April 2015 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified May 31, 2015 04:29 AM
Newsletter for the month of April below.

We are happy to share with you the fourth issue of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) newsletter (April 2015). The past editions of the newsletter can be accessed at http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.


  • CIS submitted its comments to the National Informatics Centre on April 30, 2015 bringing to notice the negligible progress on the front for making Indian government websites conform to the notified standards, and gave recommendations to take the initiatives forward.
  • Nehaa Chaudhari has prepared a consolidated report that tracks the development of India's National IPR Policy and the requests by CIS to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion under the RTI Act and responses elicited from the Department.
  • Institute of Odia Studies and Research organised 2nd National Language Conference beginning on March 30, 2015 and ending on April 2, 2015 at the Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar. This conference was organised in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Culture. Subhashish Panigrahi presented a paper in Odia language in this conference as part of a panel discussion related to Odia language computing.
  • Sunil Abraham's article titled "Shreya Singhal and 66A" was published in Economic and Political Weekly Vol-L No.15. Vidushi Marda helped in doing the research.

► Vacancies at CIS

CIS is seeking applications for:

  • Internship : CIS is providing opportunities for students enrolled in graduate programmes to undertake internship at its offices in Bangalore and Delhi. Eligible candidates are welcome to participate in our internship programme.

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 publication has been finalised and is being printed. 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 Updates

# Language Testing Reports


# Submission

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

Media Coverage

CIS gave inputs for the following:


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).

# Participation in Event

  • 2nd National Language Conference, Bhubaneswar (Organized by Institute of Odia Studies and Research; Institute of Physics; Bhubaneswar; March 30 - April 2, 2015). This conference was organised in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and Culture. Subhashish Panigrahi presented a paper in Odia language in this conference as part of a panel discussion related to Odia language computing.

# Blog Entries

# News and Media Coverage

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


# Event Co-organized

Internet Governance
As part of its research on privacy and free speech, CIS is engaged with two different projects. The first one (under a grant from Privacy International and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on studying the restrictions placed on freedom of expression online by the Indian government.

►Freedom of Expression

India's Apex Court in a landmark decision struck down section 66A of the IT Act. The judgment provided great relief for advocates of freedom of speech on the Internet. The development attracted lots of media coverage to which CIS gave its inputs:

# Articles

# Blog Entries

# Event

# Participation in Event


# Participation in Event


# Announcement

  • IIGF Recruitment : The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) conducted walk-in interviews on May 16, 2015 at NIXI Jasola office, Flat No. 6B, 6th Floor, Uppals M6 Plaza, New Delhi. NIXI sought candidates to fill the posts of Technology Analyst, Policy Analyst, Research Associate and Executive Assistants.

# Participation in Events

News & Media Coverage
CIS gave its inputs to the following media coverage:

Researchers at Work
The Researchers at Work (RAW) programme is an interdisciplinary research initiative driven by contemporary concerns to understand the reconfigurations of social practices and structures through the Internet and digital media technologies, and vice versa. It is interested in producing local and contextual accounts of interactions, negotiations, and resolutions between the Internet, and socio-material and geo-political processes:

# Blog Entries

  • Studying Internet in India: Selected Abstracts - CIS received thirty five engaging abstracts in response to the call for essays on 'Studying Internet in India.' The final essays will be published from June onwards. These are the ten selected abstracts: Studying the Internet Discourse in India through the Prism of Human Rights (by Deva Prasad); Indic Scripts and the Internet (by Dibyajyoti Ghosh); The Internet in the Indian Judicial Imagination (by Divij Joshi); Dharmasala Networked (by Laird Brown); WhatsApp Economy (by Maitrayee Deka); Citizens and their Internet (by Purbasha Auddy); The Many Lives and Sites of Internet in Bhubaneswar (by Sailen Routray); Quantity over Quality: Social Media and the New Class System in India (by Sarah McKeever); Governing Speech on the Internet: Transforming the Public Sphere through Policymaking (by Smarika Kumar).

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:

# Submission

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]. 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.

ASPI-CIS Partnership


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