October 2016 Newsletter

by Prasad Krishna last modified Feb 06, 2017 12:52 PM
Welcome to the October 2016 newsletter of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS).

Dear readers,

We are pleased to bring you the Centre for Internet & Society's October newsletter. The month of October was fervent for CIS as can be gauged from the number of outputs in various publications and our overall presence in the media. A research paper co-authored by Prof. Arunachalam has shed light on the contribution of Indian researchers in open access journals which has been considerably higher as against contributions from rest of the world.

Vipul Kharbanda and Elonnai Hickok in continuance of their research on mutual legal assistance treaties, examined a new approach to international bilateral cooperation being suggested in the United States, by creating a mechanism for certain foreign governments to directly approach the data controllers.

CIS also published the impact report form for receiving the Annual Plan Grant from Wikimedia Foundation.

Previous issues of the newsletters can be accessed here.

  • In a research paper jointly authored by Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam and Muthu Madhan, published in the National Medical Journal of India and on the eprints@IISc repository, Prof. Arunachalam and Muthu Madhan have stated that ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID, makes research more discoverable. It helps ensure that one’s grants, publications and outputs are correctly attributed. It helps the research community not just in aggregating publications, but in every stage of research, viz. publishing, reviewing, profiling, metrics, accessing and archiving.
  • In a research paper jointly authored by Muthu Madhan, Siva Shankar Kimidi, Subbiah Gunasekharan, and Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam published in the Indian Institute of Science Repository, the authors have raised the financial and ethical issue of paying for getting papers published in professional journals. The paper has thrown light on the fact that Indian researchers have published more than 37,000 papers in over 880 open access journals from 61 countries in the five years 2010-14 as seen from Science Citation Index Expanded. This accounts for about 14.4% of India’s overall publication output, considerably higher than the 11.6% from the world.

CIS in the news:

CIS members wrote the following articles


CIS is presently seeking applications for the following positions

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.

►NVDA and eSpeak

Our project with the Hans Foundation got over this month. Archives of the reports can be accessed on this page.

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.

►Pervasive Technologies

Participation in Events

  • Workshop on Competition Law and Policy (Co-organized by National School of Law India University and the Delegation of European Union to India; New Delhi; October 19 - 21, 2016). Anubha Sinha and Rohini Lakshané participated and made presentations.


      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


      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.
      Journal Articles

      Participation in Events

        OpenData Week in Madrid - OD4D Summit, Open Data Charter Meetings, and IODC16. Sumandro Chattopadhyay took part in three open data events in Madrid in the first week of October 2016:
        • OD4D Summit (Organized by IDRC; October 3, 2016).
        • Open Data Charter Meeting (Organized by Open Data Charter Lead Stewards; October 5, 2016).
        • 4th International Open Data Conference (IODC 16) (Organized by red.es, IDRC, the World Bank and Open Data; October 6-7, 2016).

          Blog Entries

          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.


          Participation in Events

          Blog Entries

          ►Big Data

          Event Organized

          Upcoming Event

          ►Cyber Security

          Participation in Event

          • National Cyber Defence Summit 2016 (Organized by National Cyber Safety and Security Standards in association with State & Central Governments, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, AICTE & Anna University; Chennai; September 30 and October 1, 2016). Vanya Rakesh attended the event.
          • Hakon 2016 (Organized by by Ninja Information Security Systems; Indore; September 30 - October 2, 2016). Udbhav Tiwari attended the conference.

          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 Events

          Researchers at Work
          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:

          Event Organized

          • CISxScholars Delhi - William F. Stafford (CIS, New Delhi; November 3, 2016). William F. Stafford, PhD candidate in UC Berkeley, made a presentation on "Public Measurements, Private Measurements, and the Convergence of Units.
          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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          ► Support Us

          Please help us defend consumer and 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.
            ASPI-CIS Partnership


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