NEW DELHI: Issuance of visa to people associated with Chinese think tanks will be scrutinized by the security establishments, the government has decided.
The decision was taken after some suspicious activities were noticed involving certain individuals linked with Chinese think tanks. The security and intelligence agencies have been asked to do background check of people who get sponsorships from various Chinese think tanks and advocacy groups before the issuances of their visas.
Indian intelligence agencies have alerted the government that China has set up various think tanks as part of its extensive outreach programme. These have been set up with an objective to influence people in countries of strategic interest. These think tanks could be used to identify and recruit people for espionage, said a senior officer with an intelligence agency.
Many organizations across the globe, backed by China, sponsor visas for policy makers, think tanks, political parties, upcoming leaders, corporates, academics and research entities, among others. The agencies have prepared an elaborate list of groups and individuals who are under scanner. The government has shared the list with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
The government has also asked the MEA to put in place a process of stringent check before issuing visas to individuals associated with China's extensive outreach programme. The government had sent a letter in this regard to the MEA last month.
The letter stated: "In order to closely monitor the activities in India, visas sponsored by Entities of Concern shall require prior security clearance. MEA may therefore appropriately sensitize missions abroad regarding requirements of prior security clearance granting visa."
The security clearance should be given only after thorough scrutiny of suspected people or entities. The development comes after India recently banned several Chinese apps amid the military hostilities between the two nations. (IANS)
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