The White Man's Burden !
Recently, the Union Home Ministry questioned the approach of funding by Ford Foundation to various development agencies in India. Such topics are related to my areas of interest and in following lines, I'm trying to unfold various issues related to development funding.
After a landslide victory in the General Election, the Union Government started to tighten norms for developmental funding in India because it believed that they are interfering in internal matters. It is reportedly said that Arvind Kejriwal (Chief Minister of Delhi) run organisation received massive funding from international bodies and Ford Foundation dominated the funding pie.
Interestingly, it is reported earlier that Geer Foundation received funding after a lethal earthquake in Gujarat and the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi headed this body.
Ford Foundation is not new to funding various initiatives in India. I came to know about it when I was a student in BHU and one major initiative in History Department was funded by it. (But I don't know more about it).
Its not first when the ruling apparatus questioned funding by international institutions. Various policy makers questioned such funding from time to time. And they labeled many initiatives as anti-national or anti-development which are not in the national interest. Greenpeace issue is one of them. But I think that truth lies in between..!
Increasingly, policy makers and experts are questioning funding pattern in the developing countries and the least-developed countries. It has emerged as an area of research. Aids and grant by international bodies in Africa is adequately researched. They showed how these international institutions are responsible for under development of various African nations. Dambisa Moyo and William Easterly are influential critics..!
But funding pattern in India by such institutions are inadequately documented. There is a need to research it! Why aid is not working and suggest a better way for development keeping serious issues in mind!
It's very complex canvass. Many developed countries have intertwined their foreign policy stances with development initiatives. When Pokhran Test came into light in 1998, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency(SIDA) stopped its funding for various initiatives in India. It works on behalf of Swedish Government. Projects faced funding crunch. This step stalled initiatives for poor and needy. Almost all developed countries adopt such measures in a bid to increase pressure on the developing and least-developing counties when these countries 'fail' to convince them. If economic condition in these developing countries is sustainable, then they defy such pressures and regulate various functions of donors. This is case with India.
India is an emerging economy and its policy initiatives are not depend on international funding (at the considerable extent). And a full majority government is in power which is trying to 'silence' many such players who are trying to make a noise...!
To sum up, I can say that truth lies in between and there is a need to adopt a holistic approach. Don't see approaches of the developed countries in silos. Such countries adopt very coherent foreign policies and economic policies which are intermingled with various development initiatives by agencies. They are not inconsistent like many developing countries.
Recently, You adopted Make-in-India approach where you are asking them to come and invest here. On the other hand, you are trying to regulate their influential donors!