Itâ€™s often said, tongue in cheek, that Indiaâ€™s â€œshadowâ€ government works out of the nondescript, low-slung buildings abutting the Lodhi Garden in Delhi. Thatâ€™s partly hubris, but it also stems from being close to the centre of power. This rarefied zone houses powerful â€œculturalâ€ institutions like the India International Centre, as well as a host of global multilateral agencies and think-tanks. Things get done here discreetly, sans any fanfare. Which is why there is a faint air of disquiet at the spotlight on Ford Foundation, whose headquarters are across the road from IIC. The context, of course, is the Anna Hazare team-led â€˜India Against Corruptionâ€™ movement for a Jan Lokpal bill. Author-activist Arundhati Roy, among others, raised concerns about Arvind Kejriwalâ€™s links with the foundation, which is touted as a front for multilateral agencies interfering in public policy matters. In the spotlight is Kabir, an NGO run by Kejriwal associate Manish Sisodia, which has received grants totalling $3,97,000 from the foundation. Kejriwal and Ford Foundation have both denied any links while Sisodia has said the money was for films, documentaries and campaigns on RTI (see Arvind Kejriwal interview). But the issue has rekindled old fears of a â€œforeign handâ€ in domestic policy. Should NGOs receiving grants from international agencies like the Ford Foundation and others be barred from participating in the shaping of public policy? And are these civil society groups working as stooges of the West to execute an â€œAmerican agendaâ€? The Ford Foundation, which completes six decades in India next year, provides a continuing flow of grants to institutions, think-tanks, civil society, and even farmer groups, to carry out research and advocacy work. The sums are not inconsequentialâ€”about $15 million (about Rs 70 crore) a year. And the recipientsâ€”320 grants, over the past four yearsâ€”are the whoâ€™s who of civil society and advocacy groups in India. The Foundation Of Indian Policymaking? A selection of Ford Foundation grants (2007-11) Manish Sisodia, Founder,Kabir Promoting RTI for transparency & accountability; Anna Hazare supporter$3,97,000Nandan M. Nilekani, President,NCAER, Influential think-tank on policy issues that have found application$2,30,000 JNU, Leading liberal arts university; FF funds used to set up Centre for Law & Governance$4,00,000Mathew Titus, Executive Director,Sa-Dhan AssociationUmbrella body of MFIs$9,10,000 Sandeep Dikshit, Governing body member,CBGAPromotes accountability & participatory governance$6,50,000Yogendra Yadav, Fellow,Centre for Study of Developing Societies, A think-tank largely funded by ICSSR$3,50,000 Pratap Bhanu MehtaHead,Centre for Policy ResearchLeading think-tank, provides advisory services to govt$687,000Parthiv ShahFounder Director,CMAC Promotes culture, design & focuses on governance$2,55,000 Amitabh Behar, Executive director, National Foundation for IndiaSupports voluntary development$25,00,000Dr Gladwin Joseph,Director,ATREEStriving to conserve biodiversity through sustainable development$13,19,031 Kinsuk Mitra, chairperson,Winrock IntlSustainable rural resource management$8,00,000Indira Jaising,Director,Lawyersâ€™ CollectivePromotes human rights for marginalised people$12,40,000 Akhila Sivadas,Executive Director,Centre for Advocacy & ResearchRights of marginalised populations$5,00,000J. Mohanty,Chairperson,Credibility AlliancePromoting norms of accountability among NGOs$6,00,000 The foundation, on its part, makes no bones about its neo-liberal agenda, broadly pro-market, seeking accountability in governance, and promoting marginalised groups. It funds a small number of institutions, but chooses effectively. At a post-budget meeting two years back, it was noted that all the think-tanks represented (NCAER, NIPFP, ICRIER and the Centre for Policy Research) on the dais received grants from the foundation. Academicians and scholars from these think-tanks are regularly consulted by the government on various policy issues. On whether the views of these intellectuals actually get reflected in subsequent policies, Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia declines to comment. â€œI donâ€™t really have a view on it,â€ he says. He does, however, concede that Indiaâ€™s association with the foundation â€œis something that has been on for a long timeâ€.