Vol 3 Issue 3 | March 2014
 
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Letter from Editor
Inclusive growth is a fundamental prerequisite for a developing country like India. We at Digital Empowerment Foundation believe that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can play a very important role in helping us attain this goal.
 
We are happy to announce that our eNGO programme is now extending to Nigeria. On 11th March 2014, Digital Empowerment Foundation is going to organize an eNGO Workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. The Chief Guest of the event will be Mr. Amitabh Singhal, Board Member of Public Interest Registry. Programos Foundation will locally partner the workshop. At present, there are over 45,000 NGOs in Nigeria out of which majority of them do not have a proper webpage or ICT support. 105 NGOs have already registered to participate in the workshop. Under the same programme, we also conducted a one-day workshop in Imphal, Manipur, on 4th March 2014. The workshop aimed at empowering grassroots and community organization through Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and was a first of its kind in the area.
 
In effort to empower the backward sections of minorities, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) and Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India launched 'The Minority Cyber Gram Yojana' in Chandauli, (Alwar district), Rajasthan on 19th February 2014. Chandauli with 95 percent minority population is the first village, which will benefit itself under the program. The Minster for Minority Affairs, Mr K. Rahman Khan inaugurated the country's first Minority Cyber Village.
 
To help the remotest areas of the country connect with the rest of the world, we launched 3 CIRCs in Alwar district last month. The CIRCs are located in Chandauli, Mungaska and Vijayamandir. These centers are supported with proper tools to act as information and communication hub and serve the basic necessities of local communities. Their primary focus is on livelihood generation, education, health, and rural development. In addition to this, our CIRC at Mungaska aims to support folk-art, theatre, music, dance and craft of local people through digital tools.
 
Trying to facilitate the people of Bettiah , West Champaran , we inaugurated the District Library Resource Centre (DLRC) at Maharaja Harendra Kishore District Library , in the area on 21 February 2013. The library looks at providing space and opportunities in the field of Information and Communication Technology to the visitors. The newly set up library resource centre is equipped with computer and Internet facilities. Users can now use resource centre for Internet access, printing, scanning, photocopy, download, filling online applications and various other purposes.
 
Last month, Digital Empowerment Foundation got a chance to visit Gudalur, Tamil Nadu to monitor the progress of "Adivasi Tea Leaf Marketing Project", an initiative of team ACCORD and one of the four winners of Vodafone Mobile for Good Award 2013. The project aims to empower Nilgiri Adivasis by implementing a mobile app for processing the orders and ingesting them into the database in a paperless workflow. The project received a grant of INR 1 million under the 'Vodafone Mobile for Good Programme' to take the project to next level for scaling up and implementation. Every year, Digital Empowerment Foundation runs this programme under mbillionth Award South Asia. The version unfolds the story of Gudalur and the remarkable progress that the area has made with the help of ICT tools over the last decade.
 
We at DEF look at mobile as the next, efficient development tool. Since last five years, we reach out, identify, felicitate and mentor best mobile innovations from the 8 South Asian countries through our programme mBillionth Award every year. We would like to bring to attention that we have launched the 5th mBillionth Award South Asia, on 1st March 2014. The nomination will be open from 10th March 2014. We invite all innovators, developers and practitioners within Mobile and telecom domain from all 8 South Asian countries to apply for mBillionth Award 2014.
 
We constantly, try to do our bit to make the country more connected and empower people at the bottom most level of the developmental pyramid.
 
I hope, enjoy reading about our small steps towards a better and more connected India.
 
Recent Activities
 
Minority Cyber Gram launched in Chandauli
Keeping in view the low literacy level amongst the backward sections of the minorities, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) and Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India launched, 'The Minority Cyber Gram' Yojana. The program aims at facilitating villages with minority population and is now in its pilot stage. Chandauli with 95 percent minority population is the first village, which will benefit itself under the program. The total population of the village is 7000. Read more
3 CIRCs launched in Alwar district, Rajasthan
Access to information and technology is a big challenge in community empowerment & inclusive development. On February 19, 2014, Digital Empowerment Foundation launched CIRCs in Chandoli, Mungaska and Vijayamandir in Rajasthan. The centers act as information, communication hub dealing with products and services in this regard, serving the needs of the local communities in education, health, livelihood, public service etc. Read more
eNGO Workshop to be held in NIGERIA
On 11th March 2014 Digital Empowerment Foundation is going to organize an eNGO Workshop in Nigeria. Located in West Africa, Nigeria's economy is the second largest in Africa, and the 37th largest in the world. Nigeria is considered to be an emerging market. In African countries including Nigeria, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), representing the development/social sector, have emerged as the most important pillars. Read more
Applications open for 5th mBillionth Award South Asia 2014
The 5th mBillionth Award, South Asia 2014 was launched on 1st March 2014. The nomination will be open from 10th March 2014. We invite all innovators, developers and practitioners within Mobile and telecom domain from all 8 south Asian countries to apply for mBillionth Award 2014. Read more
DEF-British Council partnership to bring English in hinterland
DEF and British Council have partnered to improve the teaching of English in village level schools. British Council has developed a 'Language Skills for Employability' programme, which aims to provide learners with employment in entry-level occupations. There are four modules, with a total of 64 lessons. Each lesson is 30-35 minutes induration. Assessment is also done online. Every chapter in the module is based on a story format. Read more
In Gudalur: 10% Adivasis showcase developmental revolution
On 22nd February 2014, members of DEF team visited the tribal areas of Gudalur. The team met workers who are the true beneficiaries of mobile practices for social empowerment in the area. The team also learnt how the new mobile based technology – 'open data kit' has changed their life. The tribals from the area are primarily indulged in farming of coffee, black pepper, bananas and other wild crops. Further, the team visited the area centre. Read more
West Champaran District Library Resource Centre formally Inaugurated
To provide new space and opportunities in the field of Information Communication Technology (ICT) services, for visitors in district public library, Betttiah in West Champaran, the District Library Resource Centre (DLRC) was inaugurated at Maharaja Harendra Kishore District Library on 21 February 2013. The newly set up library resource centre is equipped with computer facilities and Internet access. Users can now use resource centre facilities. Read more
eNGO Workshop conducted in Imphal , Manipur
A one-day workshop was conducted in Imphal, Manipur, on 4th March 2014, under the National 'eNGO / eINSTITUTION' programme. The workshop aimed at empowering grassroots and community organization through Information Communication and Technology (ICT). The programme was an initiative of Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi in partnership with National Internet Exchange of India and Public Interest Registry. The programme was hosted by SEDA. Read more
CIRCs Mungaska: Digitizing Cultural Heritage in Rajasthan
On February 23, 2014 Digital Empowerment Foundation established a Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC) in Mungaska. Bhapang artist community dominates the region. Bhapang is a single stringed percussion instrument also known as 'talking drum'. The artist communities in Mungaska have been performing this art from ancient times and have become an eternal part of Rajasthani culture. Read more
Matrimonial website dedicated to adopted children
The 'Need of the Hour' is to establish a platform for adopted children and their parents to find a match for their children. The site will provide a permanent platform for 'Matrimonial Alliance' of their adopted children, especially the daughters! The USP of this website is, to not only create platform for the adopted ones, but to encourage socially committed younger generation to come forward and accept matrimonial alliance with adopted children. Read more
ICTs Can Empower Women at Work: Selected Cases Of Women As Change Agents
A majority of Indian population lives in villages. A large number of women live in and operate from rural India, where disparity amongst men and women is intrinsic. Due to deep–seated patriarchy in the society, women have always been under- presented in the country and have not been able to avail as many opportunities as men. In the recent past Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has come to the rescue of many women worldwide. Read more
सूचना-संपन्न समाज निर्माण के लिए शैक्षिक-तकनीक पर तवज्जो जरूरी
ये बात सच है कि आज का समाज सूचना का समाज है। सूचना तकनीक ही एक ऐसाक्षेत्र है जिसमें भारत दुनिया के अग्रणी देशों के साथ क़दम से क़दम मिलाकर आगे बढ़ रहा है। आज भारत में करीब पांच करोड़ लोग ऑनलाइन हैं और और करीब सात करोड़ लोग किसी न किसी रूप में सर्च इंजन का इस्तेमाल करते हैं, जिसमें शिक्षक, छात्र औऱ समाजसेवी समेत समाज का लगभग हर वर्ग शामिल हैं। इसके बावजूद हम इस बात से भी इंकार नहीं कर सकते कि भारत को अभी तकनीक और सूचना क्रांति के क्षेत्र में पूरी सफलता के लिए लंबी दूरी तय करनी हैं। Read more
 
OSAMA MANZAR'S COLUMN
 
आईटी के क्रांति युग में अंग्रेजी बन सकती है सफलता की सीढ़ी
दुनिया भर में सूचना क्रांति को नई दिशा देने में भारत का जो योगदान रहा है उसे देखते हुए दुनिया के लोगों में ये सोच बन गई है कि भारत के ज्यादातर शिक्षित युवा आईटी के क्षेत्र में अच्छा-खासा ज्ञान रखते होंगे। हालांकि इसके पीछे सच्चाई कुछ और ही है।दरअसल सूचना प्रौद्योगिकी में भारत की बड़ी कामयाबी के पीछे भारतीय नौजवानों के एक बहुत छोटे हिस्से का ही रोल है, जिन्होंने किसी कॉन्वेंट या मिशनरी स्कूल में तालीम हासिल की है। आर्थिक दृष्टि से ये नौजवान अपेक्षाकृत बेहतर परिवारों से आते हैं और मझौले या बड़े शहरों में रहते हैं।Read more
CMN: ALT Media Analysis
 
The Agenda for Inclusive Society
While, alternative media primarily covered stories around political and social issues, the story on BJP trying to gain minority votes and speculations on Third Front formation in Indian politics got broad coverage in the mainstream media. Below is a detailed analysis of various alternative, social and mainstream media coverage in the South Asian region in the last three days. Read more
A Can-do Resolution
The powerful platform of Internet has created a virtual world that encompasses every aspect of communication: visual, audio, and interaction. In the process, the world has witnessed various occasions of rapid mobilisation facilitated by the use of social media. The medium is capable of bringing thousands of people on the streets in a very short period of time. Content on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can be uploaded by a common man. Read more
Ignorance or Innocence?
The mainstream media has been bustling with political news from all over the country in the past few days. News surrounding resignation of two chief ministers in the past week kept the television and print media thoroughly engaged. Soon after, the focus shifted to the Union budget 2014 along with the usual coverage of the forth-coming elections. Although, most of these news stories correctly got the attention mainstream media gave them but justice was as always denied to many other stories. Read more
PARTNERS' ACTIVITIES
 
17th Hearing of Internet Freedom Case
The 17th hearing of the Bytes for All vs. The Federation of Pakistan, commonly known as the YouTube case, was held at Lahore High Court today, on February 25, 2014. In October 2013, after 16 hearings, this case was referred to a larger bench for further hearings and decision. Today's hearing, held nearly four months after the previous one, was the first before a divisional bench. Read more
APC opens debate on sexual rights, online hate speech
APC is sponsoring a talk on sexual rights and online hate speech and a roundtable session titled "Ending violence against women online: Everyone's responsibility and no one's liability?" Read more
Internet Rights
 
Human Rights and Rule of Law in Internet age
Digital tools have exterminated the Government's attempts to establish monopoly over news and other information media. It largely promotes the need for transparency and accountability in the country. Digital technology connects the citizens to a wide range of resources, which empowers them in the field of education, economic opportunities and healthcare. Read more
Internet Surveillance: Why Transparency Matters?
As activism has become increasingly reliant on social networking, repressive regimes have responded by cutting off internet access. When Hosni Mubarak, a former Egyptian President, leader and military commander, for instance, discovered that protesters were using Facebook to help foment dissent, he ordered the state-controlled ISPs to shut down Egypt's internet for days. Read more
Free flow of Information on the Internet: Issues and Challenges
Digital connectivity is the most powerful driver of social and economic change the world has seen. And, free flow of Information is a core element of the Internet that has underpinned this growth in connectivity, innovation and productivity. Entrepreneurs in developing countries benefit from free flow as they sell their products globally over the Internet, using international financial data transfers to process transactions. Read more
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/mbillionth
Android overtakes Apple in world tablet sales
A study released on Monday by market research firm Gartner found that Android sales surged 127 per cent in 2013 to 121 million units to snag a global market share of 62 per cent. That was up from sales of 53.3 million units and a 45.8-per-cent market share in 2012. Sales of Apple's iPad showed a much slower rate of growth.Read more
 
Airtel Looking To Shift To Content-Based Data Plans
In an attempt to increase data usage in India, India's largest telco Airtel is looking to shift its focus from a data-oriented approach to a more content-based approach, the company's India CEO and Joint managing director Gopal Vittal disclosed . Read more
 
Inflight WiFi set to improve
Wi-Fi in aircraft, hobbled in the past by slow speeds, could soon take off as new technology enables passengers to surf the web as if they were in a coffee shop, internet executives say.More airlines are rolling out new and improved services thanks to satellite technology, industry leaders said at the recent Singapore Airshow, with the public increasingly demanding Wi-Fi on planes. Read more
 
Digital Music in Asia Pacific to Grow to $450 Mn in 2014
India's digital music industry can expect to have strong growth this year. At-least that's what a new report by Mahindra Comviva and Ovum Consulting suggests.The digital music industry in India and other emerging markets in the Asia Pacific region . Read more
 
मेडिकल जांच की रिपोर्ट देगा गूगल का ग्लास ऐप्‍प
गूगल ने अपना नया ग्लास एप्प पेश किया है, जो डायग्नॉस्टिक टेस्ट स्ट्रिप की तस्वीर लेकर डेटा को कंप्यूटर में भेज देगा और कंप्यूटर तुरंत मरीज की डायग्नॉस्टिक रिपोर्ट भी भेज देगा. वैज्ञानिकों का कहना है कि गूगल ग्लास कहीं भी ले जा सकने वाला एक कंप्यूटर डिवाइस है, जो सुविधारहित और दूर दराज वाले स्थानों पर मरीज की जिंदगी बचा सकता है. गूगल ग्लास एप्प 'Read more
 
Micromax Canvas Blaze HD, Canvas Duet II
Micromax Canvas Blaze HD, Canvas Duet II with CDMA and GSM support lMicromax, expanding its Canvas smartphone series, has launched the Canvas Blaze HD and Canvas Duet II. The Canvas Blaze HD is listed on the company's online store at Rs. 16,000, while the Canvas Duet II is also available at Rs. 16,000. .Read more
 
SMS alert service for waitlisted rail passengers
Now you will no longer have to dial 139 or visit the rail website to check the status of your waitlisted ticket as the railways will now send booking status messages to passengers on mobile phones, if the tickets get confirmed before the journey. Read more
 
The warning system operates in two ways
One night the watchman at the Parry Agro tea factory in Valparai, Tamil Nadu, saw a man getting off a bus at the Iyerpadi bus stand and walking downhill towards the workers' quarters located near the factory premises. The watchman knew that a herd of elephants was using the same path to move to a forest patch nearby and it would not be safe for the man to walk down Read more
 
First look: Nokia's new Android smartphone
By design, Nokia's new Android smartphones will underwhelm users of high-end phones. The Nokia X line was created with emerging markets in mind, so the company emphasized keeping prices low, meaning the user interface. Read more
 
Nokia's Android phones: Everything you wanted to ask, answered
It has been raining devices and innovations at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but not too many have captured as much attention as Nokia's first Android phones, the X Series. Rumoured to be in the works for ages, Nokia's Android phones Read more
 
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
App-centric devices are evidently the next wave in gizmos
When Nokia launches an Android phone, you know the world has changed. Wait, Nokia's mobile business is not even Finnish, and we can quite sympathise with nationalists in Helsinki after the company sold its mobile phone unit to Microsoft. For nearly two decades, the world watched in awe as Nokia brought Finland on to the world map like never before, championing sturdy handphones.Read more
 
DRM has a mode for FM which is called DRM Plus
All India Radio (AIR), the radio arm under the public broadcaster Prasar Bharti is gradually moving from analogue to digital signals for clarity and reach. Under the 11th Plan, AIR must install 72 digital transmitters. Of these, eight are currently operational and an additional 27 will become digital soon. Ruxandra Obreja, head of digital radio development at BBC. Read more
 
This Portal Is Not An Indian Wikipedia, But Claims It Is Democratising Data
Did you always long for an India-focused Wikipedia that would provide all relevant information about the country? Well, you are there, almost. A couple of days ago, the Indian government has launched Vikaspedia, a multi-lingual portal that enables access to crucial information across six key areas. Read more
 
India smartphone sales surge almost 3-fold to 44 million in 2013
Smartphone sales in the country grew almost three-fold to over 44 million in 2013, buoyed by a strong uptake of affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn, research firm IDC said today.ne shipments stood at 16.2 million in 2012.Read more
 
Snapdeal forays into services e-commerce with online learning & education category
After pivoting from pure play service-based deal model to pure play online marketplace, Snapdeal has again forayed into services e-commerce space with online learning and education category. At present, the category offers courses like test preparation material, certificate courses, classroom training among others. Read more
 
How Facebook and WhatsApp will target the bottom of the pyramid through Internet.org
Before Mark Zuckerberg's address at the Mobile World Congress, the Facebook-led alliance Internet.org announced that it had tied up with Unilever to give India's rural population Internet access. Mobile phones are spreading like wildfire across the country but only 13 per cent of the population have Internet access in India. Read more
 
Zuckerberg: Facebook's mission is to 'connect the world'
Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, he said a "set of basic services" should be available to all.Facebook is a member of Internet.org, a project launched last year that aims to put billions more people online.One analyst told the BBC that Facebook's plans "can be seen from a completely commercial viewpoint".Mr Zuckerberg said that once Facebook reached a billion users in 2012.Read more
 
BBC World News survey reveals new insights into mobile advertising
BC World News and BBC.com/news have released the results of a global study, the first of its kind, examining the usage of mobile devices by consumers around the world. The study surveyed 6,000 smartphone owners in Australia, Germany, Sweden, India, Hong Kong and the US. Read more
 
Nokia 220 and Asha 230 feature phones unveiled at #MWC2014
Nokia has announced two new budget phones, dubbed Nokia 220 and Nokia Asha 230, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014) in Barcelona. The Finnish giant has announced that the Nokia 220 feature phone will be available in select markets. Read more
 
Will WhatsApp go the Hotmail way?
At $19 billion, Ukraine-born Jan Koum-founded WhatsApp is a much bigger gamble for Facebook than the one that Microsoft took in 1998 when it bought Indian-born Sabeer Bhatia-founded web-based e-mail service Hotmail for $400 miillion. Hotmail was without fanfare folded into Outlook.com by Microsoft in 2012, with an unimpressive 350 million users. Read more
 
 
Stay connected with us
With the motto of 'Inform, Communicate and Empower,' Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) started its journey in the month of December, 2002. Based out of New Delhi and registered as not-for-profit under the "Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, the effort at DEF has been to find sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions and communities. With a non-political approach, it was founded to contribute to an enabling social and economic order in India as well as in developing societies with the need based support of ICT tools and means. With ground work since 2003, DEF has reached over 22 States and 8 countries.
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