Centre for Internet & Society

Welcome you to the ninth issue of the newsletter (September 2014).

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


  • Nishant Shah was part of a working group writing a white paper on big data and social change, over the last six months. This white paper produced by a group of activists, researchers and data experts was published by Oxford.
  • As part of the Pervasive Technologies project Maggie Huang interviewed Semiconductor Industry Professionals in Taiwan on the trends and changes in technology and understanding mobile chip manufacturing.

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

Blog Entry

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 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).

Event Report

  • Developing Digital Open Knowledge Resources in Indian Languages (Tejaswini Niranjana and Tanveer Hasan; September 30, 2014). The workshop was organized by Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women's Studies Centre, University of Pune (KSPWSC), Centre for Indian Languages in Higher Education (CILHE), Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and CIS-A2K.

Blog Entries

The following were published in August and mirrored on our website in September:

  • OpenGLAM at Wikimania 2014 (Subhashish Panigrahi; OpenGLAM; August 27, 2014).
  • We are Wikipedia (By Subhashish Panigrahi; Wikimedia Deutschland; August 25, 2014). Wikimedia Deutchland has included a paragraph about WeAreWikipedia on their blog.

Event Organized

Event Co-organized

  • Kannada Wikipedia Workshop (Organized by Basaveshwara Science College and CIS-A2K; September 20, 2014). Dr. U.B.Pavanaja conducted the workshop.

News and Media Coverage

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

Participation in Events

  • State Level Seminar on "Odia alphabet and order teaching in primary education" (Co-organized by Institute of Odia Studies and Research and Odia Bhasa Pratisthan, Bhubaneswar; September 14, 2014). Subhashish Panigrahi participated in the event and discussed about the applied aspects of Odia language in the context of primary education and need for reforms in the total number and order in the character-set citing problems with computer and internet.
  • Publishing Next (Organized by CinnamonTeal Publishing; Goa; September 19 - 20, 2014). T. Vishnu Vardhan was a panelist at the 5th edition of Publishing Next the annual conference on the future of publishing. He spoke on Open Access, Copyright and Copyleft.

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:

Note: The White Paper below is not a part of the SAFEGUARD project .

White Paper



Blog Entries


The ninth Internet Governance Forum ("IGF2014") was hosted by Turkey in Istanbul from September 2 to 5, 2014. A BestBits pre-event, which saw robust discussions on renewal of the IGF mandate, the NETmundial Initiative and other live Internet governance processes, flagged off a week of many meetings and sessions. CIS participated in multiple workshops and panels:

Other Participation

  • Launch of the GISWatch Report (Association for Progressive Communications and the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos). Elonnai Hickok contributed a thematic chapter on Intermediary Liability and Surveillance to this report.

Participation in Events

Upcoming Event

  • CPDP 2015 : The eighth international conference on computers, privacy and data protection will be held in Brussels from January 21 to 23, 2015. CIS is a moral supporter of CPDP.

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:

Event Organized

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.