Foreign funds in legislative research body come under HMO scrutiny

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  1. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    NEW DELHI: MPs of next Parliament may well use the services of PRS Legislative Research (PRS), just as MPs of the just concluded Parliament did. What new — and old — members of Parliament may not know is that the organisation that's built a reputation helping MPs has been under home ministry scrutiny, and the ministry has refused PRS foreign funding.
    The official reason, ET has learnt, is government suspicion that foreign funding for a research organisation that works with MPs may leadto "lobbying". PRS co-founder and president MR Madhavan confirmed the ban on foreign funding. He said the government did not give PRS any reason for blocking overseas funds.
    "We just got a terse one-line letter from some undersecretary in the ministry that the request had been denied in 'public interest'," he said. "It is not desirable that our legislators accept foreign support channeled through an NGO for their parliamentary research assistance," Union minister of state for home, Mullappally Ramachandran, told ET.
    "We are very clear on this," he added. The home ministry had twice in 2012 denied foreign funding permission to PRS. PRS had applied for funds from the likes of Ford Foundation and International Development Research Centre of Canada (IDRC). A senior home ministry official, who spoke on the condition he not be identified, said the ministry "had carried out an elaborate investigation into the functioning of the organisation and rejected the request".
    A subsequent application for reconsideration was also rejected, he said. This official said the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) disallows foreign funding for political parties, political activities and organisations of political nature.
    "There are no specific allegations against PRS. It is just that the work that PRS does enters the gray area since they work with politicians," he said. The stated objective of PRS is to "strengthen the legislative process by making it better informed, more transparent and participatory."
    PRS provides legislative assistants to parliamentarians. These assistants are chosen through a fellowship called LAMP (Legislative Assistants to MPs). Madhavan said that PRS research reports are sent to all MPs and around 400 of them from the just-concluded Parliament engaged with them. PRS has also started reaching out to MLAs in states.
    "PRS has access to draft bills even before they are ready to be put out in public domain. It not only helps MPs drafting these Bills but also helps them research questions they raise in Parliament. Its members also help MPs prepare for debates. Many MPs are not that well-informed and unknowingly may be susceptible to being used," another home ministry official said. He, too, did not want to be identified.
    However, all officials ET spoke to said there has been no adverse report on PRS. "It's the possibility that foreign interests may exploit it," the home ministry official quoted above said, explaining the ministry's inquiry and the decision on funding.
    PRS was set up in 2005 and was initially incubated by the Centre for Policy Research, a Delhi-based think tank. As part of CPR, PRS also received foreign funding from Ford Foundation and Google. The company's troubles over foreign funding began when it became independent.
    "We set up a company in March 2011 under Section 25 of the Companies' Act and applied for prior permission from MHA to receive foreign funds under the FCRA," Madhavan said. PRS had funding promises lined up - Omidyar Network offering a grant of a million dollars, Ford Foundation offering $550,000 and $300,000 from IDRC.
    "Ordinarily, home ministry is supposed to clear applications within three months. In our case it took 11 months, and then came the refusal. We put in an application for reconsideration but even that was turned down," Madhavan said. PRS now receives domestic funding from institutions and individuals.
    Billionaire Ajay Piramal, India Value Fund Advisors, Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation, Mahindra & Mahindra, Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, Rohini Nilekani and Tata Sons are among its major financial backers.

    http://t.co/3icJy3Cj9m
     
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  3. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    Read full : https://t.co/fOAn73ibE0

    In the middle of 1995, the American Intelligence was tipped off by the two Indian players that Narasimha Rao was considering testing nuclear weapons and employing the Prithvi Missiles before the elections in 1996. A flurry of activities commenced with American foundations converging on India.
    Thanks to the two critically placed Indians, the Rockfeller Foundation (RF) came to know that a "secret" meeting was being held in Bangalore at the initiative of Rao in November 1995 to consider nuke test, Prithvi deployment and "other steps". No one was supposed to know about the meting; Rao, RF noted, wanted it kept away from US intelligence. But the two Indian players who participated in the meeting themselves kept the US side informed. The then Governor of Gujrat attended this secret meeting by a circuitous travel route - London, Frankfurt, Bombay and then Bangalore. He was the informant to the RF on what was happening on the Indian side, including at the meeting. The other, though not named, was the ex-official in the sensitive technology Ministry who was regarded as `a person with direct access to Prime Minister Rao' and who `swore' the American side to secrecy about what he had told them. The role of these two gentlemen has been well documented by the Rockfeller Foundation. The Bangalore meeting was preceded by a meeting called by the US Foundations at Pocantico between June 18 to 21, 1995. The meetings in June and November 1995 had, in the main, non-proliferation as the issue.
    But the non-proliferators soon realised that, as a pre- condition, the basic issues of the Indo-Pak-Chinese triangle needed to be resolved. So what started as a move against nuke became a move to mediate between India and Pakistan. A suggestion for a `Camp David' process for South Asia - which meant India and Pakistan - was made in September 1995. Camp David was the climax of the West Asia settlement brought about by the efforts of the American foundations led by the former US President Jimmy Carter. A designated expert responded to this suggestion with his propositions in a preparatory study which became the foundation of a possible `Camp David' for India and Pakistan.
    The preparatory study traced the history of Indo-Pak issues thus - that `a dying Pandit Nehru' resisted US pressure to settle Kashmir; that Kissinger tilted in favour of Pakistan; that Bush ignored Indo-Pak conflict; that nuclear issue over shadowed the idea of comprehensive strategy. The study then maps out a comprehensive strategy to deal with Indo-Pak issues and makes the most crucial suggestion for its success. "It is important to have early, high visibility Presidential support, perhaps a brief meeting between PMs in the White House, or at Camp David, but we are looking for trouble if the President (especially this president) is required to broker a deal".
    The implication was clear - the meet of the two PMs must have Clinton's blessings, but, he should not be seen to broker it. So, proxies had to be found to broker the meeting - and the US foundations readily entered the game as proxies for the President. This September 1995 study became the starting point of the all out efforts to make the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan meet at the US President's initiative.
    Citing the ensuing elections, a wily Narasimha Rao ducked all efforts to corner him into meeting his Pakistan counterpart. The 1996 election results confused the Americans more than it confused the Indians. The rustic Deve Gowda was the least inviting to the US foundations. But when, with the Gujral doctrine as his brand, the new Prime Minister arrived, the deal making diplomats saw a golden opportunity and seized it.
    Right on his arrival, Gujral gave two distinct signals - first, his statement that he approved the refuelling of US warplanes in India and next, his appointment of Babani Sengupta, more US-minded than even the American diplomats, in the PMO. These two signals were sufficient for activating the dormant institutions.
     
  5. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    CNBC-TV18 Verified Account
    @ CNBCTV18LiveFollow
    NEWS FLASH: Rockefeller Foundation Commits $75 m To Power 1000 Villages

    https://t.co/5bgUOFeFo1

    CNBC-TV18
    @ CNBCTV18Live 2h
    Rockefeller Foundation: Will Lend Concessionary Capital To Alternative Energy Companies

    ps- they stopped our nuke test! Govt should ban all foreign ngo's.
     
  6. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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