Centre for Internet & Society

DWRU, BBGS & MKU - The Covid-19 Pandemic and the Invisible Workers of the Household Economy

by Geeta Menon

Domestic Workers Rights Union (DWRU), Bruhat Bangalore Gruhakarmika Sangha (BBGS), and Manegelasa Kaarmikara Union (MKU) have prepared a report on the invisibilisation of domestic workers under the Covid-19 pandemic and a set of demands directed at the government and resident welfare associations (RWAs) for better, dignified and just treatment of domestic workers in Karnataka. We at CIS are proud to contribute to and publish this work as part of the ongoing 'Feminist Internet Research Network' project supported by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).

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Ethics and Human Rights Guidelines for Big Data for Development Research

by Amber Sinha, Manjri Singh, Rajashri Seal, Pranav Bhaskar Tiwari, Pranav M Bidare

This is a four-part review of guideline documents for ethics and human rights in big data for development research. This research was produced as part of the Big Data for Development network supported by International Development Research Centre, Canada

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A Compilation of Research on the Gig Economy

by Aayush Rathi, Ambika Tandon, Sumandro Chattapadhyay

Over the past year, researchers at CIS have been studying gig economies and gig workers in India. Their work has involved consultative discussions with domestic workers, food delivery workers, taxi drivers, trade union leaders, and government representatives to document the state of gig work in India, and highlight the concerns of gig workers. The imposition of a severe lockdown in India in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 has left gig workers in precarious positions. Without the privilege of social distancing, these workers are having to contend with a drastic reduction in income, while also placing themselves at heightened health risks.

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From Health and Harassment to Income Security and Loans, India's Gig Workers Need Support

by Zothan Mawii (Tandem Research), Aayush Rathi (CIS), and Ambika Tandon (CIS)

Deemed an 'essential service' by most state governments, and thereby exempt from temporary suspension during the COVID-19 lockdown, food, groceries and other essential commodities have continued to be delivered by e-commerce companies and on-demand services. Actions to protect workers, who are taking on significant risks, have been far less forthcoming than those for customers. Zothan Mawii (Tandem Research), Aayush Rathi (CIS) and Ambika Tandon (CIS) spoke with the leaders of four workers' unions and labour researchers to identify recommended actions that public agencies and private companies may undertake to better support the urgent needs of gig workers in India.

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COVID-19 Charter Of Recommendations on Gig Work

by Aayush Rathi and Ambika Tandon

Tandem Research and the Centre for Internet and Society organised a webinar on 9 April 2020, with unions representing gig workers and researchers studying labour rights and gig work, to uncover the experiences of gig workers during the lockdown. Based on the discussion, the participants of the webinar have drafted a set of recommendations for government agencies and platform companies to safeguard workers’ well being. Here are excerpts from this charter of recommendation shared with multiple central and state government agencies and platforms companies.

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Zothan Mawii - COVID-19 and Relief Measures for Gig Workers in India

by Zothan Mawii (Tandem Research)

CIS is cohosted a webinar with Tandem Research on the impact of the COVID-19 response on the gig economy on 9 April 2020. It was a closed door discussion between representatives of workers' unions, labour activists, and researchers working on gig economy and workers' rights to highlight the demands of workers' groups in the transport, food delivery and care work sectors. We saw this as an urgent intervention in light of the disruption to the gig economy caused by the nationwide lockdown to limit proliferation of COVID-19. This is a summary of the discussions that took place in the webinar authored by Zothan Mawii, a Research Fellow at Tandem Research.

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Platformisation of Domestic Work in India: Report from a Multistakeholder Consultation

by Tasneem Mewa

On November 16, 2019, The Centre for Internet and Society invited officials from the Department of Labour (Government of Karnataka), members of domestic worker unions, domestic workers, company representatives, and civil society researchers at the Student Christian Mission of India House to discuss preliminary findings of an ongoing research project and facilitate a multistakeholder consultation to understand the contemporaneous platformisation of domestic work in India. Please find here a report from this consultation authored by Tasneem Mewa.

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Announcing Selected Researchers: Welfare, Gender, and Surveillance

by Sumandro Chattapadhyay

We published a Call for Researchers on January 10, 2020, to invite applications from researchers interested in writing a narrative essay that interrogates the modes of surveillance that people of LGBTHIAQ+ and gender non-conforming identities and sexual orientations are put under as they seek sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in India. We received 29 applications from over 10 locations in India in response to the call, and are truly overwhelmed by and grateful for this interest and support. We eventually selected applications by 3 researchers that we felt aligned best with the specific objectives of the project. Please find below brief profile notes of the selected researchers.

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Roundtable on India’s Gig-work Economy

by Noopur Raval, Anushree Gupta, Rajendra Jadhav, Sarah Zia, and Simiran Lalvani

Working in the gig-economy has been associated with economic vulnerabilities. However, there are also moral and affective vulnerabilities as workers find their worth measured everyday by their performance of—and at—work and in every interaction and movement. This roundtable discussion marks the end of our series on 'India’s Gig-work Economy' published by the Platypus blog of the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing (CASTAC). In this discussion, the researchers reflect on methods, challenges, inter-subjectivities and possible future directions for research on the topic. Listen to the audio track below or read the transcript for the full discussion.

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Noopur Raval and Rajendra Jadhav - Power Chronography of Food-Delivery Work

by Noopur Raval and Rajendra Jadhav

Working in the gig-economy has been associated with economic vulnerabilities. However, there are also moral and affective vulnerabilities as workers find their worth measured everyday by their performance of—and at—work and in every interaction and movement. This essay by Noopur Raval and Rajendra Jadhav is the fourth among a series of writings by researchers associated with the 'Mapping Digital Labour in India' project at the CIS, supported by the Azim Premji University, that were published on the Platypus blog of the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing (CASTAC).

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