August 2016 Newsletter
Welcome to the August 2016 newsletter of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS).
Thank you for reading the Centre for Internet and Society's August newsletter. The past month for us was a very exciting one. We supported and attended Wiki Conference 2016 in Chandigarh, which was a great opportunity to see the variety and scope of various Wiki projects across the country. The Tulu language Wikipedia also went live during this period, making it the 23rd Wiki in a South Asian language.
We continued our work on telecom with our submission to TRAI on broadband proliferation across the country. We also continued to provide inputs to the media on a range of issues related to UIDAI and online streaming and piracy, e-accessibility and our continuing Wiki work.
We also published two articles on the inaccessibility of public and private phone apps, and the social impact of this, in FactorDaily. I was also honoured to receive the NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awardin the "Persons with Disabilities" category.
All in all, a very productive month. We at CIS look forward to many more to come.
- Nirmita Narasimhan
Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.
CIS in news:
CIS gave inputs to the following media coverage:
- Why experts are worried about Aadhaar-based authentication (Citizen Matters; August 2, 2016).
- Apps can give personal information to strangers (Mebin John; New Indian Express; August 8, 2016).
- Indian companies need to boost encrpytion adoption rate: experts (Koustav Das; Deccan Chronicle; August 9, 2016).
- Implementing Indian languages in feature phones will be difficult (Gulveen Aulakh and Neha Alawadhi; Economic Times; August 10, 2016).
- Aadhaar-enabled smartphones will ease money transfer (Neha Alawadhi and Gulveen Aulakh; Economic Times; August 10, 2016).
- And now, Aadhaar-enabled smartphones for easy verification and money transfer (Business Insider; August 10, 2016).
- Rational Internet laws essential to fulfil India’s digital goals (Krishna Makwana; Deccan Chronicle; August 14, 2016).
- Using technology to address issues (The Hindu; August 14, 2016).
- Responses to Trai’s consultation paper on free data contain some good suggestions (Asheeta Regidi; First Post's Tech 2; August 15, 2016).
- Accessing pirated content might lead to prison term & Rs 3-lakh fine (Alnoor Peermohammed; Business Standard; August 22, 2016).
- Extending Aadhaar to more areas is a hare-brained idea, it should be dropped (Seetha; First Post; August 23, 2016).
- Festival scan on social media (The Telegraph; August 26, 2016).
- Talking Point: Futile Battle Against Torrents (Deccan Herald; August 30, 2016).
CIS members wrote the following articles:
- US Copyright law faces constitutional challenge (Anubha Sinha; Spicy IP; August 5, 2016).
- South Asia's Largest Wikimedia Conference Kicks Off in India (Subhashish Panigrahi; Global Voices; August 5, 2016).
- The largest Wikipedia gathering in South Asia kicks off (Subhashish Panigrahi; Opensource.com; August 5, 2016).
- Do I Want to Say Happy B’day? (Nishant Shah; Indian Express; August 7, 2016).
- 3 Copyright Tips for Students and Educators (Subhashish Panigrahi; Opensource.com; August 16, 2016).
- ଓଡ଼ିଆ ପାଇଁ ଓସିଆର: ଛପା ଲେଖାର ଛବିରୁ ଡିଇଟାଲ ଲେଖା (Subhashish Panigrahi; Samaja; August 21, 2016).
- Preserving Languages and Cultures in India: The Birth of the Tulu Wikipedia (Subhashish Panigrahi; August 26, 2016).
- Meet the Newly Born Tulu Wikipedia, the 23rd in a South Asian Language! (Subhashish Panigrahi; August 28, 2016).
- We Tested 18 Government Apps, and Most are not Fully Accessible to the Disabled (Nirmita Narasimhan; Factor Daily; August 31, 2016).
- The moral imperative and business case for accessibility in technology (Nirmita Narasimhan; Factor Daily; August 30, 2016).
- We Truly are the Product being Sold (Vidushi Marda; Hindustan Times; August 31, 2016).
Accessibility & Inclusion
India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities, we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.
►NVDA and eSpeak
- August 2016 Report (Suman Dogra; August 31, 2016).
- Nirmita Narasimhan gets NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Award: NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards were given away in the capital on August 14, 2016. Nirmita Narasimhan got the award in the "Persons with Disabilities" category.
Participation in Events
- Bridging the Digital Divide (Organized by Wipro; Bangalore; August 25, 2016). Nirmita Narasimhan spoke on digital accessibility at this All Hands Meet.
- Universal Design & Accessibility Conclave (Organized by IIMA in collaboration with Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment; Ahmedabad; August 27, 2016). Nirmita Narasimhan was a speaker.
- An India Where the Disabled have a Choice (Dataquest; August 5, 2016).
- How India’s top firms fare in employing women and persons with disabilities (Sachin P. Mampatta, Amritha Pillay and Ritika Mazumdar; Livemint; August 9, 2016).
- Using technology to address issues (Hindu; August 14, 2016).
- NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards given away in the capital (India PR Wire; August 15, 2016).
- NCPEDP-Mphasis Universal Design Awards given away in the capital (Hans India; August 17, 2016).
- India has a long road ahead in becoming a disabled-friendly country (Sourav Roy; Your Story; August 31, 2016).
Access to Knowledge
Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is 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.
►Copyright and Patent
Participation in Event
- International Conference on Innovation for Shared Prosperity (Organized by O.P. Jindal Global University and Jindal Initiative on Research in IP & Competition; August 20 and 21, 2016; New Delhi). Rohini Lakshane attended the conference.
As part of the project grant from the Wikimedia Foundation we have reached out to more than 3500 people across India by organizing more than 100 outreach events and catalysed the release of encyclopaedic and other content under the Creative Commons (CC-BY-3.0) license in four Indian languages (21 books in Telugu, 13 in Odia, 4 volumes of encyclopaedia in Konkani and 6 volumes in Kannada, and 1 book on Odia language history in English).
- Tools orientation for Telugu Wikimedians of Hyderabad (Pavan Santhosh S; August 1, 2016).
- WikiConference India 2016 Submission: How to better tell your Wikimedia Community Story using Media as a Tool (Subhashish Panigrahi; August 17, 2016).
- WikiConference India 2016 Submission: We, Men, Women: Collective Learning in Bridging Indic Wikipedia Gender Gaps (Elisa Chang; August 17, 2016).
- WikiConference India 2016 Submission: Gender Gap in Indian Language Wikipedias – Projects, Outreach and Outcome (Dr. U.B. Pavanaja; August 17, 2016).
- Community Digest: Tulu Wikipedia Goes Live after Eight Years in Incubator; News in Brief (Subhashish Panigrahi and Ting-Yi Chang; August 24, 2016).
- Wikiwomen’s Meetup at St. Agnes College Explores Potentials and Plans of Women Editors in Mangalore, Karnataka (Ting Yi-Chang; August 31, 2016).
- Focus on India—WikiConference produces new apps; state government adopts free licenses (Organized by by the Community of Wikimedians in India, supported by Wikimedia India and CIS; August 5 - 7, 2016; Chandigarh).
- Wikipedia WikiMeetup at Bangalore (CIS, Bangalore; August 14, 2016).
Participation in Events
- WikiConference India 2016 (Organized by Community of Wikimedians in India; August 5 - 7, 2016; Chandigarh). Sunil Abraham was a speaker.
- Tulu Wikipedia Conference in Mangaluru (Organized by Times of Kudla; August 13 - 14, 2016; Malki, Mangaluru). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja gave a presentation on Tulu Wikipedia.
- WikiConference India 2016 Starts Friday in Chandigarh (Indo Asian News Service and NDTV; August 4, 2016).
- Tulu Wikipedia Goes 'Live' (Wikimedia Blog; August 5, 2016).
- India's 23rd regional Wikipedia, in Tulu, goes live (IANS and Business Standard; August 6, 2016).
- After eight years, Tulu Wikipedia goes live (Raviprasad Kamila; Hindu; August 7, 2016).
- In Tulu, India's 23rd Regional Wikipedia Goes Live (Naina Chaturvedi; Huffington Post; August 7, 2016).
- ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲೂ ಬಂತು ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ (Asianet Suvarna News; August 7, 2016).
- India's 23rd Regional Wikipedia Launches (CMM.net; August 8, 2016).
- ತುಳು ಭಾಷೆಗೆ ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ ಮನ್ನಣೆ! (Mumbai News World; August 8, 2016).
- Wikipedia launches in Tulu, its 23rd Indic language (Vivek Pai; Medianama; August 9, 2016).
- Telugu Wikipedians create Articles on Punjab in Telugu Wikipedia (Sakshi; August 11, 2016).
- Telugu Wikipedians create Articles on Punjab in Telugu Wikipedia (Eenadu; August 11, 2016).
- Tulu gets official Wikipedia page, but Mumbai linguists say more is needed (Anju Maskeri; Mid-Day; August 21, 2016).
- Punjab edit-a-thon & Telugu Wikipedia success (Andhra Jyothi; August 26, 2016).
- Data Xgen launches paid Hindi email service (Sneha Johari; Medianama; August 29, 2016).
- Comments on the Telangana State Open Data Policy 2016 (Anubha Sinha and Sumandro Chattapadhyay; August 31, 2016).
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 IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.
- Policy Brief on the Report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on ICT (Elonnai Hickok and Vipul Kharbanda; August 23, 2016).
- Report on Understanding Aadhaar and its New Challenges (Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Elonnai Hickock Vanya Rakesh and Japreet Grewal; August 31, 2016).
- UIDAI and Welfare Services: Exclusion and Countermeasures (Institution of Agricultural Technologists; Bangalore; August 27, 2016).
Participation in Events
- IGF Academy Regional Workshop (Organized by LIRNE Asia; Colombo; August 4, 2016). Sunil Abraham made a presentation.
- Public Panel Discussion: Digitalisation for Social Change (Co-organized by Mount Carmel College, Bangalore and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, India Office; Bangalore; August 22, 2016). Sunil Abraham was a panelist.
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:
- Submission to TRAI Consultation on Proliferation of Broadband through Public WiFi Networks (Sunil Abraham, Sharath Chandra Ram, Vidushi Marda, and Thejaswi Melarkode; August 28, 2016).
Researchers at Work
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by an emerging need to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It aims to produce local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:
- 101 Ways of Starting an ISP:* No. 53 - Conversation, Content and Weird Fiction (Surfatial; August 3, 2016).
- The Curious Incidents on Matrimonial Websites in India (Abhimanyu Roy; August 30, 2016).
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons withdisabilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.
► Follow us elsewhere
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/cis_india
- Twitter - Access to Knowledge: https://twitter.com/CISA2K
- Twitter - Information Policy: https://twitter.com/CIS_InfoPolicy
- Facebook - Access to Knowledge: https://www.facebook.com/cisa2k
- E-Mail - Access to Knowledge: [email protected]
- E-Mail - Researchers at Work: [email protected]
- List - Researchers at Work: https://lists.ghserv.net/mailman/listinfo/researchers
► Support Us
► Request for Collaboration
We invite researchers, practitioners, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, at [email protected].