mentions during the Rajya Sabha debate on the 2010 bill. The main concern of the Upper House appeared to be a lack of transparency among NGOs receiving foreign contributions. Hence the calls to strengthen the monitoring regime, although several MPs expressed worry that the new law would give the Centre too much discretionary power to crack down on dissenting NGOs.

    [​IMG]

    Worries about the 2010 Act’s overreach were validated last year when the Government used it to clamp down on NGOs involved in anti-corruption and anti-nuclear protests. As part of that exercise, at least four NGOs were booked under the FCRA for allegedly diverting foreign funds to aid the organisation of protests against the Koodankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. Their bank accounts were frozen. The protests, however, did not end. :ranger:

    Perhaps the most ironic use of the FCRA was when the Ministry of Home Affairs reportedly held back potential funding from the US-based Ford Foundation for the Mumbai-based Institute for Policy Research Studies (IPRS), a thinktank that runs Parliamentary Research Service (PRS).

    Incubated at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), a Delhi-based thinktank, PRS was spun off and institutionalised as IPRS in 2010 as a Section 25 non-profit company with a registered office in Mumbai. The main aim of PRS was to provide non-partisan legislative research services to parliamentarians, most of whom are starved of resources to conduct independent research required to hold the Executive accountable in Parliament. The service’s popularity among MPs was obvious from the fact that several of them reportedly made individual representations to the Home Ministry against blocking foreign funds for its parent institute.

    The tragedy of why Parliament does not have a public-funded service like PRS is a debate for another day, but choking the IPRS of foreign funds raises a question of hypocrisy since the Central Government routinely collaborates with a wide range of civil society thinktanks that receive funds from the West.:toilet:

    Let’s start with the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). According to its filings with the MHA, accessible on the FCRA website (FCRA), ICRIER has received over Rs 11.5 crore in foreign donations from a range of international institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Sasakawa Peace Foundation between 2007 and 2012. This council, currently headed by Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, wife of Planning Commission Vice-chairperson Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, appears to have a cosy relationship with the present establishment. When the Government was in a fix over the contentious General Anti- Avoidance Rules (GAAR) of taxation, for example, it delegated the task of ironing out its problems to a four-member committee headed by Dr Parthasarathi Shome, a well-known economic policy expert at ICRIER. There are several other projects on which the Council’s faculty collaborates closely with the Government of India.
    That thinktanks are well networked goes without saying. In fact, ICRIER and PRS were involved in quite a controversy during last year’s Parliament vote on Foreign Direct Investment in India’s multi-brand retail sector. As reported by India Today, (‘Foreign Direct Instruction for our MPs?’ 6 December 2012), IPRS had organised a ‘close-door’ meeting at Delhi’s Constitution Club the day before the vote, where MPs were briefed on the benefits of FDI by Professor Arpita Mukherjee of ICRIER. Some MPs had publicly labelled this a ‘lobbying’ effort.

    Another example of close collaboration between the Centre and a thinktank that gets significant foreign funding is the one between the Government and the CPR, headed by Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta. Between 2007 and 2012, according to its filings with the MHA, this thinktank received foreign funds of over Rs 40.8 crore from a range of donors such as the Ford Foundation, Google Foundation, International Development Research Centre, Economic and Social Research Council, Hewlett Foundation and IKEA Social Initiative.

    Environmental policy is another area in which foreign-funded thinktanks have a significant impact. The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), headed by Sunita Narain with a governing board that has Ela Bhatt, BG Verghese, Dr MS Swaminathan and Dr NC Saxena among others, has received over Rs 67.7 crore in foreign funds between 2006 and 2012. The CSE’s main donors, according to FCRA records, include the Denmark- based Dan Church Aid, Germany-based Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst EV, Heinrich Boll Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Other donors include the Commission of European Communities and Government of India. :ranger:

    Going by the media coverage that CSE receives, it is safe to say that this thinktank has a profound influence on India’s environmental policy. An indication of its ties with the Government is the fact that the two had their own ‘side-event’ at the recently concluded Doha talks on climate change.

    The other green thinktank with generous foreign contributions that works closely with the Government is The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Consider this: the International Bioenergy Summit of 2012 held in New Delhi was organised by TERI and sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). According to its FCRA filings, TERI, with a staff of over 900, has received about Rs 155.9 crore between 2006 and 2012 from a vast variety of donors. :usa:

    In the field of health policy, one of the most influential thinktanks is the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Since it was founded in 2006, it has received a total of Rs 219 crore in funds, its biggest foreign donor being the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and biggest Indian donor being the Government of India. Other foreign donors, according to FCRA filings, include the National Institutes of Health (of the US government), Welcome Trust, International Development Research Centre and MacArthur Foundation.

    A public-private initiative, the PHFI is expected to shape India’s approach to public health policy over the next decade. An example of its influence on India’s health policy is the fact that its secretariat has been thanked and praised in a report of the High Level Expert Group constituted by the Planning Commission to frame a new policy on ‘universal health coverage’ for all Indians.

    On matters of internet policy, the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), a Bangalore-based thinktank focused on internet governance and intellectual property issues, has been a member of some key government committees, like the one under Justice AP Shah to study privacy laws in India. The CIS also receives foreign funding. According to its website, it has received over Rs 8.3 crore in funds, a significant portion of it from foreign donors like the UK-based Kusuma Trust, which was founded by Anurag Dikshit, an Indian businessman who made a fortune selling his stake in a popular online gambling website. He eventually donated most of his wealth to the Kusuma Trust, which funds various charities across the world.

    In the human rights space, there is the famous Lawyers Collective, which, apart from its human rights advocacy, also provides legal aid to members of disadvantaged communities. Although this collective does not appear to work all that closely with the Government, it is interesting to note that it was founded by Indira Jaising, who is currently one of the Centre’s Additional Solicitor Generals. Since 2006, according to its FCRA filings, the organisation has received around Rs 21.8 crore in foreign funds from the Ford, Levi Strauss and Open Society foundations and from the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, among others.

    Another thinktank that deserves a mention is the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), which was founded by Dr Parth J Shah and has a ‘Board of Scholars’ with Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Jagdish Bhagwati, Lord Meghnad Desai and Swaminathan Anklesaria Aiyar, among others, as members. While it is not clear from its website whether it works closely with the Government, it was ranked 51st in a recent global survey of thinktanks by University of Pennsylvania. According to a CCS press release, these rankings were ‘based on not just our research and analysis, but also on our engagement with policy makers and ability to influence policy decisions’. The CCS’s rank was quite a surprise, given its modest resources. According to its FCRA filings, between 2006 and 2011, it received about Rs 6.2 crore from foreign donors such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, John Templeton Foundation and International Policy Network. As per its audited accounts, available on its website, donations from Indian donors were equally modest.

    +++

    The above examples demonstrate the influence of foreign funded thinktanks on almost every major aspect of Indian policy today, be it economic or environmental, related to public health or internet governance.

    Is this good or bad for India as a country? Given that most sectors of the economy are now open to foreign investment, does it make sense to regulate and restrict foreign funds for such thinktanks under laws like the FCRA?

    The answer depends on what Indian society expects of them. Do we expect them to be completely independent of donors in their views? Would an organisation like the CSE still get foreign funds from European donors if it were to readily welcome genetically modified (GM) food in India? In such circumstances, how independent should we expect these thinktanks to be in the arena of policy?

    Absolute objectivity—or at a least public perception of it—is an absolute myth. No matter who funds a thinktank, be it foreigners or Indians, it is impossible to be seen as such. The more pressing issue is of transparency. Are Indian policymakers aware of the details of foreign funds received by these thinktanks?

    Take, for example, a recent Parliamentary Standing Committee report that expressed serious reservations about GM food. The Committee repeatedly quotes with approval the deposition of Dr Vandana Shiva against GM food. A little-known fact about Dr Shiva is that her organisation, Navdanya, according to its FCRA filings, has received a total of Rs 16.7 crore between 2006 and 2012 in foreign donations from mainly European organisations (some of which also contribute to the CSE) like Bread for the World, Diakonie Emergency Aid, Hivos Foundation, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst EV, RSF Innovations in Social Finance, and even from the European Union itself.

    Would a Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by an MP of the CPM, a party that is always suspicious of the ‘foreign hand’, show the same deference to Dr Shiva’s views if its members knew of Navdanya’s European donors, several of which are also Christian churches?

    In an op-ed article in The Indian Express (‘Do not disagree’, 29 February 2012), Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta while criticising the FCRA, states, ‘Of course, NGOs should be transparent and accountable in terms of their sources of funding.’ Yet, the CPR, of which Dr Mehta is president, only discloses the names of its donors in its annual report, and that too without revealing the amounts received from each. Similarly, Navdanya offers no information on either of its websites, Indian and Italian (Navdanya International), on any of its funding. Other thinktanks like the PHFI and CIS offer a more detailed breakup of their different sources of funding, while some like the CSE and CCS provide only a roll of donor names and a figure of cumulative funding with no breakup of individual contributions. So, while these thinktanks are forced to disclose their foreign funding sources to the MHA under the FCRA, why do they not volunteer exhaustive information on their own websites?

    An amusing facet of this is that the Central Government and Corporate India are more transparent (even if forced to be) than these civil society institutions, thanks to the Right to Information Act, 2005, and the extensive disclosure requirements under the Companies Act, 1956. Of companies in particular, information is accessible over the internet on the MCA21 website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. This contrast is amusing because some of these thinktanks never tire of demanding transparency of the State and corporate sector.

    For several thinktanks, it is often hard to figure out something as basic as the nature of the legal entity through which they conduct their activities. Are they societies, associations or trusts? More pertinently, why is the Government not pushing for a stricter transparency regime? A major stumbling block may be the fact that these thinktanks are set up under state laws and it is difficult for the Central Government to coordinate a nationwide transparency regime. However, given that most are beneficiaries of income tax exemptions, it may be possible for the Centre to use the Income Tax Act to demand comprehensive disclosures. Since they enjoy tax benefits, they might also qualify as ‘public authorities’ under the Right To Information Act, 2005.

    Another reason that disclosure of funding is important is to inform the analysis of people who usually see NGOs as selfless entities dedicated to nothing but a higher cause. While this may be true of some NGOs, many leaders of these set-ups have personal stakes in ensuring certain outcomes. After all, future donor grants often depend on sustaining one’s influence in the policy space. Many of the institutions described in this article have been regular recipients of funds from the same sources year after year.

    Another question is the volume of funds coming in and where it will leave India’s public institutions that were originally meant to aid policymaking with unbiased intellectual inputs. How are cash-strapped Indian universities to compete with these well-funded thinktanks? Government-run institutions of higher learning are supposed to have an inbuilt guarantee of academic independence, but would their scholarly voices be drowned out by those backed by bigger resources? :tsk:

    Also, given the frequency with which a few foreign funders appear on donor lists, is it time to worry about their influence on Indian policies? After all, generous funding lets the faculty of these thinktanks jetset around the world to attend conferences, organise seminars in India and network with officials at a level that most public universities cannot afford. How does this impact our civil society discourse? Should Parliament limit the amount that a single foreign entity can donate, or are we better off sticking to a regulatory regime that only insists on a set of disclosure norms?

    On a concluding note, let us not forget that a large part of the credit for the RTI Act of 2005—the country’s most empowering piece of legislation since the Constitution of 1950—goes to the advocacy efforts of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), a farmers group in Rajasthan that does not accept institutional funding from either India or overseas. Bank interest on its corpus and donations by individuals are the MKSS’s only sources of funding. Together, the two gave it Rs 30 lakh for the financial year 2010-11, details of which are available on its website.

    NGO'S Foreign Funding - A Security Threat - Indian Politics - Quora

    http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/business/foreign-funding-of-ngos
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013

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