NCR-based university emerging as bastion of China experts: Report

A new report on Chinese influence in India states that a prominent university located in the National Capital Region is emerging as the bastion of so-called China “experts”.

It runs a flagship fellowship programme that allows for exchange of visiting scholars between India and China, says the report titled “Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operations in India” by the Law and Society Alliance.

Under the fellowship, academics, policy experts and professionals are made to work on China-based topics. They also get access to Chinese diplomats and frequently visit China.

The university has been granting this fellowship to numerous individuals, including academicians, research scholars and journalists.

The topics allocated to the researchers clearly raise suspicions over the objectivity and the objectives of the research conducted on China-related subjects, the report said.

A new organisation, which calls itself a “Foundation”, based out of Delhi, is working on mission mode to create sentiments favourable to China among Indians and is discharging duties similar to that of the Chinese Embassy.

Though it claims to work as “a mission to increase mutual understanding between the people of India and China”, its functions resemble that of the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in India, which is obvious through an analysis of its statements and events, the report added.

Advisors to the organisation include a journalist, an academician and a former diplomat. This organisation is aggressively running a China Study Centre to promote pro-China sentiments in India through which it helps setting up of these centres in top Indian universities.

The organisation, which was working in full swing, reportedly suspended its website to save itself from scrutiny of the government agencies and public backlash amid the 2020 India-China standoff in Eastern Ladakh.

The organisation’s website is now redirected to what is called the Asian Century Foundation, created in 2020.

The founder of the above organisation has also helped establish a visiting scholars fellowship at the said NCR-based university, where he happens to be the Chairman.

He also runs EdTech and policy startups whose investments may possibly need to be examined by the government agencies for reported Chinese funding.

China has been constantly rewarding him, the report said.