January 2013 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jun 11, 2013 11:56 AM
We at the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) wish you all a great year ahead and welcome you to the first issue of our newsletter for the year 2013. This issue brings you an overview of our research programs, events organised and participated, news and media coverage, and videos of recent events.

Jobs


CIS is seeking applications for the posts of Programme Officer (Access to Knowledge — Indic Language Initiatives), Developer (NVDA Project), Programme Officer (Access to Knowledge and Openness), and Programme Officer (Internet Governance). To apply send your resume to [email protected] and [email protected]. For our Privacy project, we are seeking applications for the post of Researcher, Technology/Security Expert, Graphic Designer as well as for internships. To apply for these posts, please send in your resume to Elonnai Hickok ([email protected]).

Accessibility

CIS is carrying out two projects in partnership with the Hans Foundation. The first one is to create a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India and the second one is for developing a screen reader and text to speech synthesizer for Indian languages. We are also working with the World Blind Union to develop the Treaty for Improved Access for Blind, Visually Impaired and other Reading Disabled Persons, and assisting in the negotiations at WIPO:

National Resource Kit for Persons with Disabilities

Anandhi Viswanathan from CIS and Manojna Yeluri from the Centre for Law and Policy Research are working in this project. Shruti Ramakrishnan has left the project. Draft chapters have been published. Feedback and comments are invited from readers for the chapter on Haryana:

  • The Haryana Chapter (by Anandi Viswanathan, January 31, 2012): The state implements the provisions under the central laws, particularly the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act 1995 and the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act 1999.

Submission / Notification

Report

  • Accessible Broadcasting in India (by Srividya Vaidyanathan, January 11, 2013): The abridged version of ITU’s report "Making Television Accessible" which was initially put up for comments last year has been updated once again.

Blog Entry

Access to Knowledge

In partnership with the International Development Research Centre we are doing a project on Pervasive Technologies examining the relationship between production of pervasive technologies and intellectual property. The Wikimedia Foundation’s India Program to support and develop free knowledge in India is now being executed by us. We are also supporting the Iraq government in developing an eGovernment Interoperability Framework:

Wikipedia

Beginning from September 1, 2012, Wikimedia Foundation has awarded CIS a two-year grant of INR 26,000,000 to support and develop free knowledge in India. The A2K team consists of four members based in Delhi: T. Vishnu Vardhan, Nitika Tandon, Subhashish Panigrahi and Noopur Raval.

New Project Director

New Distinguished Fellow at CIS

  • Tejaswini Niranjana, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore, and Visiting Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai is joining our team as an Adviser to the 'Access to Knowledge' project. She will guide the A2K team in expanding the Indian language Wikipedias and in increasing the number of active editors through strategic partnerships with Higher Education institutions across India.

Reports

  • Access to Knowledge Report — September to December 2012 (by Noopur Raval, January 31, 2013): The report covers an overview of the activities done by the Access to Knowledge team under the grant provided by the Wikimedia Foundation from September 2012 to December 2012.
  • Indic Language Wikipedias — Statistical Report — 2012 (by Shiju Alex, January 21, 2013): A statistical update of the Indic language Wikipedias for the year 2012 providing perspectives on the health of various Indic language communities as well as the state of various Indic language wikipedias.

Wiki Event Reports
CIS organised a series of Wiki workshops in Goa in the month of December 2012, we bring you the reports from those events.

Note: The workshops were held in the month of December 2012 but the reports were published only in the month of January.

CIS also organised a Wiki workshop in Ghaziabad:

Wiki Event Participated

Wikipedia News Coverage

Wiki Events Organised

Pervasive Technologies

The Pervasive Technologies project carries out research on the intellectual property implicated in the hardware, software and content available in low-cost mobile devices.The long-term outcome of this project is to create a legitimate, legal space for these technologies to exist on the Indian market.

Events Participated

Other Openness Updates

Blog Posts / Columns

Interview

Media Coverage

HasGeek

HasGeek creates discussion spaces for geeks and has organised conferences like the Fifth Elephant, Droidcon India 2011, Android Camp, etc. HasGeek is supported by CIS and works out from CIS office in Bengaluru.

Event Organized

Internet Governance

With Privacy International, London we signed an agreement to facilitate the implementation of activities related to surveillance and freedom of speech and expression. In this month we have blog posts on data retention, international principles of surveillance and human rights and comparitive analysis of Indian legislation vis-à-vis draft of the International Principles on Surveillance of Communications by Ellonai Hickok, and columns by Sunil Abraham and Nishant Shah:

Privacy Research

Columns/Op-eds

Statement

Blog Entries

Upcoming Event

  • DML Conference 2013 (co-organised by CIS and Digital Media & Learning Research Hub Central, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers - Chicago, Illinois, March 14 – 16, 2013).

Event Organized

Events Participated

Upcoming Event

  • 9th International Asian Conference (organised by ITechLaw, February 14 – 15, 2013): Sunil Abraham will be participating as a panelist in the session on “Censorship of Online Content”.

Media Coverage

Internet Access – Knowledge Repository

In partnership with Ford Foundation, CIS was tasked to produce and disseminate modules on various aspects of telecommunications including policy, regulations, infrastructure and market. However, as on November 9, 2012 there was a change in the mandate of the project. Currently, we are working on building a knowledge repository on “Internet Access”. This new repository will cover the history of the internet, technologies involved, principle and values of internet access, broadband market and universal access. It will also touch upon various polices and regulations which has an impact on internet access and bodies and mechanism which are responsible for such policy formulation. For this purpose we will be hosting a new website: www.internet-institute.in.
We are also organizing an “Institute on Internet and Society” in collaboration with the Ford Foundation India, which is to be held from June 8, 2013 to June 14, 2013. Call for registrations and relevant details will be soon announced on our website.

Telecom

While the potential for growth and returns exist for telecommunications in India, a range of issues need to be addressed. One aspect is more extensive rural coverage and the other is a countrywide access to broadband which is low. Both require effective and efficient use of networks and resources, including spectrum.:

Column by Shyam Ponappa

Event(s) Participated

  • 21st Convergence Conference Conference India 2013 (organized by Exhibitions India Group, January 16 – 17, 2013, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi). Snehashish Ghosh participated in the event.

Digital Humanities

From 2012 to 2015, the Researchers At Work series is focusing on building research clusters in the field of Digital Humanities. We organised the first Habits of Living workshops in Bangalore last year. The next workshop is being held in Brown University:

Habits of Living Workshop


About CIS


CIS was registered as a society in Bangalore in 2008. As an independent, non-profit research organisation, it runs different policy research programmes such as Accessibility, Access to Knowledge, Openness, Internet Governance, and Telecom. The policy research programmes have resulted in outputs such as the e-Accessibility Policy Handbook for Persons with Disabilities with ITU and G3ict, and Digital Alternatives with a Cause?, Thinkathon Position Papers and the Digital Natives with a Cause? Report with Hivos, etc. We have conducted policy research for the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances  and Pensions, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, etc., on WIPO Treaties, Copyright Bill, NIA Bill, etc.
CIS is accredited as an observer at WIPO. CIS staff participates in the Standing Committee for Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) meetings regularly held in Geneva, and participate in the discussions and comments on them from a public interest perspective. Our Policy Director, Nirmita Narasimhan won the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities from the Government of India and also received the NIVH Excellence Award.

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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]

CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the 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.

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