April 2014 Bulletin
The newsletter for the month of April can be accessed below:
We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcome you to the fourth issue of the newsletter (April) for the year 2014. Archives of our newsletters can be accessed at: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters
We have published a compilation of the various central government schemes in a blog post as part of our National Resource Kit project.
- The 27th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (WIPO-SCCR) was held in Geneva from April 28 to May 2, 2014. Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the event. CIS made its statements on Technological Measures of Protection on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, Orphan Works, Retracted and Withdrawn Works, and Works out of Commerce on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, and on the WIPO Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations.
- CIS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Mysore University for converting to Unicode and re-releasing their encyclopaedia under Creative Commons License. Dr. U.B. Pavanaja on behalf of the CIS-A2K team signed the MoU.
- A two-day global stakeholder meeting on future of internet governance (NETmundial) was organized by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee in partnership with /1Net at Sao Paulo in Brazil on April 23 and 24, 2014. Achal Prabhala participated in the event. As part of its research to enable productive discussions of the critical internet governance issues at the meeting and elsewhere CIS published a total of 16 blog entries.
- We conducted an empirical study of five separate and diverse banks (State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank) to gain a practical perspective on the existing banking practices and policies in India, and published a Banking Policy Guide.
- As part of the Making Change project Denisse Albornoz interviewed Tuhin Paul, an artist and storyteller behind Menstrupedia, an India-based social venture creating comics to shatter the myths and misunderstandings surrounding menstruation around the world. Denisse provides an analysis of ‘menstrual activism’ — a movement that despite its trajectory in feminism remains unnoticed in most accounts of traditional and digital activism.
- Six research studies were commissioned by HEIRA-CSCS (over November 2013-March 2014) as part of the collaborative exercise with CIS to map the Digital Humanities within a broad rubric of exploring changes at the intersection of youth, technology and higher education in India. P.P.Sneha in her blog post presents a broad overview of some of the key learnings from these projects.
CIS is seeking applications for the post of Programme Officer (Access to Knowledge). There are two vacancies for this post one in Delhi and one in Bangalore. To apply, please send your resume to Sunil Abraham (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nirmita Narasimhan (email@example.com) and Pranesh Prakash (firstname.lastname@example.org) with three writing samples of which at least one demonstrates your analytic skills, and one that shows your ability to simplify complex policy issues.
Under a grant from the Hans Foundation we are doing two projects. The first project is on creating a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India. We compiled the first draft of the kit (29 states and 6 union territories). The chapters along with the quarterly reports can be accessed on the project page. The second project is on developing text-to-speech software for 15 Indian languages. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.
- NVDA e-Speak Text-to-Speech Project Update (by Suman Dogra, April 28, 2014).
National Resource Kit
- Central Government Schemes (by Anandhi Viswanathan and CLPR, April 27, 2014).
- Polling Pains (by Amba Salelkar, April 30, 2014).
- Are Elections Fair to People With Special Needs? (by Papiya Bhattacharya, New Indian Express, April 8, 2014).
- Enabling Elections (Vijay Karnataka, April 9, 2014). This was published in Kannada.
As part of the Access to Knowledge programme we are doing two projects. The first one (Pervasive Technologies) under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is for research on the complex interplay between pervasive technologies and intellectual property to support intellectual property norms that encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The second one (Wikipedia) under a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation is for the growth of Indic language communities and projects by designing community collaborations and partnerships that recruit and cultivate new editors and explore innovative approaches to building projects.
Participation in Events
- Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights: Twenty-Seventh Session (organized by WIPO, Geneva, April 28 – May 2, 2014). Nehaa Chaudhari participated in the event. France, Greece, India and the European Union signed the Marrakesh Treaty. CIS delivered statements on Technological Measures of Protection on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, Orphan Works, Retracted and Withdrawn Works, and Works out of Commerce on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives, and on the WIPO Proposed Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations. Transcripts of the discussions can be accessed here.
- Report on CDIP-12 (by Puneeth Nagraj, April 22, 2014).
- Signing and Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (by Nehaa Chaudhari, April 25, 2014).
- Report on the WIPO Director General’s Meeting with NGO’s (by Puneeth Nagraj, April 30, 2014).
- Is the WIPO Treaty for Broadcasters Moving Forward at SCCR 27? (by Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International, April 29, 2014).
- At WIPO, Authors, Civil Society Watchful of Rights for Broadcasters (by Catherine Saez, IP Watch, May 1, 2014).
- NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2014 (CIS, Bangalore, April 12 – 13, 2014).
- Online Survey for Indian Mobile App Developer Startups & Enterprises (by Samantha Cassar, April 9, 2014).
- App Developers Series: Services, Products, Dichotomy & IP – Part I (by Samantha Cassar, April 10, 2014).
- Report on CDIP-12 (by Puneeth Nagraj, April 22, 2014).
- Report on the 31st Session of the Standing Committee on Trademarks (by Puneeth Nagraj, April 29, 2014).
The following has been done under grant from the Wikimedia Foundation:
- CIS Signs MoU with Mysore University (by Dr. U.B.Pavanaja, April 16, 2014): for converting to Unicode and re-releasing their encyclopaedia under Creative Commons License. Dr. U.B. Pavanaja on behalf of the CIS-A2K team signed the MoU. The signing event took place earlier on February 22, 2014.
- Vachana Sanchaya: Bringing Access to 11th century Kannada Literature (by Subhashish Panigrahi, April 3, 2014)
- ୭୯ ବର୍ଷରେ ସ୍ୱତନ୍ତ୍ର ଓଡ଼ିଶା: ଶାସ୍ତ୍ରୀୟ ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଓ କମ୍ପ୍ୟୁଟରରେ ଏହାର ବ୍ୟବହାର (by Subhashish Panigrahi, Amalekha, April 4, 2014).
- ଓଡ଼ିଅା ଭାଷାର ବିକାଶ ଓ କମ୍ପ୍ୟୁଟର (by Subhashish Panigrahi, The Kadambini, April 8, 2014).
- Report from India: Relicensing books under CC (by Subhashish Panigrahi, Creative Commons Blog, April 19, 2014).
- 14 Odia books re-released under Creative Commons license (by Subhashish Panigrahi, DNA, April 26, 2014). The article was edited by Rohini Lakshane.
- Tulu Wikipedia Workshop (organized by CIS-A2K, Balmatta Computer Centre, Mangalore, April 5, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.
- Konkani Wikipedia Workshop (co-organized by All India Konkani Writers Organization and CIS-A2K, Kalaangann Shaktinagar, April 6, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.
- Tulu Wikipedia Editathon (co-organized by Karnataka Theological College and CIS-A2K, Mangalore, April 19, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.
Participation in Events
- Wikipedia Session for Trainee Journos (organized by Prajavani, Bangalore, April 28, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja took a session for the trainee journalists of Prajavani Kannada daily on Wikipedia.
- World Book Day (organized by Karnataka Publishers’ Association, Indian Institute of World Culture, Basavanagudi, Bangalore, April 23, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja was a speaker.
- Relevance of Bhagabat Tungi in the evolution of Odia language from Buddha era to digital age (organized by The Intellects, Shree Jagannath Mandir and Odisha Art and Cultural Center, New Delhi, April 24, 2014). Subhashish Panigrahi participated in the event.
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- M'lore: Wikipedia Workshop held for Konkani writers (Daijiworld, April 6, 2014).
- Odia Loves Wikipedia (Rising Voices, April 10, 2014). This was also published in Spanish and in Russian.
- International Book Day (The Hindu, April 21, 2014).
- Books are a bridge between generations (The Deccan Herald, April 23, 2014).
- World Book Day Report (Vijaywani, April 23, 2014).
- Seminar on Odia Language in New Delhi by the Intellects (Odisha Samachar, April 24, 2014).
- Delhi meet focuses on Bhagabat Tungi revival (The Pioneer, April 26, 2014).
As part of its research on privacy and free speech, CIS is engaged with two different projects. The first one (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on studying the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government.
As part of its participation in the NETmundial event organized in Brazil by Brazilian Internet Steering Committee in partnership with /1Net at Sao Paulo on April 23 and 24, 2014 CIS produced a total of 16 outputs:
- Sumandro Chattapadhyay produced these visual representations: Comparing Appearance of Fifty Most Frequent Words, Contributions by Countries of Origin, Contributions by Types of Organisation, Which Countries Have Not Submitted Contributions to NETmundial?, Which Governments Have Not Submitted Contributions to NETmundial?, Word Clouds of Contributions by Types of Organisation and Tracking *Multistakeholder* across Contributions. Achal Prabhala participated in the event and wrote these: Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2. Transcript of the NETmundial for archival purposes was made available by Pranesh Prakash. Smarika Kumar produced two research outputs: NETmundial and Suggestions for IANA Administration and Accountability of ICANN. Geetha Hariharan wrote two blog posts: Marco Civil da Internet: Brazil’s ‘Internet Constitution’ and Brazil passes Marco Civil; the US-FCC Alters its Stance on Net Neutrality. Jyoti Panday wrote one blog post: NETmundial Roadmap: Defining the Roles of Stakeholders in Multistakeholderism.
- Report of the Group of Experts on Privacy vs. The Leaked 2014 Privacy Bill (by Elonnai Hickok, April 14, 2014).
- Banking Policy Guide (by Elonnai Hickok, April 22, 2014).
- The Embodiment of the Right to Privacy within Domestic Legislation (by Tanvi Mani, April 29, 2014).
- Who Governs the Internet? Implications for Freedom and National Security (by Sunil Abraham, Yojana, April 4, 2014).
- Privacy Law in India: A Muddled Field – I (by Bhairav Acharya, The Hoot, April 15, 2014).
- Very Big Brother (by Sunil Abraham, GeneWatch, January – April 2014 Issue).
- South African Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (by Divij Joshi, April 16, 2014).
Participation in Events
- Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy: The Third Man Theme Revisited: Foreign Policies of the Internet in a Time Of Surveillance and Disclosure (jointly organized by the Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, the American Austrian Foundation (AAF), and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (DA), Vienna, March 30 – April 1, 2014). Nishant Shah participated in the event as a panelist.
- GSMA Partners Meeting (organized by Privacy International, London, April 9, 2014). Elonnai Hickok participated in this meeting.
- The Critical Life of Information (organized by Yale University, 100 Wall Street, April 11, 2014). Nishant Shah spoke in the panel on Big Data and Governance. Malavika Jayaram spoke in the panel on Big Data and the Arts.
- Round-table on User Safety on the Internet (organized by Consumer Voice and Google, Infantry Road, Bangalore, April 24, 2014).
- 6th Biannual Surveillance and Society Conference (organized by Eticas Research and Consulting, University of Barcelona and CCCB, April 26 – 24, 2014). Malavika Jayaram gave a talk on “Biometrics in beta: experimenting on a nation (while normalising surveillance for 1.2 billion people)”.
- Between the Local and the Global: Notes Towards Thinking the Nature of Internet Policy (by Nishant Shah, cgcsblog, April 1, 2014).
- Networks: What You Don’t See is What You (for)Get (by Nishant Shah, April 17, 2014).
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:
- Two Indians in Global Commission on Web Governance (April 1, 2014): Sunil Abraham was named as one of the experts. This was published in Outlook, Economic Times, and in Matters India.
- The Take Down of Free Speech Online (Newslaundry, April 1, 2014): CIS research on Intermediary Liabilities is quoted.
- The politics of Facebook (by Shweta Tiwari, April 1, 2014).
- New privacy Bill more refined & has wider ambit, say experts (by Surabhi Agarwal, Business Standard, April 2, 2014).
- Should Nandan Nilekani's Aadhaar project, for identity proof and welfare delivery, exist at all? (by M. Rajshekhar, April 3, 2014).
- Lok sabha polls: Social media companies launch special pages for polls (by Varuni Khosla, Economic Times, April 10, 2014).
- Parties give short shrift to privacy (by Pratap Vikram Singh, GovernanceNow.com, April 12, 2014).
- No party's got a clear stand, Aadhaar's fate hangs in balance (by Pratap Vikram Singh, GovernanceNow.com, April 13, 2014).
- 'India wants core internet infrastructure' (by Indrani Bagchi, April 24, 2014).
- India for inclusive internet governance (by Indrani Bagchi, April 25, 2014).
- Facebook launches FB Newswire for journalists; loses part of its immunity under IT Act 2000 (by Amrita Madhukalya, DNA, April 26, 2014).
CIS is building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. The Digital will be used as a way of unpacking the debates in humanities and social sciences and look at the new frameworks, concepts and ideas that emerge in our engagement with the digital. The clusters aim to produce and document new conversations and debates that shape the contours of Digital Humanities in Asia:
- Confession in the Digital Age (by Rimi Nandy, April 14, 2014).
- Animating the Archive – A Survey of Printed Digitized Materials in Bengali and their Use in Higher Education (by Saidul Haque, April 14, 2014).
- ‘Doing’ Digital Humanities: Reflections on a project on Online Feminism in India (by Sujatha Subramanian, April 14, 2014).
- The Machinistic Paradigm Collapse (by Anirudh Sridhar, April 14, 2014).
- Exploring the Digital Landscape: An Overview (by P.P.Sneha, April 14, 2014).
- Digital Humanities and the Problem of Definition (by P.P.Sneha, April 25, 2014).
CIS is doing a research project titled “Making Change”. The project will explore new ways of defining, locating, and understanding change in network societies. Having the thought piece 'Whose Change is it Anyway' as an entry point for discussion and reflection, the project will feature profiles, interviews and responses of change-makers to questions around current mechanisms and practices of change in South Asia and South East Asia:
Making Change Project
- Multimedia Storytellers: Panel Discussion (by Denisse Albornoz, April 16, 2014).
- From Taboo to Beautiful – Menstrupedia (by Denisse Albornoz, April 30, 2014).
CIS is involved in promoting access and accessibility to telecommunications services and resources and has provided inputs to ongoing policy discussions and consultation papers published by TRAI. It has prepared reports on unlicensed spectrum and accessibility of mobile phones for persons with disabilities and also works with the USOF to include funding projects for persons with disabilities in its mandate:
- Tech Talk: Landscape of Wireless Communications & Electromagnetic Spectrum (CIS, Bangalore, April 28, 2014). A. Radha Krishna gave a talk on wireless communication technologies.
The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.
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We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at email@example.com. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CIS is grateful to its primary donor the Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.