March 2019 Newsletter

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 18, 2019 02:14 AM
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) newsletter for the month of March 2019.

Highlights for March 2019

  • The Indian Patent Office (IPO) on 1 March 2019, published a draft of the “Manual of Patent Office Practice and Procedure, Version 3.0”. CIS provided comments on patenting of computer related inventions.
  • The Centre for Internet and Society's Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K) team has submitted its proposal for the year 2019-2020 to the Wikimedia Foundation. CIS-A2K has proposed to undertake content enrichment, skill development initiatives, cement partnership with existing partners and build relationships with new ones, and activities like Train-the-Trainer, Wikisource Conference, Wikimedia Summit India, Intensive Personal Wiki Training, supporting Indic Wikimedians through request page, etc.
  • Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), an organisation working on rejuvenation of rivers in India, has began documentation of rivers on Wiki, especially to draw attention to and mitigate the crisis of toxic deposits facing more than 40 rivers in India. The work was started by Jal Biradari, TBS’s Maharashtra based group, in Sangli district with the help of the Access to Knowledge (CIS-A2K) team of CIS. A report from the first pilot workshop conducted by CIS-A2K during 22-25 December 2018 at Tarun Bharat Sangh Ashram, in Alwar, Rajasthan has been published.
  • With the objective of connecting the open knowledge movement with design, the Access to Knowledge team at the Centre for Internet and Society co-organised the Wikigraphists Bootcamp India 2018 with the Wikimedia Foundation during September 28-30, 2018 in New Delhi. Saumyaa Naidu in a report has shared the learningsfrom the panel discussion aimed at exploring the potential collaborations between design and the open knowledge movement.
  • Karan Saini, Pranesh Prakash and Elonnai Hickok co-authored a policy brief titled Improving the Processes for Disclosing Security Vulnerabilities to Government Entities in India. The policy brief has recommended changes pertaining to current legislation, policy and practice to the Government of India regarding external vulnerability reporting and disclosure.
  • Arindrajit Basu, Elonnai Hickok and Aditya Singh Chawla co-authored a White Paper titled 'The Localisation Gambit'. The paper was edited by Pranav M.B., Vipul Kharbanda and Amber Sinha. Anjanaa Aravindan provided research assistance. Government of India has drafted multiple policy instruments which dictate that certain types of data must be stored in servers located physically within the territory of India. The White Paper serves as a resource for stakeholders attempting to intervene in this debate and arrive at a workable solution where the objectives of data localisation are met through measures that have the least negative impact on India’s economic, political, and legal interests.
  • The Technology Law Forum at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) has published the Report on Data Privacy and Citizen's Rights' Symposium.This report is a compilation of all the speakers' speeches during the panel discussion. Shweta Mohandas was one of the eight speakers at the panel and the excerpts from her presentation has also been covered in this report.
  • CIS in its r@w blog featured an essay titled 'Users and the Internet' by Purbasha Auddy, part of a series on Studying Internet in India (2015); and audio recording of a session titled #SelfiesFromtheField which was part of the Internet Researchers Conference, 2017.


CIS is hiring:

CIS and the News

The following news pieces were authored by CIS and published on its website in January:

CIS in the News

CIS was quoted in these news articles published elsewhere:

Access to Knowledge

Our Access to Knowledge programme currently consists of two projects. The Pervasive Technologies project, conducted under a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), aims to conduct research on the complex interplay between low-cost pervasive technologies and intellectual property, in order to encourage the proliferation and development of such technologies as a social good. The Wikipedia project, which is 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.

Copyright and Patent

Access to Knowledge is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape. We prepared the India report for the Consumers International IP Watchlist, made submission to the HRD Ministry on WIPO Broadcast Treaty, questioned the demonisation of pirates, and advocated against laws (such as PUPFIP Bill) that privatize public funded knowledge.



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).

Blog Entries

Event Organized

  • Wikimedia Summit India 2019 (Organized by CIS-A2K; New Delhi; March 16 - 17, 2019). CIS-A2K team organized a two-day Wikimedia Summit event for the participants taking part in the Wikimedia Summit in Berlin.


Our work in the Openness programme focuses on open data, especially open government data, open access, open education resources, open knowledge in Indic languages, open media, and open technologies and standards - hardware and software. We approach openness as a cross-cutting principle for knowledge production and distribution, and not as a thing-in-itself.

Event 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 IDRC) is on surveillance and freedom of expression (SAFEGUARDS). The second one (under a grant from MacArthur Foundation) is on restrictions that the Indian government has placed on freedom of expression online.

Cyber Security

Research Paper


Research Paper

Participation in Events

Free Speech and Expression


Participation in Event

Artificial Intelligence, ICT and IoT

Participation in Events

Researchers at Work (RAW)

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

Blog Entries

Participation in Event

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 disabilities, 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.

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► 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.
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