To call the Indian Council of World Affairs “an appendage of the MEA” betrays ignorance of the institution’s recent history (“Visa power that gives no credit to civil society,” April 25). The two Acts of Parliament helped to rescue rather than constrain the ICWA. Besides, they formally recognised its status as “an institution of national importance.”

As a premier foreign policy think tank, ICWA enjoys optimal autonomy in its plans, programmes and activities. The Council is chaired by the Vice-President, and has MPs from both the ruling party and the Opposition. The institution’s DG is a retired, not serving, diplomat. Its research faculty enjoys complete freedom in research and publication work.

Rajiv K. Bhatia,

New Delhi

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