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Biometric Databases: Walking the Line between Security and Surveillance

With the introduction of the Aadhaar number by the Unique Identification Authority of India in 2009 and the proposed Human DNA Profiling Bill placed in the parliament in 2015, India seems to be stepping into the age where identification authentication moves from email addresses, bar codes and unique numbers to inherent biological properties as unique ‘identifiers’. However, in order to use these biological features as identifiers, the government needs to ensure that records of such material such as fingerprints, iris scans, DNA etc. are collected and stored alongside personal information for future comparison and verification. This brings us to confront various issues of personal privacy, security and bio-surveillance. In spite of opposition over privacy, security and marginalization concerns, 1.12 billion Indians – almost 88.2% of the population – have been enrolled under Aadhaar, which was declared voluntary by the Supreme court in 2015.
The 2007 DNA Profiling Bill was revised and reintroduced in Parliament in 2015, proposing to create a DNA database that will consist of profiles of criminals, victims, missing persons, unidentified dead bodies as well as consensual volunteers. The existing version of the Bill raises the same concerns that were resonated during the introduction of Aadhaar biometric data collection.Keeping these concerns in mind, and the fact that there is no stringent privacy legislation regarding personal privacy in India, this study compares the effectiveness of biometric and other such databases already in execution in other countries in order to suggest policy reforms that will enable the Human DNA Profiling Bill to ensure delivery of justice without compromising on individual’s privacy and human rights.

Conflict Management and Resolution Strategies between Public and Police


The police force’s role in conflict management and resolution is pivotal in crime prevention and maintaining law and order in India. This study on conflict management and resolution strategies at grass root levels investigates the following objectives: (a) to understand and analyze causes of conflict between the public and the police, (b) recognize ways in which conflict situations are handled by the police, (c) determine gaps between existing methods (d) develop recommendations for working together as a system. The findings have policy implications and is an important resource in creating social-educational, awareness and sensitization programmes for both public and police personnel.

Funding Agency

Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India
Funds Sanctioned

Rs. 322,666
Digital Piracy in India, Serbia, China and Spain: Understanding Psychosocial and Cultural Factors

It has been proposed in leading reports on Piracy and by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Business Software Alliance (BSA) that digital piracy is more widespread in emerging or developing nations. The present study seeks to investigate if psychosocial, sociological and cultural factors affecting the attitude and behavior of individuals towards digital piracy have an influence over the increase or decrease in the prevalence of digital piracy. The demographic and cultural variables, such as, age, gender, religion, economic status, occupation that explain an individual’s propensity and rationale for digital piracy and their correlation with peer influence and online discussion forums will help us to form suitable neutralization techniques.

Funding Agency

Funds Sanctioned

Rs. 1,000,000
Internet Infidelity

With the increased use of internet, the definition of infidelity has moved away from simply physical adultery to acknowledging emotional cheating and psychological abuse. Therefore, it is imperative to define and address the issue of internet infidelity at the nascent stages as it has the potential to aggravate intimate partner violence and emotional and/or psychological abuse of the partner and children. This study offers to provide coherent and organized view on the reasons behind the act of cheating on primary relationship and investigates distinct rationalization, justification, attribution process behind involvement in Internet Infidelity that will inform both clinicians and researchers in the field. In this project, we also examine the current laws in context to the potential for abuse and marital discord, as well as the psychological, physical and mental implications of partner violence and neglect of best parenting practices and questions whether law should be expanded to include online infidelity and offers a proposal for legislators & decision makers in Indian context. Finally the study offers recommendations and directions for the future research on Online Infidelity, divorce and separation studies in India.

Funding Agency

Funds Sanctioned

Rs. 500,000
Issues of Police Leadership

The main objective of this study is to clearly identify isues of police leadership in the existent police structure, both at the level of police stations and on a broader, district level. The focus is on formulating criteria for selecting and posting officers at police stations and district level.

Lacuna in Understanding of Forensics Among Law Professionals

For successful administration of justice, it is important that all agencies involved in law enforcement adopt an inter-professional approach towards forensic science, which is presently lacking. In light of the alarmingly high average acquittal rate in India, this study aims to examine the lack of understanding and appreciation of the importance and scope of forensic evidence and expert opinions amongst law professionals such as lawyers and judges. Based on a study of criminal law cases and a questionnaire based quantitative survey, we examine the extent of forensic understanding amongst legal professionals and identifies the areas in which they need further appraisal.

Need for Forensic Regulations

In order to facilitate the discipline of forensic science to better aid the criminal justice system, there needs to be regulations imposed to ensure that all professionals and laboratories involved in the process work according to the best standards, that all evidence is handled and analysed in a manner that does not compromise its admissibility in court and that all expert opinions offered individually conform to uniformly accepted standards. This will not only increase the pertinence of forensics in court trials, but will also help prevent miscarriage of justice.

Political Leadership Quotient

In collaboration with Center for Leadership at University of Texas, we aim to generate a theoretical definition of the concept of Political Leadership as well as create a new standardized psychometric scale for its assessment.

Public Opinion About Death Penalty In Delhi

A “new dynamic” has emerged that recognizes capital punishment as a denial of the universal human rights to life and freedom from tortuous, cruel, and inhuman punishment. Over the past decade, international human rights treaties and institutions have developed that support abolition of capital punishment, with many nation states moving towards implementation of complete abolition of death penalty. The objective is to study public attitude towards capital punishment and understanding the reasons, socio-psychological and attitudinal correlates of death penalty in India. We also focus on the process of capital punishment, alternative penalties and the progress made in implementing the abolition.

Public Opinion About Euthanasia In India


The last decade has been marked by an increasing debate about the acceptability and regulation of euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions. Growing public sensibility to a ‘right to die’ for terminally ill patients has been one of the main constituents of these debates. Within this context, the purpose of our research is to study and assess the Indian public’s attitude towards euthanasia and understand the specific reasons and circumstances for favouring or opposing it. Understanding the socio-psychological and perceptual correlates will help legislators and policy makers examine current laws on euthanasia and expanded the prevailing ones to address this issue.