NTAGI's Secretariat has, until now, been serviced through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-backed Immunization Technical Support Unit (ITSU) at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
The concerns reportedly centered around the foundation's "ties" with pharmaceutical companies, and the influence this could exert on the country's vaccination policy.
Global Policy Forum, an organization seeking to promote accountability of international organizations, highlighted the growing influence of large global philanthropic foundations, including the Gates Foundation, in a December 2015 study called, "Philanthropic Power and Development — Who shapes the agenda?"
"We welcome this move by the government. We have always said foreign influence in our domestic policies in any way must be avoided," ET cited Swadeshi Jagran Manch saying. The RSS outfit's objections reportedly factored into the government's decision.
The Health Ministry of India said in a statement that it continues to collaborate with the Gates Foundation, and that reports of cutting off "all ties" are misleading.
"The transitioning of the NTAGI Secretariat from ITSU to NIHFW was a planned activity and is part of the health system strengthening efforts by the government," the ministry said, adding that the shift will not negatively impact the functioning of the Secretariat.
The Gates Foundation-ITSU relationship formally ends on February 28.