January 2016 Bulletin

by Prasad Krishna last modified Feb 05, 2016 02:47 PM
The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is happy to share the January 2016 issue of its newsletter.

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed at http://cis-india.org/about/newsletters.

Highlights
  • CIS in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Department of Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India compiled the National Compendium of Laws, Policies, Programmes for Persons with Disabilities. Prasanna Kumar Pincha, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities wrote the Foreword for the Compendium.
  • The Patent Office had put the Guidelines on Computer Related Inventions, 2015 in abeyance last month. This step was taken after several stakeholders including CIS made representations to the Office about serious substantive legal issues in the document. The Controller General of Patents Design Trademarks invited submissions from stakeholders on specific examples on exclusions from patentability under section 3(k) of the Patents Act, 1970, for possible incorporation in the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions. CIS made its submissions.
  • Rahmanuddin Shaik conducted an analysis of the growth of Odia Wikipedia and Konkani Wikipedia from a perspective based on Wikimedia statistics for the July to December 2015 period. The findings have been recorded in two separate blog entries.
  • Nehaa Chaudhari made a presentation during the Global IP Congress held last month on the Curious Case of the CCI: Competition Law and SEP Regulation in India which discussed mobile phone patent litigation in India with competition law issues.
  • Rohini Lakshané made a presentation on Patent landscaping in the sub-$100 mobile device market in India at the Global IP Congress.
  • Anubha Sinha made a presentation on IP in Mobile Applications Development in India that discussed IP rights in mobile apps during the Global IP Congress.
  • The Ministry of Finance held pre-budget consultations with different stakeholder groups in connection with the Union Budget 2016-17. CIS was invited to take part in the consultation for the IT (hardware and software) group organised on January 07, 2016, and submit a suggestion note. The submission was prepared and presented by Sumandro Chattapadhyay with contributions from Rohini Lakshané, Anubha Sinha and other members of CIS.
  • CIS gave its comments on the failures of Cross Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN Accountability (CCWG-Accountability) draft proposal as well as the processes that it has followed.
  • Tanvi Mani gave an analysis of Big Data in the Global South. She pointed out that appropriate analysis of the Big Data generated would provide a valuable insight into the key areas and inform policy makers with respect to important decisions.
  • Eight key privacy events in India in the year 2015: August 11, 2015 order on Aadhaar not being compulsory;  No Right to Privacy - Attorney General to SC; Shreya Singhal judgment and Section 69A, IT Act;  Circulation and recall of Draft Encryption Policy; Privacy concerns raised about Digital India;  Issues with Human DNA Profiling Bill, 2015;  Impact of the Schrems ruling on India; and The definition of "unfair trade practices" in the Consumer Protection Bill, 2015 has been summarized in a blog entry by Amber Sinha.
  • In an article published in the Deccan Herald on January 3, 2016, Sunil Abraham argued that "Internet" is not a human right in most jurisdictions in light of a survey conducted by Facebook which declared that Internet is a human right and Free Basics can help bring Internet to all of India.
  • The first Internet Researchers' Conference (IRC16), organised around the theme of 'studying internet in India,' will be held on February 26-28, 2016, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi. CSCS Digital Innovation Fund (CDIF) is supporting the event.
  • A consultation on 'digital futures of Indian languages' was held at the CIS office in Bangalore on December 12, 2015, to generate ideas and structure the Indian languages focus area of CDIF. The programme was led by Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana and Tanveer Hasan. The participants shared their digital Indian language experience at the meeting.

--------------------------------------
Accessibility & Inclusion
-------------------------------------
India has an estimated 70 million persons with disabilities who don't have access to read printed materials due to some form of physical, sensory, cognitive or other disability. As part of our endeavour to make available accessible content for persons with disabilities we are developing a text-to-speech software in 15 languages with support from the Hans Foundation. The progress made so far in the project can be accessed here.

►National Compendium

Note: This project with the Hans Foundation got over last year. We published the Compendium recently.

►Miscellaneous

News and Media Coverage

-----------------------------------
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

Event Organized

The 4th Global Congress 2015 was held in New Delhi from December 15 to 17, 2015. Pervasive Technologies team from CIS made the following presentations during the event:

Blog Entries

The following blog entries published last year and the year before were recently updated:

►Copyright and Patent

Submission

Blog Entries

Participation in Events

►Wikipedia

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).

Articles

Blog Entries

Events Organized

  • Telugu Wikipedia Education Program (Co-organized by CIS-A2K and Andhra Loyola College; Vijaywada; January 12 - 13, 2016). CIS is opening up a Wikipedia Digital Centre in the college so that students and local Wikimedians could grow Wikipedia and other Wikimedia content in Telugu and other Indian languages.
  • Geographical Indications in India Edit-a-thon (Organized by CIS-A2K; India; January 25 - 31, 2016). The goal of this edit-a-thon was to create and improve Geographical Indications articles.

Participation in Events

  • Editathon at Mysore (Organized by Kannada Wikipedia community; Centre for Proficiency Development and Placement Services (CPDPS), Manasa Gangotri, University of Mysore; January 11 - 13, 2016). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja was the key resource person. Prajavani published a report.
  • Padartha Chintamani - Pada Kammata Program (Organized by Padartha Chintamani (ಪದಾರ್ಥ ಚಿಂತಾಮಣಿ); Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore; January 17, 2016). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja is one of the active members of this group.

Media Coverage

CIS-A2K gave its inputs towards the following media coverage:

►Openness

Submission

Blog Entries

Upcoming Events

  • The Zen of Pad.ma: 10 Lessons Learned from Running Open Access Online Video Archives in India and beyond (Organized by CIS; Bangalore; February 3, 2016). Sebastian Lütgert and Jan Gerber, the co-initiators of, and the artists/programmers behind the pad.ma (Public Access Digital Media Archive) project will deliver a lecture at CIS office in Bangalore.
  • OER16: Open Culture (Organized by Association for Learning Technology; University of Edinburg; April 19 - 20, 2016). As a part of the programme committee, Subhashish Panigrahi is currently reviewing the submissions for the 7th Open Educational Resources Conference, "OER16: Open Culture".

-----------------------------------
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

Articles

Submission

Events Organized

Participation in Events

  • Mobile India 2016 (Organized by COMSNETS in association with Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Digital India, et.al.; Bangalore; January 5 - 9, 2016). Sunil Abraham participated as a speaker in Session 4: Law, Regulation and Policy of App Economy.
  • #NetNeutrality and Data Protection Laws (Organized by ITechLaw India International Conference; January 27 - 29, 2016). Pranesh Prakash was a panelist.

►Privacy

Blog Entries

Participation in Events

  • Data Privacy Day 2016 (Organized by Data Security Council of India; January 28, 2016; Bangalore). Sunil Abraham was a panelist.

►Big Data

Blog Entries

Event Organized

►Miscellaneous

Blog Entries

-----------------------------------
Telecom
-----------------------------------

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:

Participation in Event

  • TV White Space Trials & The TRAI (Meeting convened by Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India; November 26, 2015; New Delhi). Shyam Ponappa participated in the meeting. This was published recently on CIS website.

-----------------------------------
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:

Upcoming Event

Events Organized

Blog Entry

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


-----------------------------------
About CIS
-----------------------------------

The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) is a non-profit organisation that undertakes interdisciplinary research on internet and digital technologies from policy and academic perspectives. The areas of focus include digital accessibility for persons with diverse abilities, access to knowledge, intellectual property rights, openness (including open data, free and open source software, open standards, open access, open educational resources, and open video), internet governance, telecommunication reform, digital privacy, and cyber-security. The academic research at CIS seeks to understand the reconfigurations of social and cultural processes and structures as mediated through the internet and digital media technologies.

► Follow us elsewhere

► 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, artists, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to engage with us on topics related internet and society, and improve our collective understanding of this field. To discuss such possibilities, please write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] (for policy research), or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director, at [email protected] (for academic research), with an indication of the form and the content of the collaboration you might be interested in. To discuss collaborations on Indic language Wikipedia projects, write to Tanveer Hasan, Programme Officer, 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.

Document Actions