Centre for Internet & Society

The Society of the Centre for Internet and Society consists of 12 members. Seven of them serve on the Board. The members bring a wealth of experience in many different fields such as Accessibility, Access to Knowledge, Openness, Internet Governance, Telecom, and Digital Natives. Sunil Abraham is the President of the Board.

Board Members

Sunil Abraham
Sunil Abraham

Sunil Abraham

Sunil Abraham is the Executive Director of CIS. He is also a social entrepreneur and Free Software advocate. He founded Mahiti in 1998 which aims to reduce the cost and complexity of Information and Communication Technology for the Voluntary Sector by using Free Software. Today, Mahiti employs more than 50 engineers and Sunil continues to serve on the board as a board member. Sunil was elected an Ashoka fellow in 1999 to 'explore the democratic potential of the Internet' and was granted a Sarai FLOSS fellowship in 2003. Between June 2004 and June 2007, he managed the International Open Source Network, a project of the UNDP's Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme serving 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Between September 2007 and June 2008, he also managed ENRAP, an electronic network of International Fund for Agricultural Development projects in the Asia-Pacific facilitated and co-funded by International Development Research Centre, Canada. Sunil is the co-author for the following publications:

Read Sunil's detailed resume here
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 91-9611100817
T. Vishnu Vardhan

T. Vishnu Vardhan

T. Vishnu Vardhan is the Programme Director-Access to Knowledge at CIS since February 2013. His experience spans across academics, industry (media) and not-for-profit sectors. Over the last 11 years he has worked in various capacities as researcher, grant manager, teacher, project consultant, information architect and translator. Prior to joining CIS, Vishnu managed the Art, Crafts and Culture portfolio of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT); where had spent 5 years in project conceptualization, management and assessment of quality and impact in the not-for-profit sector. Vishnu managed more than 30 projects and funds to the tune of Rs. 160 million. He also anchored SRTT’s automation and knowledge management activities.  Vishnu worked as Research Coordinator at Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore where he a) coordinated the online M.A. in Cultural Studies; b) managed the Library Fellowship programme; c) conceptualized and coordinated national and international workshops and short-term courses in Media and Cultural Studies; and d) helped in building academic institutional partnerships. Vishnu is a superannuated doctoral candidate at the Centre for Media Research, University of Ulster and CSCS, Bangalore.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 91-9845207308

Read Vishnu's detailed resume.

Nirmita Narasimhan
Nirmita Narasimhan

Nirmita Narasimhan

Nirmita Narasimhan is a Policy Director at CIS and works on policy research and advocacy related to IP reform and technology access for persons with disabilities. In December 2010, in recognition of her work, she was awarded the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities by the President of India.

Nirmita's work ranges from research and policy drafting and review to advocacy through campaigns, workshops, etc. Nirmita authored a chapter The Business Case for Web Accessibility in a handbook published by the NASSCOM Foundation and is the editor for the following publications:

Read Nirmita's detailed resume
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 91-9845868078

Shyam Ponappa

Shyam Ponappa

Shyam Ponappa

Shyam Ponappa is a Distinguished Fellow whose work is in the areas of broadband, telecommunications, and spectrum policy, from management, systems, and technology perspectives. Beginning his career at the State Bank of India, he was a Senior Manager, Management Consulting Services, at Price Waterhouse in San Francisco, M&A Head for Citibank in India, and thereafter managed a partnership doing alliances, business strategy, and financial placements in New Delhi for major international and domestic clients. Subsequently, he was an independent consultant in India and abroad.  His experience is in financial placements, M&A, and business strategy for clients in IT, telecommunications, power, oil/energy, airlines, biotechnology, banking/financial services, hotels, shipping, railroads, manufacturing, agri-business, law firms, and retail enterprises.

He has advised the government on public policy since 1990, primarily in telecommunications.  As a columnist for the Business Standard, he writes on infrastructure and managing economic reforms (http://organizing-india.blogspot.com). He has an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA (History) and a BSc (Physics) from Madras Christian College."

Kavita Philip

Kavita Philip is Associate Professor at UC Irvine’s Program in Women’s Studies. Her research interests are in technology in the developing world; transnational histories of science and technology; gender, race, globalization and post-colonialism; environmental history; and new media theory.

Her essays have appeared in the journals Cultural Studies, Postmodern Culture, NMediaC, Radical History Review, and Environment and History. She is author of Civilizing Natures (2003 and 2004), and co-editor of the volumes Constructing Human Rights in the Age of Globalization (with Monshipouri, Englehart, and Nathan, 2003), Multiple Contentions (with Skotnes, 2003), Homeland Securities (with Reilly and Serlin, 2005), and Tactical Biopolitics (with da Costa, 2008). Her work in progress includes a monograph entitled Proper Knowledge,on technology and property.

Books and Edited Volumes

  • Civilizing Natures: Race, Resources and Modernity in Colonial South India
  • Rutgers University Press (U. S. edition) 2003; Orient Longman (Asia/UK edition) 2004
  • Tactical Biopolitics: Art, Activism, and Technoscience. B. da Costa and K. Philip, editors, Boston: MIT Press, 2008
  • Homeland Securities, K. Philip, D. Serlin, E. Reilly, editors, Radical History Review, Issue 93 (Durham: Duke University Press), Fall 2005 [Awarded “Best Special Issue” prize for 2005 by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals].
  • Multiple Contentions, K. Philip and Andor Skotnes, eds., Radical History Review (Durham: Duke University Press), Issue 88, Winter 2004.
  • Constructing Human Rights in the Age of Globalization, co-edited by Mahmood Monshipouri, Neil Englehart, Andrew Nathan, Kavita Philip, M. E. Sharpe, 2003
Nishant Shah
Nishant Shah

Nishant Shah

Dr. Nishant Shah is the co-founder and Research Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India. He is an International Tandem Partner at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Germany and a Knowledge Partner with the Hivos Knowledge Programme, The Netherlands. He is committed to producing infrastructure, frameworks and collaborations in the global south to understand and analyse the ways in which the emergence of digital technologies have shaped the contemporary social, political and cultural milieu. He edits a series of monographs on ‘Histories of Internet(s) in India’ that examine the complicated relationship that technologies have with questions of gender, sexuality, body, city, governance, archiving and gaming. He was the principle researcher for a research programme that produced the four-volume anthology ‘Digital AlterNatives With a Cause?’, examining the ways in which young people’s relationship with digital technologies produces changes in their immediate environments. Nishant is on the steering committee of the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Project (USA) as well as on the Media Art Histories collective (Latvia). He is involved with the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Consortium (Taiwan/S. Korea/Hong Kong) and the global Network of Centres for Internet and Society housed at the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society, USA. He is committed to encouraging multi-stakeholder dialogue and hence regularly does public consultations and trainings for civil society and NGOs, governments, academic partners and private corporate entities. He is a regular speaker at events like Re:publica and Video Vortex and a columnist with India’s leading English language newspaper The Indian Express. His academic and research publications reflect his political stance on open access and open knowledge infrastructure and are all available for free download and distribution under open license.


Scholarly Books / Monographs

  1. Shah, N. Forthcoming. Living in Network Societies. Hyderabad: Orient Longswan.
  2. Shah, N. (2013) Whose Change is it Anyway? Towards a Future of Digital Technologies and Citizen Action in Network Societies. Hivos: Den Haag
  3. Shah, N. (2013) The Technosocial Subject: Cities, Cyborgs and Cyberspace. Manipal University Press: Bangalore.
  4. Shah, N. & F. Jansen (eds.) (2011) Digital AlterNatives with a Cause? Vol. 1-4. Hivos Publications: The Hague.
  5. Shah, N., Wright, G., Prakash, P. and Abraham, S. (2010). Open Government Data Study: India. Open Society Foundation: London.
  6. Shah, N., and Abraham, S. (2009). Digital Natives with a Cause? A Knowledge Survey and Framework. Hivos Publications: The Hague.

Scholarly Book Chapters

  1. Shah, N. and L. Hjorth. (2013) ‘The Neighbour before the House: Digital Surveillance and Art in a Network Societ’, Palestinian Video Art: Constellation of the Moving Image, (ed.) Makhoul, Bashir, Jerusalem: Palestinian Art Court.
  2. Shah, N. (2010) ‘Knowing the Name: Methodologies and Challenges’, Digital Natives with a Cause? Thinkathon Position Papers. Hivos Publications : The Hague, pp. 11-34.
  3. Shah, N. Forthcoming. ‘See me Talk, Hear me Listen’, Talk To Me.(ed.) Rasa Smite, London: Mute Publications.
  4. Shah, N. Forthcoming. ‘Say Digital Humanities One More Time: Technology, Society and Knowledge in India’, Digital Humanities and the future of the university, (eds.) David Theo Goldberg & Patrick Svenson, MIT Press.
  5. Shah, N. Forthcoming. ‘In Access: Online video practices in Asia’, Asian Video Cultures, (eds.) Bhaskar Sarkar & Joshua Neves, MIT Press.
  6. Shah, N. Forthcoming. ‘Habitual Nationalism: The nationalist Indian cyborg and the construction of natinalism’, New Media/Old Media (ed.) Chun, W.H.K. , Routledge

Edited Journal Issues

  1. Shah, N., N. Malhotra, & A. Yue (eds.) forthcoming ‘Intimate Interfaces: Desire, Affect and relationality on the interface’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Journal, Routledge.
  2. Shah, N. & Chun, W.H.K. (eds.) forthcoming Habits of Living: Surrogate States, Bodies and Networks.

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. Shah, N. (2013), ‘Citizen Action in the Time of the Network’, Development and Change, 44: 665–681.
  2. Shah, N. (2012), 'Resisting Revolutions: Questioning the Radical Potential of Citizen Action’,  Development 55(2): pp 173-180.
  3. Shah, N. & F. Jansen (2011) ‘Between the Stirrup and the Ground: Relocating Digital Activism’, Democracy and Society, 8 (2): pp 2-15.
  4. Shah, N. (2010) ‘Internet and Society in Asia: Challenges and Next Steps’, Inter Asia Cultural Studies Journal. Vol.11(4): pp 105-115.
  5. Shah, N. (2010) ‘The Promise of Invisibility: Making of an IT City’, Asia Scholarship Foundation Journal. Routledge: London.
  6. Shah, N. (2009) ‘Now Streaming on Your Nearest Screen: Contextualising New Digital Cinema through Kuso’, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, 3(1): pp 15-31.
  7. Shah, N. (2009) ‘Material Cyborgs; Asserted Boundaries: Formulating the Cyborg as a Translator’, European Journal of English Studies, 12 (2): pp 211-225.
  8. Shah, N. (2009) ‘Of Jesters, Clowns and Pranksters: YouTube and the Condition of Collaborative Authorship’, Journal of Moving Image, Number 8.
  9. Shah, N. (2007) ‘Subject to Technology: Internet Pornography, Cyber-terrorism and the Indian State’, Inter Asia Cultural Studies Journal, 8 (3): pp 349-366.
  10. Shah, N. (2006) ‘Once Upon a Flash’, Turbulence: Sarai Reader. Sarai: New Delhi, pp 131-138.
  11. Shah, N. (2006) “Playblog: Pornography, Performance and Cyberspace”, The Net-Porn Reader. Institute of Network Cultures : Amsterdam: pp 31-44.

Read Dr. Nishant Shah's detailed CV here

Email:[email protected]

Dr. Nishant Shah is presently based in Germany and can be contacted by phone at (+49-176-841-660-87+49-176-841-660-87 ). While in India he can be reached at +91-974-007-4884+91-974-007-4884 .

Vibodh Parthasarathi
Vibodh Parthasarathi

Vibodh Parthasarathi maintains a multidisciplinary interest in media and development policy, business history of creative industries, and governance of media infrastructure. At the Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, his ongoing research addresses media policy literacy, the TV news industry and the digital switchover in India. He is the co-editor of the critically acclaimed tri-series on Communication Process (Sage).

Some of his recent activities include:

Members of the Society

As on date the following individuals are the other members of the society:

  1. Jayna Kothari
  2. Hans Varghese Mathews
  3. Subbiah Arunachalam
  4. Lawrence Liang
  5. Pranesh Prakash