By Nirmala Carvalho

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The Indian government has revoked the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of the New Delhi-based Indian Social Institute (ISI), an important research institution founded by the Jesuits, already investigated by the government in July last year.

Home Affairs officials allege the ISI violated the law that regulates licencing, but did not provide further details. The FCRA was passed to prevent misuse or diversion of foreign funds in NGOs and think tanks operating in India, and is renewed every five years. Or at least that is how it should be.

In reality, after being amended in 2020, registration under the FCRA has increasingly been weaponised against groups that criticise the government. Last month, another well-known research institute, the Centre for Policy Research, lost its licence.

Hundreds of non-profit organisations, such as Oxfam India, and several Catholic entities, including Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, have also been targeted in recent years, their licences suddenly revoked.

The Indian Social Institute was founded in 1951 by Indian Jesuit Jerome D’Souza to help the development of the country soon after it became independent, the current executive director, Fr Sebasti L. Raj, told AsiaNews.

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