Samarth Bansal

Samarth Bansal is a data journalist based in New Delhi, with a keen interest in politics and public policy.

Articles by Samarth Bansal

Fighting fake news: Decoding ‘fact-free’ world of WhatsApp

Misinformation Ecosystem: From outright falsehoods and misleading data to bigotry and hate, everything is circulated in the closed encrypted world of WhatsApp.
People are seen as silhouettes as they check mobile devices whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing WhatsApp Inc's logo in this arranged photograph in London, UK.(Bloomberg)
People are seen as silhouettes as they check mobile devices whilst standing against an illuminated wall bearing WhatsApp Inc's logo in this arranged photograph in London, UK.(Bloomberg)
Updated on Mar 05, 2019 10:17 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySamarth Bansal and Kiran Garimella

For this first-time voter, there is no other place like India

First-time voter Ayush Anand Malik doesn’t support caste-based reservation, and believes all religions are equal.
Nineteen-year-old Ayush Anand Malik, an engineering student from Dewas, will vote in his first general elections this year.(HT Photo)
Nineteen-year-old Ayush Anand Malik, an engineering student from Dewas, will vote in his first general elections this year.(HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 04, 2019 03:07 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India’s invitation to Huawei for 5G trials sparks concerns: Insufficient security safeguards plague telecom sector

If a firm inserts backdoor into hardware—which is the concern being flagged over invitation to Huawei to take part in 5G trials—it is difficult to protect telecom security, say experts.
The telecom department promised to set up security testing labs by 2013 in order to test for bugs in network equipment, but they are still not in place, officials familiar with the matter said.(HT File Photo)
The telecom department promised to set up security testing labs by 2013 in order to test for bugs in network equipment, but they are still not in place, officials familiar with the matter said.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Dec 30, 2018 08:41 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By, New Delhi

‘China model of censorship’: Proposal to trace online content sparks concern

Only a few weeks ago the Australian govt had passed a similar law that forces tech companies to hand over encrypted messages
The Indian government has proposed draft amendments to a law governing online content which, if passed by parliament, would require social media platforms to trace the originator of a message, use “automated tools” to proactively detect and remove “unlawful information” and set up a business entity in India.(PTI)
The Indian government has proposed draft amendments to a law governing online content which, if passed by parliament, would require social media platforms to trace the originator of a message, use “automated tools” to proactively detect and remove “unlawful information” and set up a business entity in India.(PTI)
Updated on Dec 25, 2018 05:13 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Govt already had power to intercept, monitor, say officials

The outrage over authorising 10 agencies to lawfully “intercept, monitor and decrypt” information through a “computer resource” seems misplaced because these agencies already had this power under the IT Act, according to current and former government officials.
Union minister Arun Jaitley hit back at the Congress saying it is crying foul over powers created by it when it was in government.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Union minister Arun Jaitley hit back at the Congress saying it is crying foul over powers created by it when it was in government.(Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 22, 2018 07:58 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRajesh Ahuja and Samarth Bansal

Rajasthan an exception, Facebook popularity doesn’t ensure win

A Hindustan Times analysis of Facebook data shows that Rajasthan was the only state where the leaders of the party that won also captured the most engagement on the social media platform.
Facebook logo. Image for representation.(Reuters File)
Facebook logo. Image for representation.(Reuters File)
Updated on Dec 14, 2018 10:52 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Whom can political parties reach on Facebook and why it matters

Indian Facebook users are skewed towards specific demographics. A Hindustan Times analysis of anonymous and aggregated data from Facebook’s advertising portal shows that the bulk of the platform’s Indian users are men, under the age of 30 and live in urban clusters. National averages further hide the massive state-wide differences.
The numbers highlight the importance of Facebook as India gears up for what some consider will be an election that is fought as much on the dusty streets of Bharat as on the social media platform.(REUTERS)
The numbers highlight the importance of Facebook as India gears up for what some consider will be an election that is fought as much on the dusty streets of Bharat as on the social media platform.(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 29, 2018 08:35 PM IST
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New Delhi, Hindustan Times | ByArjun Srinivas and Samarth Bansal

Using US polls insights to prepare for India elections, says Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said they are mainly learning from what happened in the 2016 US elections, the Mexico elections and the 2018 midterm elections. They have also built models to identify where people are trying to game the system.
During his first visit to India, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said the country would be the next big growth frontier for Twitter.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
During his first visit to India, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said the country would be the next big growth frontier for Twitter.(Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 15, 2018 08:57 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByVidhi Choudhary and Samarth Bansal

Fake news and hate speech thrive on regional language social media

From lies to hate speech, platforms like Sharechat and Helo face the same issues for which WhatsApp, Twitter are facing scrutiny.
An HT investigation has revealed that regional language social media platforms such as ShareChat, with 50 million registered users, and Helo, with at least 5 million estimated registered users, are rife with misinformation and political propaganda.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)
An HT investigation has revealed that regional language social media platforms such as ShareChat, with 50 million registered users, and Helo, with at least 5 million estimated registered users, are rife with misinformation and political propaganda.(Getty Images/Picture for representation)
Updated on Nov 14, 2018 12:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | BySamarth Bansal and Snigdha Poonam

Gender gap in Indian formal sector worse than global average, LinkedIn data shows

Every industry sector in India employs more men than women. Moreover, the gender gap among Indian professionals is worse than the global average in every sector.
Of the 115, only two industries have almost equal proportion of men and women: Primary and Secondary Education has 46% men, while Human Resources has 51%.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Of the 115, only two industries have almost equal proportion of men and women: Primary and Secondary Education has 46% men, while Human Resources has 51%.(Yogendra Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 14, 2018 07:23 PM IST
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ByArjun Srinivas and Samarth Bansal

Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar leads to confusion in private sector

Some argue it is now impossible for private companies to use Aadhaar data at all; others say Aadhaar can be used as long alternatives are made available to customers.
A day after the Supreme Court of India struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed sharing of Aadhaar data with private entities, companies don’t have clarity on what the ruling means for their business.(AFP/File Photo)
A day after the Supreme Court of India struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act that allowed sharing of Aadhaar data with private entities, companies don’t have clarity on what the ruling means for their business.(AFP/File Photo)
Published on Sep 27, 2018 11:23 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Data is secure, some information not private: Supreme Court

The court expressed trust in UIDAI’s systems and said that the Central Identities Data Repository — the central database where biometric and demographic data are stored — is secure.
The UIDAI collects demographic and biometric data of an individual during enrolment.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
The UIDAI collects demographic and biometric data of an individual during enrolment.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Published on Sep 26, 2018 10:34 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

From data security to use of biometrics: Here’s everything you need to know about the Aadhaar case

UIDAI says database is fully secure while experts argue this is a very limited view of data security.
Disagreements over Aadhaar data security and its implications for privacy continue. Whether Aadhaar is fully secure or fundamentally flawed depends on where one stands.(HT File Photo)
Disagreements over Aadhaar data security and its implications for privacy continue. Whether Aadhaar is fully secure or fundamentally flawed depends on where one stands.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Sep 26, 2018 09:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Number of BJP MLAs in the northeast have increased 15 times in last five years

Between 2013 and 2018, the number of BJP legislators in the eight states of the region increased fifteenfold — from nine in 2013 to 140 in 2018, an analysis of election data by the Hindustan Times shows.
BJP Chief Amit Shah addressing media after their victory in North Eastern States Elections at BJP Headquarters, DDU Marg in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, March 03, 2018.(HT Photo)
BJP Chief Amit Shah addressing media after their victory in North Eastern States Elections at BJP Headquarters, DDU Marg in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, March 03, 2018.(HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 06, 2018 11:49 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Gurman Bhatia

How we get high: These 9 charts reveal smoking and drinking habits of Indians

National Family and Health Survey data reveals how frequently Indians drink, what alcohol they prefer and more.
Thirty per cent men consume alcohol while only 1% of women do, data from the fourth round of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) shows.(Parveen Kumar/HT Archive)
Thirty per cent men consume alcohol while only 1% of women do, data from the fourth round of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) shows.(Parveen Kumar/HT Archive)
Updated on Feb 20, 2018 10:15 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Roshan Kishore

From meat and fish to vegetables: These 9 charts show how India eats

NFHS-4 report shows that daily food consumption has not changed much over last decade, but there has been a decrease in daily consumption of vegetables
An average Indian family puts away almost half of its total spending on food items, data from the fourth round of National Family and Health Survey reveals(Thinkstock)
An average Indian family puts away almost half of its total spending on food items, data from the fourth round of National Family and Health Survey reveals(Thinkstock)
Updated on Feb 19, 2018 04:02 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Roshan Kishore

What we know and what we do not know about pollution in India

Children wear air masks as they attend a demonstration to spread awareness about the effects of air pollution in Delhi.(PTI)
Children wear air masks as they attend a demonstration to spread awareness about the effects of air pollution in Delhi.(PTI)
Updated on Jan 03, 2018 07:12 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Hemang Kumar

PM stays on the move: Three charts that show how Modi travelled in 2017

Official data on PM Modi’s visits from the PMO website shows that the number of days Modi spent abroad has decreased over the years.
Narendra Modi visited 14 countries in 2017.(AFP Photo)
Narendra Modi visited 14 countries in 2017.(AFP Photo)
Updated on Dec 31, 2017 08:36 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Gujarat election results: Rural-urban divide behind BJP’s big Saurashtra setback

Gujarat election results show the Congress outdid the BJP in the 2017 assembly polls in the Saurashtra region, where nearly 75% seats fall in the rural belt.
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s win in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
BJP supporters celebrate the party’s win in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections in New Delhi.(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 20, 2017 10:18 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRoshan Kishore and Samarth Bansal

Gujarat election results: Had PM Modi not led BJP’s campaign, its hopes would have taken a hit

From reacting to Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ remark to his shrill rhetoric about Pakistan’s interference in the Gujarat elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s polemics put the Congress on the defensive.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a felicitation function before the party's parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi on Monday.(PTI Photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a felicitation function before the party's parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi on Monday.(PTI Photo)
Updated on Dec 19, 2017 03:00 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByRoshan Kishore and Samarth Bansal

Gujarat election results: Make no mistake, the contest in Modi’s home state was really close

The Gujarat election results show ‘none of the above (NOTA)’ has polled more votes than the victory margin in 30 assembly constituencies.
BJP workers celebrate their victory in the assembly elections near the party office 'Kamlam' in Gandhinagar on Monday.(PTI)
BJP workers celebrate their victory in the assembly elections near the party office 'Kamlam' in Gandhinagar on Monday.(PTI)
Updated on Dec 19, 2017 12:11 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Roshan Kishore

How India spends on health

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Dec 11, 2017 06:01 PM IST
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Getting Rs 1 crore-plus paycheck is a distant dream for most IIT grads

Salaries vary significantly with departments. The crore-plus salaries were bagged only by students of computer science and engineering.
A view of the Indian Institute of Technology campus in Delhi.(HT File Photo/Arvind Yadav)
A view of the Indian Institute of Technology campus in Delhi.(HT File Photo/Arvind Yadav)
Updated on Dec 03, 2017 07:53 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

From daily tirade to radio silence, how Kejriwal stopped Modi-bashing on Twitter

Since April this year, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s tweets have not mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi by name at all.
Political analysts say the change was a result of the realisation that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi had probably backfired in the Punjab and Goa and elections.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)
Political analysts say the change was a result of the realisation that Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi had probably backfired in the Punjab and Goa and elections.(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)
Updated on Oct 27, 2017 11:42 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | BySamarth Bansal and Gulam Jeelani

How Rahul Gandhi is challenging Narendra Modi on Twitter, winning eyeballs

People retweeted Rahul Gandhi more than PM Narendra Modi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter.
Rahul Gandhi has gained more than one million followers between July and September 2017. (HT file photos)
Rahul Gandhi has gained more than one million followers between July and September 2017. (HT file photos)
Updated on Oct 18, 2017 03:59 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

India has data, but who is going to figure it out

The government portal launched in 2012 has failed to hit the bullseye as the data is either outdated or the officials don’t update the information on time.
The union minister of law and electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad att the launch of Hackathon in New Delhi in September this year. The participants were urged to use the open data from government wbsite to develop apps.(HT Photo.)
The union minister of law and electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad att the launch of Hackathon in New Delhi in September this year. The participants were urged to use the open data from government wbsite to develop apps.(HT Photo.)
Updated on Sep 22, 2017 07:43 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

From missing data to unreliable numbers, India’s statistical ecosystem needs an overhaul

The data that does exist is sometimes unreliable but is used anyway because there is no alternative. Several important data sets are released with a huge time lag. Others are missing granular district-level estimates
There serious problems with India’s public health statistics.(iStockphoto)
There serious problems with India’s public health statistics.(iStockphoto)
Updated on Sep 21, 2017 10:15 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

In IIT-Kanpur, students are upset over security ‘overstepping’ limit, allege harassment

Students at IIT-Kanpur allege their freedom of movement is restrained as guards arbitrarily pick on them and threaten them with punitive action.
IStudents at IIT-Kanpur allege their freedom of movement is restrained by security guards(HT Photo)
IStudents at IIT-Kanpur allege their freedom of movement is restrained by security guards(HT Photo)
Published on Sep 08, 2017 04:56 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Kanpur | By

Privacy upheld as fundamental right: What term means for you, what’s govt view

What is individual privacy? How does the government view it? Is it only for elites?
A woman goes through the process of eye scanning for Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in Rajasthan February 21, 2013.(REUTERS)
A woman goes through the process of eye scanning for Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in Rajasthan February 21, 2013.(REUTERS)
Updated on Aug 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

BTech and bust: Why Indians rush to be engineers when there are no jobs

Engineering students are seeing the degree as a path towards a government job as they regard it better in terms of security, starting pay and perks.
Students at Vaish College of Engineering, which is one of the oldest private engineering colleges in Rohtak.(HT Photo)
Students at Vaish College of Engineering, which is one of the oldest private engineering colleges in Rohtak.(HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 23, 2017 06:40 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Rohtak/new Delhi
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