MHA removes ‘anti-India’ Ford Foundation from watch list before Modi’s crucial US visit

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Ministry of Home Affairs has removed the U.S.-based international donor agency Ford Foundation from its watch list also knows as Indian government’s “prior permission” list.

According to a report carried by the Hindu, the move comes just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

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Last year, the home ministry had placed the foundation under the FCRA list after the Gujarat government said in a report that the U.S.-based agency funded “anti-India” activities of Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd run by activist Teesta Setalvad.

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The MHA, reportedly, wrote to the Reserve Bank of India last week on Wednesday, requesting it to remove the international NGO from a “watch list” it was placed under last year.

The watch list under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, (FCRA) required each of the foundation’s donations to Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to be approved by the home ministry.

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Restrictions on Ford Foundation meant that funds from the NGO to recipients in India needed the government’s prior approval. The international NGO was also put on the Home Ministry’s watch list in the interest of “national security”.

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