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Indian police want to use biometrics to catch overstays, PM calls for tech training

Indian police want to use biometrics to catch overstays, PM calls for tech training

India’s Home Minister Amit Shah called for the establishment of additional detention centers and the use of biometrics to identify and deport foreigners who overstay in the country by misusing tourist and student visas, The Hindu reports.

In a session at an annual police conference in Delhi over the weekend, law enforcement officials argued that additional measures should be put in place to regulate the presence of Rohingya refugees in India. The officials also asked for clarity on the government’s policy on Rohingya refugees, as the country is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention or the related Protocol.

An unnamed government official said the Indian immigration database shows that in the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, the number of foreigners overstaying their allowed time in the country were 54,576, 40,239 and 25,143, respectively. Biometrics could reportedly be used extensively to detect such offenders.

Also at the police conference, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for police forces to be trained more extensively in emerging technologies like biometrics, reports Outlook. Modi also said traditional policing mechanisms such as foot patrols should also be improved.

“While we should further leverage technological solutions like biometrics, there is also a need to further strengthen traditional policing mechanisms like foot patrols, etc,” Modi said, as quoted by Siasat.

Further, India’s PM highlighted the importance of the National Data Governance Framework draft, particularly in improving agency data exchange.

He also proposed replicating the Directors General of Police (DGPs) model to the state and district levels to enable the discussion of emerging challenges and evolving best practices at a more distributed level.

The annual police conference comes days after a social activist in the state of Hyderabad took the police to court to challenge their use of facial recognition.

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