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.

WRITER CREDITS

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.

EDITOR CREDITS

Governance

December, 2022

#CarbidePapers Exposé: The perpetrators of Bhopal gas tragedy used shell companies to continue doing business with government companies in India

After the Bhopal gas tragedy, Union Carbide and its executives were declared absconders. Their properties were ordered to be attached. But, using a web of front companies it funnelled in goods and took out profits for more than a decade.

Published in
English
हिंदी

Legal

October, 2022

New Madhya Pradesh law puts 12-year-old Muslim boy on trial for riot damage

Under the law, similar to the one in UP, the child if found guilty could be ordered to pay compensation to his neighbour. It will happen without a formal criminal investigation that requires a police investigation, a prosecution and a trial before a proper court that follows procedures and offers safeguards under IPC.

Published in
English
हिंदी

Governance

July, 2022

Centre changed rules to extend tenure of two powerful commissions' chairpersons

A grammatical loophole in appointment rules helps Women and Child Development Ministry push through the amendments to increase the terms of chairpersons of the National Commission for Women and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights

Published in
English
हिंदी

Governance

June, 2022

To discredit WHO’s Covid death estimates, the Union government used flawed data

The Union government used a flawed set of data to mask the gloomier death count calculated by the UN body, and ignored a robust number thrown up by another of its own survey. The data was so unreliable that 20 of the 36 states and Union territories saw more registered deaths than what the government claims died.

Published in
English
हिंदी
मराठी
اردو
മലയാളം

Governance

June, 2022

Only 17 parties in Supreme Court’s sealed list of 105 got electoral bonds, BJP cornered 68% of money

Supreme Court has not heard the Electoral Bond case for more than 2 years after receiving data from parties in a sealed cover. That has let the belief spread that Electoral Bonds were encashed by 105 political parties and the BJP’s claim that bonds are an efficient way to allow “donation to any political party of donors’ choice”.

Published in
English
অসমীয়া
தமிழ்
हिंदी
ಕನ್ನಡ

Governance

April, 2022

Centre's Modified Auction Rules Allowed Millers To Corner Pulses Meant For Poor, Finds Government Agency

The Union government's auctions worth more than Rs 4,600 crore to provide pulses to the poor and armed forces were rigged to benefit a few big millers, shows the findings of the National Productivity Council, a government research body headed by Minister Piyush Goyal. The Council’s findings confirm The Collective’s previous exposé that the terms of auctions allowed the millers to rip the government off tonnes of pulses and sell them at a profit in the open market, and also supply poor-quality pulses.

Published in
English
অসমীয়া
हिंदी
اردو
मराठी

Governance

December, 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

Published in
English
हिंदी
മലയാളം
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
অসমীয়া

Governance

August, 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.

Published in
English
অসমীয়া
বাংলা
हिंदी
ಕನ್ನಡ

Governance

August, 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.

Published in
English
हिंदी

Environment

June, 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.

Published in
English

Governance

May, 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!

Published in
English

Governance

May, 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.

Published in
English
Manipuri

Legal

April, 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.

Published in
অসমীয়া
বাংলা
English
हिंदी
ಕನ್ನಡ

Governance

April, 2021

A Bulky Mess: How Indian Vehicular Data Was Sold Cheap

Through a secretive deal, the government sold off vehicular bulk data of the entire country to a private company in a deal that officials red-flagged over lack of price discovery. With this exclusive low-cost bounty, the firm developed an entire business model based on the data. It even cut a separate agreement with a German firm and sent samples of sensitive data it received from the government. All this happened five years before the government announced a dedicated policy to sell the same data to other buyers.

Published in
English
हिंदी
অসমীয়া
मराठी
اردو

Legal

March, 2021

Inside The Hindu IT Cell: The Men Who Went Online To Protect Gods

A network of self-proclaimed Hindu volunteers file legal complaints and unleash a toxic wave of trolling, harassment, threats and doxing against social media users who they believed make “anti-Hindu” remarks

Published in
English
हिंदी
മലയാളം
தமிழ்
অসমীয়া

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