Vol 3 Issue 5 | May 2014
Letter From the Editor
Technology is an identified agent, which is bringing constant change in the world everyday. It has vast impact on all aspects of people's life. Technology is being used everywhere from work to entertainment to education and business. As it is becoming more and more embedded in our lives we at Digital Empowerment Foundation are trying to empower more and more people across the country through ICT tools.
Last month Internet Society (ISOC) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) through a project, 'Wireless for Communities' provided connectivity in three locations. Connectivity was provided in remote areas of Tura (Meghalaya), Chandauli (Rajasthan) and School of Democracy (Rajasthan),where connectivity is a major challenge.
Further the Wireless Women for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment (W2E2) progamme was launched in three districts – Chanderi(Madhya Pradesh), Ranchi(Jharkhand) and Tura(Meghalaya). Ten women have from each of these three districts and been provided with basic IT tools to set up their entrepreneurship ventures. The program will focus on their wholesome computer training and a consequent specialization in their desired skill areas.
Under its Soochna Seva Programme , supported by European Union ,Digital Empowerment Foundation has also launched a baseline survey in 5 districts of India. The project aims to address the larger issues of poverty, social exclusion and inequity of marginalised groups through information empowerment on public schemes towards entitlement gains.
This month DEF organized an eNGO workshop in Pakistan. The workshop was organized in partnership with Bytes for all to upscale grassroots NGOs in Pakistan with the help of ICT tools.
We are happy to launch the first edition of the South West Manthan Award in 2014. The award will provide a platform to ICT innovations at a regional level.
In April, Digital Empowerment Foundation participated in Global meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet! The meeting was organized by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) from 11th to 17th April 2014 in Port Dickson, Malaysia. The main objective of this 7-day workshop was to explore and develop a collective dialogue on gender, sexuality and the Internet. As an outcome linkage was established between sexual rights and Internet rights.
Providing a thrust to DEF'S Community Information Resource Centres affiliation has been provided to initial 5 major centres in 4 states by NIECIT for skilling and certification in IT skills for community youths. With this, we shall continue to work towards a digitally inclusive society for all.
Team Soochna Seva is ready to launch a baseline survey in 5 districts of India. The project aims to address the larger issues of poverty, social exclusion and inequity of marginalised groups through information empowerment on public schemes towards entitlement gains. Read more
Recent Activities
Training Towards Planned Housing
Digital Empowerment Foundation is organizing a two-day workshop for all Community Information Resource Centre coordinators on 14th and 15th May 2014 in Orcha, Madhya Pradesh. 20 Participants from 10 States are going to participate in this workshop. The workshop will be conducted in collaboration with Rural Knowledge Housing Network under the project "Grameen Awaas : Sthaniya Sahbhagita se Gunwatta Unnayan" Panchayats are considered to be the key decision makers in determining village and settlement in many areas. Read more
Women Digital Literacy Programme Launched In Tura
Tura is the district headquarters of the West Garo Hills. It is also the second largest town in the state after Shillong. According to 2001 Census, the total population of the district was nearly 5, 10,243. Literacy rate of the district was 51 percent and sex ratio was 969 women per 1000 men. 75.7 percent of Tura population resides in rural areas. The literacy rate in the district as per the Census, 2001 is lower than the state average. Read more
Connecting Digitally: eNGO Workshop held in Pakistan
With the advent of new technology, there is a need to empower NGOs with the latest tools to help them scale up for better outcome. There is no second view on why and how Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools, platforms and devices led by web platform can bring positive transformation in processes, mechanism and delivery capacities of NGOs in contemporary times. With increase in scope of NGOs in Pakistan to intervene and undertake social and developmental responsibilities, there emerges a challenge for NGOs. Read more
Special Edition of Maanthan Award for South West India now Launch
Manthan Award recognizes best practices in the area of e-content and creativity. Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with World Summit Award, Department of Information Technology, Govt. of India and various other stakeholders like civil society members, media and other similar organizations launched the award in India on 10th October 2004.These establishments engaged in promoting digital content inclusiveness in the whole of South Asia for development. The Award has now extended its horizon from Indian states. Read more
mBillionth Award Phase 2 Begins
mBillionth Award is a platform which explores the latent potential of mobile and telecom sector across 8 South Asian countries. It offers a conclusive exchange podium for developers, content creators, telcos & device players, to create a complete ecosystem where mobile can not only be seen as the fourth screen but also as a tool for empowerment, education, business & Infrastructure for the 21st century. Read more
m-Heritage Shahjahanabad: All set to launch
Digital Empowerment Foundation is thrilled to launch its brand new mobile application called 'm-Heritage Shahjahanabad' in May, 2014. The mobile application is designed to give users a unique experience while visiting the 'Walled city of Delhi' – Shahjahanabad. This app will allow users to navigate through the streets, lanes and by-lanes of Shahjahanabad. Using the app one can explore the ancient culture and tradition of the city. Users will be able to upload content, tag and share photographs across various social media platforms. The app can be downloaded on play store under the name 'm-Heritage Shahjahanabad'. Read more
DEF & Google All Set to Encourage Internet Safety In Assam
In order to raise awareness about online safety, Google India initiated a nationwide campaign, 'Good to Know'. The campaign focuses at ensuring that Internet users act as responsible digital citizens. As part of campaign, Google India and DEF have initiated a nationwide programme, 'Digital Literacy, Safety & Security'. It aims at imparting digital literacy in order to ensure user protection and promote ways and means for users to stay safe online. It works towards advocating digital security and privacy needs through 'Digital Literacy. Read more
e-Heritage Fellowship MOU Signed With UNESCO
In 2013, Digital Empowerment Foundation in partnership with UNESCO and IHCN launched the 'e-Heritage Project: Digitally Enhancing India's Heritage'. This programme was intended to encourage and build capacity of the municipal authorities and local communities in documenting and presenting heritage through a digital media (website). Four demo websites were developed: Pune, Shekawati, Old Delhi and Chanderi and launched on the occasion of the IHCN Biennial in Pune. To take the project to the next step. Read more
Shah Wali-ullah Library – Digitizing Heritage texts and manuscripts
In an effort to reach out to local communities, Digital Empowerment Foundation has taken the initiative to save an old library – 'Shah Wali-ullah library' based in Shahjahanabad, Old Delhi. This project will help develop a website for the library, giving it a strong web presence and also help them digitize and catalog data. The e-Heritage team – Sania Farooqui and Rohit Dhall visited 'Panjab Digital Library' in Chandigarh for a day to get explore and understand the methods used in Digitization of books and manuscripts.
A visit to Mewat: Studying the Use of MobilePhones for Healthcare
Every year Digital Empowerment Foundation conducts Mobile for Good Award in collaboration with Vodafone India. Last year ZMQ nominated their project 'MIRA' for the award. The project was selected as one of the four best mobile practices of the year and was offered INR 1 million funds and mentorship support for next two years. DEF's team visited Mewat on two occasions to monitor the progress as well as make a short film on the usage and impact of the application. The first visit was to a village called Tauru. Read more
Wireless Women for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment
Wireless Women for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment program boosts women ICT micro social enterprise and entrepreneurs supported by wireless Internet in 4 backward locations across India. The programme contributes towards an enabling Internet environment and Internet for gender inclusion and women empowerment. The programme aims at promoting Internet based social enterprise and entrepreneurship among women as change makers. The program is supported by 'Wireless for Communities' (W4C). Read more
Sexual Rights, Internet Rights and Feminism
Sexual rights! What are you talking about? Does this kind of right exist in India? I never thought about it before I attended Global Meeting on Gender, Sexuality and Technology. The meeting was organized by Association of Progressive Communications (APC) from 11th to 17th April 2014 in Port Dickson, Malaysia. The main objective of this 7-day workshop was to explore and develop a collective dialogue on gender, sexuality and the Internet. Participants from different backgrounds and diverse experiences, came from countries such as India. Read more
Connecting the unconnected through Wireless
Internet Society (ISOC) and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) initiated a project called, 'Wireless for Communities' in 2010. The project aims to provide a holistic, community-empowered approach to connecting rural communities to the Internet. The motivation for the W4C project by ISOC and DEF is twofold. One is to totally democratize the availability of connectivity and enable access to information at the will of citizens outside urban centres – and remote rural areas in particular; second is to address the lack of content, product and services. Read more
I love to study and play
Like any other 13 year old, Yash likes to study and play. But his interest has now shifted into learning how to use a computer. In this short film, he takes us through a day in his computer classroom and talks about how he enjoys those classes. This short case study is based on the project 'Wireless in Unlicensed Spectrum' an initiative by Digital Empowerment Foundation supported by the Ford Foundation. The project is an advocacy to establish the importance of the provision of Internet "Access" so that even underserved and communities living in rural and remote areas could exercise their "Rights" and access to "Media". For Video
A digital inclusion vision for next government
The period 2014-19 is set to witness a transition in political governance in India's democratic landscape. A new transformation in wider governance areas and intervention, with new ideas, vision and milestones, is discernable. The country's digital landscape for its billion plus population is set to build upon existing strengths and learning over the past decade and more. The indications from political manifestos for the first time reflect the visionary expansion of accepting information technology as a change factor. Read more
तकनीक से बचा सकते हैं धरोहर
किसी भी राष्ट्र का इतिहास, उसके वर्तमान और भविष्य की नींव होता है। जिस देश का इतिहास जितना गौरवमयी होगा, दुनिया के सामने उसका स्थान उतना ही ऊँचा माना जाता है। या यूं कहें कि संस्कृति के आधार पर ही राष्ट्र की उपलब्धियों और तरक्की का आकलन होता है। वैसे तो बीता हुआ कल कभी वापस नहीं आता, लेकिन उस काल में बनीं इमारतें और लिखे गए साहित्य उन्हें हमेशा जिंदा बनाए रखते हैं। लेकिन मौजूदा हालात देखकर ऐसा महसूस होता है कि वक्त रहते ठोस कदम नहीं उठाए गए तो हमारे देश की विरासत अपनी हेरिटेज पहचान के साथ-साथ वजूद भी खो देगा। शहर और इलाके की विरासत भले ही अलग हो सकती है, लेकिन उनके प्रति लोगों की सोच और उसकी वजह से हो रही दुर्दशा की कहानी अलग नहीं है। दुर्द्शा की दास्तां बयान करते हमारे देश के किले, महल गौरवशाली अतीत एवं समृद्ध सांस्कृतिक विरासत हैं, जिन्हें सुरक्षित रखना हमारा फर्ज है।Read more
अब गांव की मिट्टी में भी घुलेंगे अंग्रेजी के 'बोल'
यूं तो अकसर छोटे शहरों और गांवों में अंग्रेजी को लोग नजरंदाज कर देते हैं, जिसकी वजह से वह न शुद्ध अंग्रेजी बोल सकते हैं न वो लिख सकते हैं। आधुनिक भारत में अहम मौकों से महरूम होने की ये भी एक अहम वजह है। आज हमारे समाज में विशेष शैक्षिक संस्थानों तक किसी शख्स की पहुंच को निर्धारित करने और आर्थिक और सामाजिक उन्नति में भी अंग्रेजी भाषा का अहम रोल है। इसके अलावा ऊंचे रसूख वाले सामाजिक-आर्थिक दायरों से जुड़ने का भी यही एक करिश्माई तरीका है। लेकिन मौजूदा हालात देखकर ऐसा महसूस होता है कि वक्त रहते ठोस कदम नहीं उठाए गए तो हमारे देश की विरासत अपनी हेरिटेज पहचान के साथ-साथ वजूद भी खो देगा। Read more
चुनाव के नतीजे जो भी हों जीत तकनीक की ही होगी
सूचना टेक्नॉलॉजी की पहुँच का फायदा उठाने के लिए कट्टरवादी और तानाशाही विचारों के समर्थक भी उसका इस्तेमाल करने से परहेज नहीं करते। जिसकी जिंदा मिसाल हमें 16वीं लोकसभा चुनाव में देखने को मिल रही है। अब वो जमाना लद गया जब चुनाव प्रचार के लिए पोस्टर, पैंम्पलेट और वाल पेंटिंग का सहारा लिया जाता था। Read more
Circ Updates
CIRC Monthly Activities
Muncipal JE will come to CIRC to have meeting with the student. They will discuss about the role that can be played by a JE in progress of City. A personal development workshop will also be held at the Centre this month. Kirti Gupta a postgraduate in tourism and hospitality management will address the workshop. A meeting will be held in Jagannathpura village with the school/collage going students. The agenda behind the meeting is to campaign for CIRC, let them know about CIRC and motivate them to join the Centre. Read more
CIRC Sonapur launched BPP programme
Literacy and level of education are basic indicators of the level of development achieved by a society. Spread of literacy is generally associated with important traits of modern civilization such as modernization, urbanization, industrialization, communication and commerce. Higher levels of education and literacy lead to a greater awareness and also contribute in improvement of economic and social conditions. It acts as a catalyst for social upliftment enhancing the returns on investment made in almost every aspect of development effort. Read more
Digital Vision for Assam
In first of its 2014 consultation series, North East Development Foundation, Open Knowledge Community and Digital Empowerment Foundation together are organising a multi-stakeholder consultation on digital innovations and solutions for citizen services and empowerment. The consultation shall be based on invited applications and innovations, their selections by a panel and final invite for presentation and discussion on August 4, 2014 in Guwahati. The objective is to promote innovations in digital solutions and provide a common ground. Read more
DISHA to setup a Community Radio Station
DISHA is a partner of Digital Empowerment Foundation. It is grassroot NGO based in Bhadrak Block, Bhadrak District, Odisha. The area covers 439 villages, 78 Gram Panchayats and 7 Blocks. DISHA started as a small school for the deprived children. In future they expanded their horizon and started many other programmes. They partnered with Digital Empowerment Foundation to empower women and youth in ICT and tailoring skills. Seeking help from Digital Empowerment Foundation DISHA is now all set to start a community Radio station. The organisation has already been allotted frequency (91.2) for their Community Radio station. Read more
Internet Rights
Need for speed?
A friend recently blogged about the Indian elections and wrote in his post about a tweet from the Aam Admi Party's Somnath Bharti, in frustration as he wasn't able to upload a video of his party workers being beaten up in Amethi, that he would have done so if the broadband would have been better. It struck my friend as funny, at the time, but it struck me as very telling. Amethi could be considered one of India's VIP constituencies, a stronghold of the Gandhi family. Even an offhand comment about the inadequacy of the quality of broadband exposes how far away India really is from not just proving the internet to its people, but providing quality access. Read more
India's public service broadcaster at center of political row
The India media is the subject of the news yet again. This time though, the private news channels — the usual suspects – are only reporting the news. Instead, the latest war of words among politicians has thrown the public service broadcaster, Doordarshan, into the limelight. Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was interviewed by Doordarshan, and it appears that comments he made about a friendship with a senior member of the ruling Indian National Congress were edited out of the final interview. Read more
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/mbillionth
16 Characters From Other Languages That Make Great Emoticons
In the old days we had to make do with primitive sideways grins, frowns, and winks. Now we can draw from a huge stock of full-color, properly-oriented emojis for nearly any concept we might want to express. But where's the fun in that when there's such a big world of old school symbols and scripts to exploit?.Read more
Will the bird get its chirp back next season?
Microblogging site Twitter recently announced its results for the first quarter of 2014. Soon after, its stock took a beating of about 11%, even though its topline grew to more than $250 million compared to a little over $114 million in the year-ago quarter. It also added 3 million active users compared to just 1 million in Q1 of 2013. Read more
After Vodafone, Airtel, Idea to relaunch 3G through ICRA
According to our sources Idea will be the third mobile operator in the country to relaunch 3G data services through intra-circle roaming (ICR). Vodafone had launched their services on Friday and Airtel is launching tomorrow. Customers in Idea's non 3G circles have been receiving text messages about the availability. Read more
Flurry of 4G handsets to hit market
Handset makers are set to flood the Indian market with their 4G devices starting from Rs10,000 and touching up to Rs50,000. So far, only Bharti Airtel offers 4G LTE network and that too in select cities. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio Infocomm which is making its foray in the telecom industry with 4G is expected to launch its services by the end of 2014. Read more
Facebook Messenger 5.0 for Android brings improved sharing and more
Facebook has started rolling out an update for its Facebook Messenger app, which brings the app version 4.0 to version 5.0 for Android users.In the latest v5.0 update for the Facebook Messenger app, the app retains the look and overall design seen in the previous version. However, the update lets users send images, videos and voice messages in an easier manner.Read more
Mesh networks chat apps to the rescue
As popular as chat apps have become, they all suffer from the same flaw - if you board an underground train, head into the wild or find yourself in a situation where the authorities block the mobile networks, you're likely to end up cut off. Now a new technology is promising to keep such "off-the-grid" smartphone owners chatting. It has been hailed as having.Read more
Can Windows Phone challenge Android at cheaper price points?
At a Nokia event last week, many known faces from the company introduced themselves as Microsoft employees. It was, in a way, a clear statement of the fact that the future of the Finnish phone giant was now captive to the plans of its new master from Redmond. This alliance is also a great opportunity for Nokia .Read more
Tablet adoption in Europe on the rise
eMarketer has found that the adoption of tablet computers continues to rise steadily in the EU5, or the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The first three countries in particular are seeing an increase in usage, with the UK leading the pack. According to eMarketer's latest estimates, the EU5 region's tablet user base. Read more
$1,500 Google Glass 'made with just $80 in parts'
Anyone wanting to buy into the future of wearable computing currently faces a steep bill. Buying a Glass device alone will cost $1,500 (£889), and they come without the ability to hold lenses, meaning that those who need a prescription will have to fork out an extra $225 for different frames.Customers . Read more
Audio Journalism for Marginalized Communities in India
Mobile Vaani, a project pioneering audio journalism using mobile phones to record people's voices and collect real life stories about how mining affects people in one of India's poorest states Meaning 'voice of the village', Gram Vaani is an award-winning social technology company that builds innovative technologies to empower poor and marginalized communities to voice Read more
Affordable Moto E might be launched on May 13 in London
Motorola has announced an event in London on May 13. While the invite mentioned a new smartphone, it did not mention any name or details. However it did say that the handset is priced for all, thus hinting towards an affordable smartphone which has to be the Moto E. While Motorola is also said to be working on the Moto X+1, it unlikely to be launched as an affordable phone. According to the rumours. Read more
Sexual rights, internet rights, and feminism!
Sexual rights! What are you talking about? Does this kind of right exist in India? I never thought about it before I attended Global Meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet! The meeting was organized by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) from 11th to 17th April 2014 in Port Dickson, Malaysia. The main objective of this 7-day workshop Read more
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
This year, mobile subscriptions will be nearly equal to global population. India's share: 13%
The number of mobile-cellular subscriptions worldwide is approaching the number of people on earth. Let that sink in for a bit. According to a report from the UN's International Telecommunications Union, the number of mobile number subscriptions will reach 7 billion by the end of 2014 -- equivalent to the population. Read more
एक लड़की ने उठाई गाँव को कम्प्यूटर सिखाने की जिम्मेवारी
कम्प्यूटर एक बार अच्छी तरह से आ जाए तो ग्रामीण बच्चों के लिए नौकरी के कई आयाम आसानी से खुल जाते हैं। हम जो करने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं उससे कोई अचानक इन ग्रामीण छात्रों की दुनिया नहीं बदल जायेगी पर एक बड़े बदलाव की शुरूआत जरूर हो सकती है - अविनाश पाण्डेय Read more
Internet rates may go up as TRAI plans to hike license fees
With politicians boosting their social media presence in the poll season using fake online followers, Facebook has started cracking down on fraudulent accounts showing suspicious high number of 'likes'.Data from the Facebook team show that close to 52,000 pages exist for politicians and political parties in India.Read more
9 साल का हुआ youtube
यूट्यूब के बिना आज आप इंटरनेट की कल्पना भी नहीं कर सकते। लेकिन इसने यह मुकाम सिर्फ 9 साल में हासिल कर लिया है। यूट्यूब का पहला विडियो आज ही के दिन 9 साल पहले अपलोड किया गया था। 'Me at the Zoo' शीर्षक से इस विडियो को यूट्यूब के सह संस्थापक जावेद करीम ने 23 अप्रैल 2005 को अपलोड किया था। अब तक इस विडियो को एक करोड़ चालीस लाखRead more
Is technology making journalism obsolete?
There was a time when only a journalist was trusted to write the news. Now a computer can churn out reports within seconds of an event happening. Is this the death knell for journalism? Find out as NDTV's Rajiv Makhni takes on Twitter's Raheel Khursheed. Read more
The digital divide must be bridged and digital penetration increased
The World Wide Web is 25 years old and it stands at a crossroads. There will be major changes in domain name administration inside the next 18 months. The US, which funds the organisation handling the domain name system, wishes to hand over control to a "multi-stakeholder" body. Read more
फेसबुक के जरिए गुमनाम लॉग-इन करिए
सोशल नेटवर्किंग वेबसाइट फेसबुक ने अपने यूज़र्स के लिए एक फीचर का ऐलान किया है, जिसके तहत यूज़र चाहें तो किसी ऐप पर फेसबुक के जरिए लॉग-इन करते हुए अपनी पहचान न जाहिर करें और अपनी निजी जानकारी शेयर न करें। Read more
India fails to throw weight behind NETmundial
India was among the few governments that did not sign the NETmundial outcome statement. But why does it seem that the world's largest democracy is not putting its weight behind a "bottom-up, open, and participatory" multistakeholder process? In his address to the NETmundial gathering. Read more
Entrepreneurship: A Tool For Social Change
When I was in undergrad, I read an article in the student newspaper that changed the trajectory of my life. The story told of a successful entrepreneur who sold his business and moved with his wife to the Philippines. They bought a large colonial mansion, but not for themselves. .Read more
गाँव वोलों की बातचीत का नया साधन 'व्हॉट्स ऐप'
मैसेंजर ऐप्लीकेशन के इस्तेमाल में ग्रामीण इलाके अब शहरों से पीछे नहीं वाट्सऐप स्मार्ट फोन पर चलने वाली मैसेजिंग सेवा है। टेक्स्ट संदेश के अलावा इसकी सहायता से ऑडियो, फोटो, वीडियो तथा अपनी लोकेशन भी भेजी जा सकती है। वाट्सऐप की लोकप्रियता इतनी ज्यादा बढ़ गई कि आज उसे विश्नभर में करीब 45 करोड़ लोग मासिक तौर पर इस्तेमाल करने लगे हैं। 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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