The government has put 77 foreign NGOs on its global watchlist, making it difficult for their officials to get visas to India. The step comes within days of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh complaining that foreign NGOs were trying to influence Indian policies and projects.
The home ministry put together the list based on information from intelligence agencies and the suspicious conduct of representatives of these NGOs in the past.
Top government sources said the watchlist had been circulated to all Indian missions and posts with an advice to "monitor" visa requests from the NGOs - a euphemism for putting the applications through greater scrutiny that would lead to delays or rejection.
Officials refused to name the NGOs, insisting this would have serious diplomatic repercussions. But one of them confirmed that most were from the US and European Union. In 2010, US-based NGOs accounted for one-third of the foreign funds worth Rs. 9,000 crore to Indian NGOs.
In an interview to Science magazine, the PM had blamed NGOs funded by US and Scandinavian countries for campaigning against the Kudankulam nuclear project and use of biotechnology.