Charity institution – Ford Foundation on security watchlist

NEW DELHI, APRIL 25: The government has put international donor Ford Foundation on the watchlist for funding organizations not registered under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act. The alleged violation is due to the foundation's $2.9 lakh grant to Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL), with which activist Teesta Setalvad is associated.

SCPPL, unlike the Sabrang Trust that received $2.5 lakh, is not registered under the FCRA. "Such a donation was therefore a serious violation of FCRA provisions, which mandate that funding from a foreign source can only be to a recipient in India carrying an FCRA registration," a senior home ministry official said.

The Ford Foundation is a New York headquartered, globally oriented private foundation with the mission of advancing human welfare. On its 50th anniversary in India in 2002, said that it had spent $500 million for various projects in the country. Ford Foundation supports causes such as democratic governance, which include increasing political participation, civil society activism and transparency; human rights which includes the rights of minorities, marginalised communities, Dalits and adivasis; freedom of expression; sexuality, LGBT rights and women’s rights among others. The central themes of its programmes are rights, equality and transparency which are ideas that challenge authoritative governments.

Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) is the primary regulator that controls the flow of overseas funds to NGOs in India. In 1984, when it was tightened, funding to 142 organisations were blocked. The Ministry of Home Affairs currently has several NGOs on its watch list and the “iconic” Ford Foundation is the latest.