Centre for Internet & Society

Eighth issue of the newsletter (August 2014) below:

We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcome you to the eighth issue of the newsletter (August 2014). Archives of our newsletters can be accessed at: http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters


  • Andhra Loyola College and CIS entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to steward the growth of Telugu Wikipedia and to make available free knowledge in Telugu to all Telugus across the globe.
  • In July 2014, the Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Science, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India released a draft Open Access Policy. CIS participated in discussions along with experts brought on board by the Drafting Committee to develop and review the open access policy. As a follow-up, CIS prepared comments to the draft Policy .

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 updated draft is being reviewed by the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. 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

  • Work Report for August (by Suman Dogra, August 31, 2014).
  • Blog Entry

  • Smartphones and the Return to Dependency (by Anandhi Viswanathan, August 30, 2014).
  • Participation in Event

  • Towards an Accessible Internet for People with Disabilities (organized by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software and ISOC Australia, Delhi, August 4, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a speaker at this workshop organized as part of APrIGF.
  • 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.

    Blog Entries

  • Preventive Detention for Copyright Violation: Karnataka Amends the 'Goondas' Act (by Nehaa Chaudhari, August 13, 2014).
  • Karnataka Goondas Act - A note on Legislative Competence (by Nehaa Chaudhari, August 28, 2014).
  • Interviews with App Developers: [dis]regard towards IPR vs. Patent Hype - Part II (by Samantha Cassar, August 14, 2014).
  • Openness


    Participation in Event


    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).


    • Andhra Loyola College and the Centre for Internet & Society sign MoU for Better Net Access (by Rahmanuddin Shaik, August 19, 2014): Ten theosophical books authored by Rev. Fr. P. Jojaiah, SJ were released under free license (CC-BY-SA-4.0); For the first time an educational institution in the state of Andhra Pradesh is signing an MoU with CIS-A2K to work collaboratively to qualitatively improve Telugu Wikipedia; ALC faculty and students will create free e-content in Telugu on Telugu Wikipedia; Digital content from the fields of Botany, Physics, Chemistry, Telugu, Statistics, Ethics and Religion, Music and Dance will be produced on Telugu Wikipedia.

    News and Media Coverage

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

  • Now, Christ students will contribute to Wikipedia (by H.M.Shruthi, Deccan Herald, August 5, 2014).
  • CIS-A2K Signs MoU with Andhra Loyola College in Vijayawada (Eenadu, August 15, 2014).
  • ALC signs MoU for better net access (The Hindu, August 15, 2014).
  • Participation in Event

    • Konkani Global Enclave (organized by Jagotik Konknni Songhotton, Kalaangann, Shaktinagar, August 24, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan participated in the event.

    Internet Governance


    As part of our Surveillance and Freedom: Global Understandings and Rights Development (SAFEGUARD) project with Privacy International we are engaged in enhancing respect for the right to privacy in developing countries. We have produced the following outputs during the month:

    Policy Guide

  • Privacy in Healthcare: Policy Guide (by Tanvi Mani, August 26, 2014).
  • Event Report

    Blog Entries

    Participation in Events

    • Learning Event - The Internet and Economic, Cultural and Social Rights (organized by the International Development Research Centre and Association for Progressive Communications, August 8 - 10, 2014). Sunil Abraham was a remote participant.

    Free Speech

    As part of our project on Freedom of Expression (funded through a grant from the MacArthur Foundation) to study the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government and contribute to the debates around Internet governance and freedom of expression at forums like ICANN, ITU, IGF, WSIS, etc., we bring you the following outputs:

    White Paper

    News & Media Coverage

    CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

    Cyber Stewards

    As part of its project on mapping cyber security actors in South Asia and South East Asia with the Citizen Lab, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto and the International Development Research Centre, Canada, CIS conducted 2 new interviews. With this it has finished a total of 21 interviews:

    Video Interviews


    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:

    Newspaper Column

    Blog Entry

    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:

    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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    ► Support Us

    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] or Nishant Shah, Director - Research, 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.