HYDERABAD — The Telangana state government offered to help the Modi government build an intrusive, searchable system to build and track 360-degree profiles of India’s 1.2 billion residents without having to rely on Aadhaar, documents reviewed by HuffPost India establish.
On October 19, 2018, Jayesh Ranjan, Telangana’s Principal Secretary of Department of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, told his counterpart Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary at the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, that Telangana had already implemented such a system that live-tracked 30 million residents in the state, and was happy to help the Union government scale it into a system that could profile and track lives of each of India’s over 1.2 billion residents.
Telangana’s offer was extended barely three weeks after the Indian Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, but significantly curtailed its use for applications that infringed upon the privacy of citizens.
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“In view of the recent decision of Hon’ble SC on Aadhaar, there is an immediate need to look for solutions which uses 360-degree view without dependence on Aadhaar,” Ranjan wrote in his email, a copy of which was accessed by HuffPost India through the Right To Information Act . “Telangana has initiated a project called Samagram about 2 and half years ago which is a Smart Governance Platform for multiple governance objectives through record linkages across very large datasets without depending on any unique ID.”
This correspondent has witnessed the...