Shreegireesh Jalihal

Shreegireesh reports and writes on issues of economy and governance. He particularly loves to use the Right to Information Act to find stories. A former TEDx licensee (2016-18), he graduated from Delhi's Indian Institute of Mass Communication with a diploma in English Journalism. Before joining the collective, he worked with Business Standard.


March 15, 2022

Ghost and surrogate advertisers flourish on Facebook, pour in millions to promote BJP

The Collective’s year-long investigation found that an ecosystem of proxy advertisers is flourishing on Facebook, bypassing election laws, breaking Facebook’s own rules and undercutting the political level-playing field. Surrogate advertisements worth more than 58 million rupees, most of which promoted BJP, denigrated opposition and seeded false narratives, got a whopping 1.3 billion views for a period of 22 months, almost equal to the advertisements officially placed by BJP. They helped double BJP’s visibility without the party having to take responsibility for the content or the expenditure related to their advertisements.

April 9, 2021

Govt Scrapped Vehicular Bulk Data Deal Over Privacy Issues. But a German Firm Was Already Involved.

The Indian firm that got vehicular data of the entire country as an exclusive low-cost bounty cut a separate deal that would allow a German firm access to the information. This agreement fell through over 'differences in vision' but the Indian firm had already shared samples of the data it got from the Indian government. It was only months after the Indian company informed the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that data had been shared with a foreign entity which then refused to delete it, that the government decided to scrap data supply to the company over 'data leakage possibilities' and 'security issues'.

April 8, 2021

Quietly, Govt Sold Vehicular Bulk Data to Firm Without Price Discovery, Privacy Protection

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways sold off the vehicle registration database of the entire country to a small private company in a deal that flew completely under the public radar. The deal was rammed through without consulting the ministry's finance wing and by sidelining the National Informatics Centre. The pact was flagged by multiple officials over its complete lack of price discovery. Eventually, the deal was scrapped over privacy concerns but the firm still holds the data and has earned crores in revenue by selling tech solutions based on it.

December 15, 2021

Modi Govt's Opaque Auction Rules Rip Off Govt Coffers, Help Millers Strike Rich

Auction method used to mill pulses under welfare schemes for poor and armed forces allowed millers to make unchecked profits for years, hammering the public exchequer and the quality of pulses supplied

August 17, 2021

Gujarat's Real Covid Tragedy Revealed: Data Suggests At Least 2.8 Lakh Excess Deaths During Pandemic

Data from thousands of pages of death registers maintained by municipalities in Gujarat show an excess death count of 16,892 for just 6% of the state's population during the pandemic. When projected across the state, the figure zooms to a staggering 281,000.

August 16, 2021

Flawed Reform: How Modi Govt's New Coal Auction Regime Robs Chhattisgarh of Rs 900 Crore a Year

Under its commercial coal mining auctions, the Modi govt has sold off at least two coal blocks for rates cheaper than their 2015 prices. As a result Chhattisgarh will end up losing Rs 900 crore every year and over Rs 24,000 crore over decades.

June 10, 2021

How Niti Aayog Hand-Picked SC Rulings To Probe Judicial Activism

The Niti Aayog wants to review economic impacts of Supreme Court rulings on environmental-law violations. Its officials are supposedly not investigating ‘judicial activism’. Files we obtained under RTI show that is indeed what they are doing.

May 14, 2021

Govt Records Expose Its Lies On 'Effective' Foreign Covid Aid Distribution

Two days after the Health Ministry said it has ensured 'effective' distribution of foreign Covid aid and lambasted media for reports on its haphazard handling of the donations, its own records belie the claims. Internal records show large consignments were either 'in transit' or yet to even be allocated -- some from as far back as April 30!

May 4, 2021

How MEA's Inaction Forced Embassies To Seek Covid Assistance From Opposition

MEA made urgent late evening deployments to its Covid Cell as late as May 01. This was 24 hours after the Philippines Embassy sought help from Indian Youth Congress for delivery of oxygen cylinders. In response, the MEA launched a bitter Twitter dogfight against the opposition for supplying cylinders to the embassy.

April 21, 2021

A Hack: Evidence Was Planted To Frame The Bhima Koregaon 16, Reveals Report

A new report by US-based Arsenal Consulting, a digital forensics agency, claims that 22 ‘incriminating’ filed were planted into activist Rona Wilson’s laptop. These files are among the primary evidence against Wilson and 15 others currently in jail.


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