What's the news: To "monitor" the activities of Telangana Public Service Commission aspirants, the government body will capture fingerprint, iris and facial recognition data of around 25.80 lakh candidates across the state. As many as 1,07,600 CCTVs and 43,400 biometric devices will be set up across approximately 8,530 examination centres to "make the process robust." According to a tender released by the Telangana State Technology Services (TSTS), the objective of the project is to induct "transparency and accountability in the examination process." Why it matters: Over the years, use of surveillance technology has increased in India. Already, Jammu and Kashmir police has issued tenders that imply the introduction of such technologies in government policing. Similarly, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have reported use of facial recognition in education. Now, the latter intends to use these systems to collect information of aspiring state civil servants. Aside from the possibility of a surveillance state, such a move gives third party access to potentially sensitive data of state officers. Biometric Authentication to help with "impersonation control", says government The request for proposal (RFP) for selecting a service provider said that at least one integrated biometric device must be available for every 60 candidates during different examination stages. There are seven levels of Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) exams. "Additional Hand-held devices should be made available as per normal practice in case of emergency," said the tender. Every candidate will receive an admit card with a QR code and Bar code which…
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