|Published : 20 Apr 2017, 18:59:17|
Gates Foundation debarred from funding India’s large research & policy think-tank
The Gates-backed Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), a large health research and policy think-tank, has been debarred from accepting foreign funds, a global media report said.
The move, as the report indicated, shows the widening of crackdown on civil society organisations (CBO) by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the overseas backers of PHFI that runs training and health promotion programmes across India, helping the central and state governments in strengthening health systems, the report added.
The use of funds for PHFI’s programmes on tobacco and Aids, both of which receive support from Gates Foundation, came under questions by India’s home affairs ministry and the suspension on receipt foreign funds came thereafter, according to the report.
India’s powerful tobacco industry that has been looking to emerging markets to compensate for falling sales in developed economies, has been expressing its ire about a highly visible national anti-tobacco campaign by PHFI, over the past few years, the report said.
The Gates Foundation has been facing growing hostility from rightwing groups close to Mr Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), particularly its affiliate organisation, Swadeshi Jagran Manch, because of the group’s large health programme in India, it added.
The March has earlier accused Gates Foundation of “pushing corporate interest in the garb of philanthropy”, according to the report.