Dear Reader,

Last month, MediaNama reported a story of how a face recognition technology – the ASTR – was being used on mobile SIM card subscribers. While this was conceived to weed out fraudulent subscribers, it also raises questions on the protection of personal data and privacy.

On February 3, two Rajya Sabha MPs questioned the government in Parliament if, as foretold by the MediaNama story, such technology was being employed. In its response, the government not only admitted that the technology “exists” but was also being “run on the images of the subscribers available in Customer Acquisition Form”. MediaNama explains the implications of this move.

Nurses are the backbone of India’s healthcare system. But, largely unsung and underpaid, they are now looking at foreign shores to shore up their prospects. As it is, India has less than half of the WHO recommended norm of three nurses per thousand population. The Citizen does a deep dive into the systemic issues and the urgently needed solutions for India’s nurses -- abysmal working conditions, stress of long working hours and the relative lack of respect.

As Tripura goes to polls for the state assembly, the plight of the Bru tribals, exiled from their lands in neighbouring Mizoram as an aftermath of ethnic clashes, is nowhere on the table. Main Bhi Bharat chronicles their two-decade long fight for justice.

In April last year, India’s first grain-based ethanol factory in Bihar’s Purnea district was launched. Now, for the residents of Nityanand Nagar, where the factory is located, it has turned into a curse. मैं मीडिया reports from the site where toxic pollutants from the factory threaten the health and lives of the residents around the unit.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Explained: Why In The World Is India’s Telecom Department Using Facial Recognition On SIM Users?

MediaNama’s story on how the SIM subscribers’ images were being filtered through a face recognition tool has raised questions about data privacy, and was taken up in India’s Parliament.

Read Here

India’s Nursing Crisis

With only around 1.7 nurses per 1,000 people, there is a crisis brewing in India’s healthcare system. The Citizen finds poor working conditions and equally poor compensations are forcing nurses to look at greener pastures abroad.

Read Here

अपने ही देश में शरणार्थी ब्रू यानि रियांग जनजाति

Main Bhi Bharat brings you the struggles of the Bru tribals in Manipur, exiled from their lands for more than two decades.

Watch Here

पूर्णिया का अभिशाप एथेनॉल फैक्ट्री, फसल तबाह, आँखों में बीमारी

मैं मीडिया reports from the Purnea district in Bihar on how an ethanol factory, inaugurated with much fanfare, is proving to be a curse for the residents around it.

Watch Here

More from the grantees
Unknown Issues of Perambra Estate
Founded in 1968, the Perambra rubber plantation in Kerala’s Kozhikode district was a facility which provided livelihoods and sustenance for the workers employed in the unit. Now, the dreams have turned sour. TrueCopy Think reports.
अंतरजातीय और अंतरधार्मिक विवाह करने वाली स्त्रियों की दोहरी पीड़ा
The Caravan analyses how the system is fundamentally skewed against those who enter inter-caste and inter-religious marriages, with an additional bias against women because of their gender.
Manipur's Maibakhul Primary, Development High schools in deplorable conditions
Even as the Manipur government pushes to reinvigorate the schools in the state, Imphal Free Press finds that far from the promise, schools are in a dismal state of disrepair.
Will Lithium Reserves Found In Jammu and Kashmir Be Gamechanger For India?
HW News explains the significance of the discovery of India's first big lithium deposits in Jammu & Kashmir by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

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