Centre for Internet & Society

Greetings from the Centre for Internet and Society! In this issue we are pleased to present you the latest updates about our research, upcoming events, and news and media coverage that happened in the month of September 2011.


RAW is a multidisciplinary research initiative. CIS believes that in order to understand the contemporary concerns in the field of Internet and society, it is necessary to produce local and contextual accounts of the interaction between the Internet and socio-cultural and geo-political structures. To build original research base, the RAW programme has been collaborating with different organizations and individuals in order to focus on its two year thematic of Histories of the Internets in India. Five monographs were recently launched at a workshop, Locating Internets: Histories of the Internet(s) in India — Research Training and Curriculum held in Ahmedabad from 19 to 22 August 2011.

Digital Natives with a Cause?

Digital Natives with a Cause? is a knowledge programme initiated by CIS, India and Hivos, Netherlands. It is a research inquiry that seeks to look at the changing landscape of social change and political participation and the role that young people play through digital and Internet technologies, in emerging information societies. Consolidating knowledge from Asia, Africa and Latin America, it builds a global network of knowledge partners who want to critically engage with the dominant discourse on youth, technology and social change, in order to look at the alternative practices and ideas in the Global South. It also aims at building new ecologies that amplify and augment the interventions and actions of the digitally young as they shape our futures.

Featured Publication

  • Digital AlterNatives with a Cause? - This collaboratively produced collective, edited by Nishant Shah and Fieke Jansen, asks critical and pertinent questions about theory and practice around ‘digital revolutions’ in a post MENA (Middle East - North Africa) world. It works with multiple vocabularies and frameworks and produces dialogues and conversations between digital natives, academic and research scholars, practitioners, development agencies and corporate structures to examine the nature and practice of digital natives in emerging contexts from the Global South.

Book Review

  • Digital (Alter)Natives with a Cause? — Book Review by Maarten van den Berg - The books come in a beautifully designed cassette and are accompanied by a funky yellow package in the shape of a floppy disk containing the booklet ‘D:coding Digital Natives’, a corresponding DVD, and a pack of postcards portraying the evolution of writing - in the sentence ‘I love you’, written with a goose feather in 1734, to the character set ‘i<3u’ entered on a mobile device in 2011, writes Maarten van den Berg. The review was published in "The Broker" on 19 September 2011.

Event Organised


Estimates of the percentage of the world's population that is disabled vary considerably. But what is certain is that if we count functional disability, then a large proportion of the world's population is disabled in one way or another. At CIS we work to ensure that the digital technologies, which empower disabled people and provide them with independence, are allowed to do so in practice and by the law. To this end, we support web accessibility guidelines, and change in copyright laws that currently disempower the persons with disabilities.

Event Participated

Access to Knowledge

Access to Knowledge is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents, and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape. CIS believes that access to knowledge and culture is essential, and such access promotes creativity and innovation, and helps bridge the differences between the developing and developed worlds in a positive manner. Towards this end, CIS is campaigning for an international treaty on copyright exceptions for print-challenged people, advocating against laws (such as the PUPFIP Bill) that privatize public-funded knowledge, call for the WIPO Broadcast Treaty to be restricted to broadcast, question the demonization of 'pirates', and support endeavours that explore and question the current copyright regime.

New Blog Entries

Internet Governance

Internet technologies have fundamentally questioned the notion of governance, not only at the level of administration but also at the level of mechanisms of control, regulation and shaping of the individual. e-Governance initiatives, in combination with other regimes of surveillance, control and censorship, are redefining what it means to be a citizen, a subject, and an individual. We look at questions of governance — at the micro level of the individual and the private (family, relationships, community structures, etc.) as well as the level of governmentality — at the macro level of nation state, citizenship, market economies, and the public (spaces of consumption, work, leisure, political engagement, etc.) under the umbrella of digital governance.

New Blog Entry

Events Organised


The growth in telecommunications in India has been impressive. While the potential for growth and returns exist, a range of issues need to be addressed for this potential to be realized. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the second aspect is a countrywide access to broadband which is low at about eight million subscriptions. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum. It is imperative to resolve these issues in the common interest of users and service providers.

Articles by Shyam Ponappa

Shyam Ponappa is a Distinguished Fellow at CIS. He writes regularly on Telecom issues in the Business Standard and these articles are mirrored on the CIS website.

Event Organised


Film Screening

News & Media Coverage

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CIS is grateful to Kusuma Trust which was founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.