‘Privilege to have fought for this institution’: Yamini Aiyar to step down as president of CPR

She will be replaced by Srinivas Chokkakula.

WrittenBy:NL Team
CPR president Yamini Aiyar

Yamini Aiyar will step down as president and chief executive of the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi. Her term will end on March 31, the think tank announced today.

In a statement from the board, CPR said Dr Srinivas Chokkakula will take over from Aiyar. Chokkakula is a “political geographer, engineer and town planner” who has been with CPR since 2010, the statement said.

The board expressed its “appreciation” for Aiyar, citing her “excellent and significant contribution to CPR’s tradition of engaged multidisciplinary scholarship and for the energy, commitment and sense of purpose she brought to her role”.

Aiyar also confirmed the news in a post on X, saying it had been an “absolute privilege to have led and fought for this remarkable institution”.

It’s been a difficult time for the think tank, ever since its premises in Delhi were “surveyed” in September 2022. Three months later, it received a show-cause notice from the Income Tax department for cancellation of registration under section 12(A) of the IT Act, 1961. CPR’s tax exemption status was eventually cancelled in June last year.

Additionally, the Income Tax department alleged that income of Rs 23.18 crore had “escaped tax assessment” – an allegation that CPR later challenged in the Delhi High Court. 

Crucially, its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act licence was suspended in February last year, after it was accused of using its foreign funds for litigation and environment activism in violation of its “objects of the trust”. The home ministry cancelled its FCRA registration in January 2024.

Newslaundry has consistently reported on the government action against CPR. The think tank downsized its staff by 75 percent and initiated “massive pay cuts” after it came under the government scanner. 

At the time, Aiyar told Newslaundry that CPR would “will continue to fight for that recognition and the nature of work it does. We are confident that whatever questions the authorities have had on the nature of our work will be resolved speedily because we have not deviated from our goal”. Read the full report here.

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article imageYear after suspension of licence, Modi govt cancels CPR’s FCRA registration


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