Skip to main content

Govts of India, Gujarat top recipients of Ford Foundation grants; its top brass include Infosys' Narayana Murthy

By Our Representative
A reputed Indian news site has reported that the Gujarat government has been one of the important recipients of the Ford Foundation grants, currently put on scanner by the Government of India for its “suspicious” activities. One of the most important recipients of the Ford Foundation grants has been the Gujarat Ecological Educational and Research (GEER) Foundation, which received $122,000 in 2002 to “expand” its joint forest management programme.
GEER Foundation works directly under the Gujarat government’s forest department, and then, as now, was chaired by the Gujarat chief minister. The grant was cleared before Modi came to power in October 2001, it is reliably learnt, the money was received after Modi’s chief minister’s office gave a final nod.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) website quotes a Ford Foundation document to say that in Gujarat there is yet another important recipient of its grant, the Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR). The grant was for $197,759 grant from the Foundation, it says, adding, “The Financial advisor to the GIDR is none other than the Department of Education, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar.”
GEER Foundation
GEER and GIDR are not the only Gujarat government-linked organization which received funds. A non-government organization (NGO), which was initiated by the Gujarat government’s state horticulture department, Sahjeevan, which works in Kutch, is in the list of those who received grants.
Earlier, says the news site scroll.in, another organization in Kutch district, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sanghatan, received the grant $75,000 for running a state woman and child programme, meant for “implementing a ‘safe district’ model through programmes that increase police and legal responsiveness and spread awareness among elected representatives on gender-based violence”.
Writing for scroll.in, Mridula Chari says in an article titled “'Anti-national' Ford Foundation has contributed at least $6 million to Indian government schemes since 2010”, that the Ford Foundation is under scanner for “its grants to Teesta Setalvad's organisations, the Sabrang Trust and Sabrang Communications.”
Gujarat Institute of Development Research
Yet another reason being cited by others is the Ford Foundation’s funds to AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s NGO Kabir before he joined politics. The BJP has in the past criticized Kejriwal for “diverting” Ford Foundation funds for political activities.
According to scroll.in, “From 2010 to 2014, the Ford Foundation has distributed $50 million to organisations in India”, adding, “A little over $6 million of this, or around 13% of its entire funds, has gone to at least 25 non-profits working to implement government programmes, according to the list of beneficiaries available on the foundation's website.”
“These programmes include key initiatives of the Ministry of Rural Development such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Ministry of Women and Child Development's Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls”, the site points out.
Screenshot of Ford Foundation site: Narayana Murthy a trustee
As a sign of its strong India connection, the only person outside the western hemisphere who is trustee of the powerful Ford Foundation Board of Trustees is top industrialist and IT wizard, NR Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys (click HERE).
Murthy has been a known Modi supporter. He was among the first to declare in 2013 strong support for the so-called Gujarat model of development, for which he gave credit to Modi. He did not stop here. In a TV interview, he said, Gujarat riots are “not an issue that should keep Modi from becoming a PM.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

'Discussed' with Modi, Gujarat Rann Sarovar proposal for Kutch runs into rough weather

By Rajiv Shah
Top Saurashtra industrialist Jaysukhbhai Patel’s by now controversial proposal to convert the 4,900 sq km Little Rann of Kutch area, an eco-sensitive zone – a UNESCO biosphere, world’s only wild ass reserve, and a nesting ground of lesser flamingoes – into a huge sweet water lake, called Rann Sarovar, has suffered a major roadblock. At least three Central agencies have expressed serious doubts about its feasibility.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.