Centre for Internet & Society

Our newsletter for the month of January can be accessed below.

The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcomes you to the first issue of the newsletter (January 2015). Archives of our newsletters can be accessed at: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.

Highlights

  • Forbes India in an article titled “Minds that (should) matter” names Sunil Abraham as one of the Thinkers who best explain a rapidly-changing India to the world (and the world to India).
  • CIS-A2K team on December 28, 2014 organized a MediaWiki hackathon event for Telugu Wikimedia community members to enhance their skills and understanding of technical matters related to MediaWiki usage. The theme of the workshop was “Mediawiki, its extensions and tools to work around” and it aimed at allowing Wikipedians to use MediaWiki tools more effectively.
  • Subhashish Panigrahi authored an op-ed that highlights the need for taking Odia language to the international fora instead of keeping it confined in the books. The op-ed was published in the Samaja on January 30, 2015.
  • A journal article by Subbiah Arunachalam, Perumal Ramamoorthi and Subbiah Gunasekaran the steps taken by scientists and librarians in the West to reclaim ease of access to research findings with what is happening in India along with a few suggestions was published by the Indian National Science Academy Journals.
  • The Supreme Court, in Sabu George v. Union of India and Ors. (WP (C) 341/2008), is looking into the presence of material regarding pre-natal sex determination on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo that has been falling foul of section 22 of the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994 as amended in 2002. Geeta Hariharan and Balaji Subramanian analyse this in their blog post.
  • As part of its Making Methods for Digital Humanities project, CIS-RAW organized two consultations on new figures of learning in the digital context. For a proposed journal issue on the theme of 'bodies of knowledge' which draws upon these conversations, participants were invited to write short sketches on these figures of learning. Tejas Pande wrote an abstract which examines the figure of the visual designer, and emerging practices of mapmaking.

Accessibility and Inclusion

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. CIS in partnership with CLPR (Centre for Law and Policy Research) compiled the National Compendium of Policies, Programmes and Schemes for Persons with Disabilities (29 states and 6 union territories). The publication has been finalised and is being printed. The draft chapters and 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 and eSpeak

Monthly Update

Event Organized

Other

Blog Entries

Access to Knowledge

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.

Pervasive Technologies

As part of the Pervasive Technologies project, Maggie Huang conducted interviews with fabless semiconductor industry professionals in Taiwan. The findings from the samples are highlighted in four part series. The third and fourth parts have been published:

Blog Entries

Participation in Events

Upcoming Event

Wikipedia

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).

Op-ed

Blog Entries

  • Telugu Wikimedia Hackathon 2014 (Rahmanuddin Shaik; January 31, 2015). The event was conducted on December 28, 2014. However, the blog post was published in January 2015.

News and Media Coverage

CIS-A2K team gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

Announcement

  • 2015 Opensource.com Community Awards : Every year, Opensource.com awards people from our community who have excelled in contributing and sharing stories about open source. Subhashish Panigrahi from the CIS-A2K team won the award under the category 'People's Choice Awards'.
  • CIS-A2K team also published the Telugu Wikipedia Stats tables. Most metrics have been collected from a partial dump (aka stub dump), which contains all revisions of every article, meta data, but no page content.

Participation in Event

Openness

Journal Article

Internet Governance

Articles and Blog Entries

Event Co-organized

Participation in Events

  • Symposium on Human Rights and the Internet in India (Organized by the Center for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication and Information at the University of Hamburg; New Delhi; January 17, 2015). Bhairav Acharya was a panelist.
  • Winter School on Privacy, Surveillance and Data Protection (Organized by the Centre for Communication Governance (CCG) in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair on Freedom of Communication and Information at the University of Hamburg and the Hans Bredow; Delhi; January 19 - 23, 2015). Bhairav Acharya was a facilitator.
  • ASSOCHAM National Council on IT / ITes (Organized by ASSOCHAM; New Delhi; January 30, 2015). Geetha Hariharan participated in the event.

Blog Entries

News & Media Coverage

CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

Digital Humanities

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:

Staff Movement

  • Sumandro Chattapadhyay has joined CIS as Research Director. His academic interests span over topics of history and politics of informatics in India, new media and technology studies, and data infrastructures and economies. He is also keenly interested in questions and techniques of digital humanities. Recently, Sumandro has completed a study on policy and practices of open data in India as part of the Open Data Research Network managed by the World Wide Web Foundation. He is an involved member of DataMeet, a leading community of open data and data science enthusiasts from India. Sumandro studied economics in Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan, and in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has variously worked on topics of urban development, information technology in governance, data visualisation, and early electronic governance in India with MOD Institute, Azim Premji University and the Sarai Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Blog Entry

About CIS

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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Please help us defend consumer / citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of 'The Centre for Internet and Society' and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd 'C' Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru - 5600 71.

► Request for Collaboration:

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 [email protected] To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia, write to T. Vishnu Vardhan, Programme Director, A2K, at [email protected].

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.