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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 11:00 IST

Centre For Policy Research's FCRA Licence Cancelled: What Is CPR, What Does It Do? TOP POINTS

With the cancellation of CPR's FCRA licence, the think tank will not be able to receive any funds from abroad or utilise the existing funds.

Reported by: Apoorva Shukla
MHA revoked the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act licence of the Centre for Policy Research
MHA revoked the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act licence of the Centre for Policy Research | Image:Instagram
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Delhi: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has cancelled the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of prominent public think-tank Centre for Policy Research, reports said on Wednesday January 17. The decision has been taken by the MHA as the CPR allegedly violated provisions of the foreign funding law. The organisation's FCRA licence was earlier suspended in March 2023 owing to violation of laws for 180 days and was later extended for 180 days. After the initial suspension of licence, CPR said it had done “nothing wrong”. 

What is CPR? 

As per the think-tanks's website, "CPR is recognised as a not-for-profit society by the Government of India, and contributions to the Centre are tax exempt. CPR receives grants from the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and is a Department of Science and Technology (DST) recognised institution. CPR receives grants from a variety of domestic and international sources, including foundations, corporate philanthropy, governments, and multilateral agencies.”

“We hold ourselves to the highest standards of compliance and are confident that we have done nothing wrong. We are committed to working with the authorities to address any questions they might have," CPR president and chief executive Yamini Aiyar had said after the initial suspension last year. 

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How licence cancellation will impact CPR?

CPR was under scrutiny after Income Tax surveys on it and Oxfam India in September 2022. With the cancellation of CPR's FCRA licence, the think tank will not be able to receive any funds from abroad or utilise the existing funds without prior clearance from the home ministry. 

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What is FCRA licence- The process of suspension  

Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, commonly addressed as FCRA, was enacted during the emergency years with an aim to contain the ‘foreign hand’ meddling into India’s internal affairs. It was believed that foreign powers were meddling into India’s internal affairs by pumping money into the country through independent organisations and NGOs. 

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With several amendments, with the latest in 2022, the government issues a licence to organisation intending to receive funds from foreign. The MHA then inquires with agencies including Intelligence Bureau before allowing the organisations to receive funds. One licence if granted by the MHA is valid for five years and the organisation seeking renewal need to apply within six months of the date of expiry of registration. 

The government/ MHA has the powers to revoke the licence or suspend or cancel the licence if the organisation is suspected of violating the provisions. The licence can also be cancelled by the government in “public interest”.  

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 11:00 IST

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