Tuesday, July 25, 2023

India's Top Think Tank Struggling Amid Modi Crackdown

Here is more from FT:

One of India’s best-regarded public policy think-tanks is struggling to continue its work after authorities stripped it of its tax-exempt status and permission to raise foreign funds as part of an intensifying crackdown by the Modi government on civil society.

The New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, which conducts grassroots data collection, publishes research and organises talks, had its licence to raise money abroad suspended by India’s home affairs ministry in February.

Tax authorities in late June informed the 50-year-old group, which formerly raised about 75 per cent of its funds outside India, that it had lost its tax-exempt status, a move it describes as “a debilitating blow” that “strikes at the core of its ability to function”.

A senior staffer at CPR, whose past backers included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told the Financial Times that the centre’s headcount had fallen from more than 200 last year to fewer than 60 now because it was no longer able to pay salaries in full. 

India’s moves against CPR are part of decades-long efforts to tighten financial controls on think-tanks, academia and other independent institutions that predate Modi but have intensified since he took office in 2014.


Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post about India's crackdown of CPR.