Centre for Policy Research reaction to cancelled FCRA registration

The government has cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of prominent public thinktank Centre for Policy Research (CPR) for alleged violation of laws, officials said on Wednesday.

The move came nearly a year after the ministry of home affairs (MHA) had suspended the NGO’s registration under FCRA. The think-tank was under scrutiny following surveys carried out by the Income Tax department.

The MHA has cancelled the FCRA registration of the NGO for alleged violations of the provisions of the foreign funding law. The FCRA licence was suspended in February 2023 for 180 days, which was extended for another 180 days.

According to its website, CPR has been one of India’s leading public policy think-tanks since 1973. It says it is a “non-profit, non-partisan, independent institution” dedicated to conducting research that contributes to high quality scholarship, better policies, and a more robust public discourse about issues that impact life in India.

Among its donors are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, World Bank, Ford Foundation, and Brown University, besides many others, officials said.

Former members of the CPR governing body include former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former chief justice of India late Y.V. Chandrachud, and the late veteran journalist B.G. Verghese.

When CPR challenged its suspension in Delhi High Court, the MHA had argued that the thinktank’s foreign funding needed to be stopped as it was receiving its foreign contributions for “undesirable purposes” likely to affect the country’s economic interest, though it is not immediately clear what these purposes are.

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