Vol 3 Issue 6 | June 2014
 
 
 Mobile is the Change Agent!
Letter From the Editor
The transformation in the information and communication technology for development space has seen manifold changes in the past few years. The country is making constant efforts to capitalise on ICTs to improve and scale up service and governance indicators. A significant transition has happened in big cities with widening avenues for access, services, opportunities, skills, and livelihood and so on. However, rural India is still struggling with connectivity and access apart from other digital exclusion limitations.
 
At Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), there has been constant effort to work towards digital inclusion, to reach out to the unserved and underserved groups and communities who are still deprived of basic ICT gains and advantages. Through these steps DEF works towards bridging the gap between technologically advanced and technologically backward communities.
 
Apart from firm belief in power of ICT tools and platforms like the web, we at DEF, equally believe in the transformative power of the mobile and look at it as the change maker in terms of fulfilling information, service and communication gaps. With being affordable, accessible and transportable, mobile phone is really the 'device of the century'. This month two of our mobile related projects are due to kick off. Through the project 'Mobile for Social and Behavioural Change' (MSBC), in partnership with UNICEF in India, we are holding one state consultation with all the key participants in the area of health and education covering beneficiary groups like women, children and service providers in Bhopal. In another mobile based project, the 'Mobile for Good' Awards, where Vodafone Foundation has collaborated with Digital Empowerment Foundation as implementation partner, we are due to hold two road shows this month in Kolkatta and Guwahati respectively to mobilize potential innovators in mobile usage of development and empowerment to participate in the nomination and award process, which is due to start this month.
 
In order to take technology to rural India, Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC), DEF's rural centre based programme, conducted a workshop in collaboration with Rural Housing Knowledge Network (RHKN), IIT Delhi, to facilitate rural communities to build sustainable houses and follow sustainable practices in housing. RHKN is a project of IIT, Delhi under which durable and sturdy houses are constructed at a low cost. The course will now be included as a module across DEF's 55 rural CIRC centers. The workshop conducted was for all CIRC trainers to learn more about the module so that they can impart the knowledge to the people in their community locations.
 
Last month in May, DEF along with UNESCO in India selected six fellows from Shahjahanabad, Old Delhi, for a fellowship programme. This is a first of a kind, six-month e-Heritage fellowship program, which will commence from mid-June 2014. The fellowship aims at empowering youth from Shahjahanabad to work towards protecting their heritage by using ICT tools.
 
In May, 2014, two projects were rolled out in Tura in West Garo Hills of Meghalaya, to facilitate the communities living in the hilly region with access and livelihood programmes. DEF has strengthened its Wireless for Communities (W4C) programme in Tura. The existing Tura Internet Services Centre (TISC) now provides high-speed Internet service to the people of Tura through wireless Internet service. Further, ten women entrepreneurs were selected from different backgrounds from self-help group, weaving community and cluster base activity to provide livelihood training and skills to start ICT based micro enterprise activities.
 
Through these projects DEF seeks to contribute to achieve the larger goal of a digitally connected India.
 
While waiting to see the baseline outcomes across 5 districts, Soochna Seva team is all set for its next target of identifying the Hub Offices 'Soochna Seva Kendra' in 5 districts. Soochna Seva team is on-ground to set-up 5 Soochna Seva Kendras in Angara (Ranchi), Guna (M.P.), Bettiah (West Champaran), Barmer (Rajasthan) and Chamba (Tehri Garhwal) respectively. Soochna Seva Kendras will also have call center services to reach the beneficiaries. Read more
Recent Activities
 
Building homes with Technology - Rural Housing Knowledge Network (RHKN)
DEF's Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC) has now added another project - Rural Housing Knowledge Network (RHKN) to facilitate the communities in sustainable housing. RHKN is a project of IIT, Delhi under which durable and sturdy houses are constructed at a low cost. Since Panchayats play a very important role in decision making in the villages, they were also included in this project. To initiate this project DEF & IIT, Delhi organized a 2 day workshop in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh on 14th & 15th May, 2014. Out of 55 CIRCs running in 22 states, 20 representatives from 10 states participated in this workshop. Read more
Empowering fellows from Shahjahanabad
Starting mid-June, DEF along with UNESCO will be commencing with its first of a kind, six month e-Heritage fellowship program. Six fellows - Mohammad Arif, Jawwad Iqbal, Namra Naaz, Ihrah, Masood Saeed and Taruha from Shahjahanabad have been selected. They will be trained in web building tools, mobile application tools, IT literacy modules on preserving Indian Heritage. Along with this they will also be introduced to a separate module on how to digitize books. This fellowship aims to introduce various digital tools to the fellows and give them hands-on -experience on content gathering and populating it for wider audience. Read more
Making women Independent Entrepreneurs in Tura - W2E2
The much awaited W2E2 programme has now kicked off in Tura with ten women entrepreneurs. It was a first of its kind programme in Tura, West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya in North East India. The programme aims at increasing capacity and skillsets among women entrepreneurs to increase productivity in their field. Ten women entrepreneurs were selected from different backgrounds through a three tier process. Entrepreneurs are from self-help group, weaving community.Read more
Felicitation Ceremony - Kanpur Public Library
District Public Library, Kanpur organized a certification ceremony for their library staff and students of IT literacy as a part of series of programme organized under the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) supported Public Library Development Programme in Kanpur Public Library, implemented by DEF. These certificates were given to the library staff who successfully completed a digital course 'Intel Easy Step' and winners of the 'Digital Painting Workshop', which was held on 26th January 2014 in the library premise. The certification programme was organized in the presence of representatives from District Inspector of Schools (DIOS), Kanpur Nagar District; librarian of public library and DEF. Read more
Mobile for Good (M4G) Award launch
After 3 years of conducting the Mobile for Good (M4G) Award under the framework of the mBillionth Award founded by Digital Empowerment Foundation, this year Vodafone Foundation is pleased to present Mobile for Good Award 2014 as a standalone award with DEF as their implementation partner. Since its inception, M4G in India has identified and supported grant fund to 13 projects undertaken by the NGOs and not-for-profit organisations to address the developmental needs of the community in various categories like health, education, governance and business inclusion spanning across the length and breadth of the country. Read more
5th mBillionth Award 2014 all set to roll
The 5th mBillionth Award South Asia 2014 Grand Jury was successfully held on 16th & 17th May, 2014 at Dhulikhel Lodge Resort, Kathmandu, Nepal. The Jury marked the final stage of selection of best mobile applications for the 5th edition of the mBillionth Award South Asia. This year mBillionth award has received 282 nominations from across 8 countries in South Asia. Out of this, the Grand Jury panel has selected 90+ finalists and winners who will be awarded and felicitated on July 18th, 2014 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. For registration & Expo- Booking Click Here
Towards a safe and enjoyable career
Keeping in mind that the academic sessions are over and students are at the choice making stage in their career the Kanpur Digital Library organized a career counseling session for students. The session was very interactive and students put forward a number of queries for the organisers. Read more
Tura now has Wireless Network
The Wireless for Communities (W4C) programme has now started in Tura. The Tura Internet Services Centre (TISC) now provides high speed internet service to the people of Tura through wireless internet service. Connectivity and access has been difficult in Tura for years now. Through W4C service, citizens in selected locations in Tura are now connected with high speed Internet through wireless technology. The programme aims to reach the unreached through wireless technology. With the help of W4C people can now have affordable Internet access. Read more
A Collaborative Transformation
From inception to implementation of community developmental projects, all the stakeholders are equally important. Though the role of non-government organisations is to bring positive changes in society but when they play the role of facilitator or enabler, the community takes lead and governmental involvement becomes prominently strong. The story came from the ground of Bettiah, West Champaran, Digital Empowerment Foundation took initiative to transform the Maharaja Harendra Kishore District Public Library with support of Gates. Within few months there was immense progress and development in the library. Looking at the fast paced growth of the library the government took great interest in reforming the library towards community development.Read more
Delhi University student Masot Zingkhai studies Wireless for Communities project in Baran for her dissertation
One of the interns from Digital Empowerment Foundation studied the impact of various ICTs on rural youth in Baran district of Rajasthan. Through her research she found out that there was gender difference in access and use of the ICTs, bearing a direct impact on their future prospects. However, easy accessibility and availability of ICTs has helped in the overall social upliftment of youth in the rural communities of Baran but for more deeper impact and sustained model of growth it is important to address these challenges in future programme planning.Read more
Photo Story of the Month
Yamuna Nagar is a small slum located in Viman Nagar, close to the Pune airport. A DEF team had a chance to visit this slum last fortnight to gather information about the local situation, the people, and their living conditions for a skill and livelihood assessment observation. The reason of the visit was to find good enough reasons to start a digital literacy cum community information resource center (CIRC) in this slum locality, which is to begin in the next few weeks. DEF has 55 CIRCs across the country, mostly in rural areas. The proposed project in this slum area shall be a Not-for-Profit (DEF) and corporate collaboration Zensar Technologies under its CSR responsibility. Read more
MSBC workshop to be held in Bhopal
The rapid growth of mobiles has changed the way in which information, communication, networking, tracking, monitoring, and development are taking place globally. It is strongly perceived that mobile, as a tool for social and behavioural change is an emerging area of importance among stakeholders in communication for development space. The development challenge is how to place mobile tool at the heart of solving key communication related hurdles in areas of education, health, livelihood and environmental disasters. Read more
"Access is my Right"
"Access is my Right" is a short film made by Digital Empowerment Foundation about life in Guna, Madhya Pradesh that is one of the most backward districts in India. Many living in this area suffer from non-availability of information and access to any kind of Media. This film is a story about life in these unconnected areas and how it all changes once wireless networks are established. For Video
 
OSAMA MANZAR COLUMNS
 
ई-गवर्नेंस' जरूरी, क्योंकि मशीनें रिश्वत नहीं माँगती
यूं तो 2014 आम चुनाव कई मायने में याद रखा जाएगा, उऩमें खास है सोशल मीडिया के सहारे सूचना और तकनीक का भरपूर इस्तेमाल। जिसकी वजह से देश के हर कोने में वोटिंग के दिन तक चुनाव और चुनावी मुद्दों की चर्चा होती रही। दरअसल, सूचना और तकनीक,जैसी ताकत को पहली बार 2012 के राष्ट्रपति चुनावों में अमेरिका में महसूस किया गया था जब सोशल मीडिया पर लगातार चुनावी चर्चा होती रही, और अब हमारे देश में हाल ही में हुए चुनावों में भी अपना रंग दिखा चुका है।दरअसल सोशल मीडिया एक ऐसा माध्यम है जो सूचना और तकनीक के कंधे पर सवार होकर जन-जन तक अपनी पैठ बनाता है। Read more
मार्गदर्शन के अभाव में उत्तर-पूर्वी राज्यों के युवाओं का पलायन
हमारे देश में कहीं एक और दूसरा देश बसता है, जिसमें चीनी संस्कृति की झलक, भारतीयता से लबरेज, बदला-बदला सा खानपान का अहसास कराता है। कुदरती खूबसूरती के बीच नदी में लिपटा दुनिया का सबसे लंबा द्वीप, पहाड़ियों पर सर्पीले रास्ते, दुनिया का सबसे नम स्थान, चाय के बाग इसमें और चार चांद लगा देते हैं। यही है "सेवन सिस्टर्स यानी नॉर्थ इस्ट की पहचान। लेकिन, यहां के हालात को देखकर हमें बरबस आचार्य विनोबा भावे की याद ताजा हो जाती है। एक बार उन्होंने नॉर्थ ईस्ट के लोगों के लिए कहा था-"अंग्रेजों ने जो आजादी दी, वह उनके पॉकेट में ही रही।"Read more
ई-हेरिटेज बतायेगा ऐतिहासिक धरोहरों का इतिहास
हालांकि, संरक्षण को लेकर पहले भी भारतीय पुरातत्व सर्वेक्षण (एएसआई) कई बार अनेकों जुगत कर चुका है। इनमें से एक था अक्टूबर 2013 में भारतीय पुरातत्व सर्वेक्षण (एएसआई) और गूगल इंडिया के बीच करार। जिसके अंतर्गत ऐतिहासिक स्थलों की 360 डिग्री नजारा दिखाने वाली 'स्ट्रीट व्यू ट्रेकर' जैसी लोकप्रिय तकनीक का इस्तेमाल कर 'डिजिटल पर्यटन' की शुरुआत की थी। जिसमें यूनेस्को विश्व धरोहर में शामिल ताजमहल, कुतुब मीनार और लालकिला जैसी धरोहरों को मिलाकर कुल 30 मुख्य स्थलों की जानकारी मुहैया कराई गई थी। इसके बावजूद विश्व धरोहरों में से कई भारतीय धरोहरें ऐसी भी हैं, जिनके बारे में आज भी आम लोगों के बीच ज्यादा जागरूकता नहीं है।Read more
Bridging connectivity gaps for better health services
If you have no electricity, you can survive despite inconvenience; if you have no pucca house, you still survive on thatched shelters; if you have bad roads, you can still communicate on the patched roads. But if you don't have sound health, you simply lose your life. That's what happens in villages of India. The fundamentals of the belief and practice of the principal secretary of health in Madhya Pradesh government are pretty clear on this. Pravir Krishn, the Indian Administrative Service officer, lives every day to bring down the infant and maternal mortality rate down in his state.Read more
Taking minorities on board
The stake is huge as continued exclusion of minority population from the knowledge mainstream could further aggravate social and economic divide and result in social imbalances. This way, the democratic process will be continued to be denied of a well-informed, aware citizenry in the minority citizens. An inclusive democracy is one that not only claims to take minorities into political confidence and gains their trust, but is also perceived to innovate and implement plans that are realistic and sustainable. Read more
The connected world of Jhamtse Gatsal
A file photo of computer users. Jhamtse Gatsal has an integrated digital lab for the community as a cultural and basic necessity. Lumla is a small village in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Bhutan and Tibet. It takes about an hour to reach Lumla from Tawang, the district headquarter. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is the only wireless service provider in Lumla. There's no data connectivity unless you install a satellite (VSAT) dish. In Tawang town, however, BSNL offers both voice and broadband services, while Bharti Airtel offers just voice.Read more
eNGO WORKSHOPS
 
eNGO workshop in Kolkatta
eNGO International workshop for grassroots non-profit organizations was successfully held in collaboration with state partner Sukalyan Welfare Society (Kolkata) in Kolkata on 3rd May, 2014 at Seva Kendra Calcutta Training Center. People from the non-profit organizations, Government officers and Local Officials participated in the workshop. The chief Guest for this workshop was Mr. Ashok Kr. Roy, (Asst. Project Officer, and Central Social Welfare Board) 70 Non-profit Organizations attended the workshop and have applied for the .orgwebsites. They will all now be online through eNGO programme. Out of the participants 6 NGOs. Read more
eNGO workshop in Pakistan- Empowering NGOs in Pakistan
Byte for All (B4A), Pakistan is a human rights organization and a research think tank which focuses on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). It experiments with and organizes debate on the relevance of ICTs for sustainable development and strengthening human rights movements in the country. To deliver above-mentioned KRAs, B4A conducts research for evidence-based policy advocacy and capacity building of human rights defenders on their digital security, online safety & privacy. Read more
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/mbillionth
Smartphones that are low on price, high on performance
Not too long ago, purchasing a smartphone that turned in a decent performance necessitated making your purse lighter by a figure well in excess of Rs.10,000. It is not that there were no devices available for lower prices, but these came with significant compromises on performance, courtesy inferior software and hardware. Read more
 
Apple's 12 best iOS 8 features and upgrades
If you thought iOS 7 was big, wait until you see all the new features in the next version of Apple's mobile operating system. iOS 8 will be available to everyone this fall as an update on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. What we've collected here are the biggest new features shown at Monday's WWDC keynote address. Read more
 
Samsung launches first Tizen phone
Samsung Electronics has launched the world's first smartphone powered by the Tizen operating system. The Samsung Z will go on sale in Russia in the July-to-September quarter. Most Samsung phones currently use the Android platform, but the South Korean firm has been working with chipmaker Intel to develop Tizen. Read more
 
Twitter abandons one of humanity's most widely used fonts
The next time you visit Twitter.com things may look a little different, now that the site is rolling out a new font. After years of using Helvetica Neue, it's switching to the Gotham typeface. Already, design and typography fans are expressing dismay at the switch, although if you're still reading Tweets mostly through apps, it could be a while before you notice any difference at all. Read more
 
Next Internet Explorer to Bring Web Audio, Media Capture, HTTP/2 and More
Microsoft on Wednesday announced that the next version of Internet Explorer will come with at least these four new features: Web Audio, Media Capture, ES6 Promises, and HTTP/2. The technology major states that the list of new features. Read more
 
App shows how coffee consumption could affect your sleep
you are a coffee addict, UP Coffee is an iPhone app that lets you add and track your caffeine intake throughout the day and over time. It also provides further information about its effects on your body and sleep times. In her review of websites and apps, Click's Kate Russell looks at apps tracking coffee consumptionl. Read more
 
Should consumers care about smartphone specs any more?
Don't get me wrong—I am all for innovation, useful and meaningful. Let there be a steady stream of faster processors, better (and perhaps bigger) displays, higher resolutions and more and more megapixels in the camera on the back of your. Read more
 
Smart seconds - An impressive Windows 8 tablet, and Samsung's crack at another smartwatch
First-generation products are usually not the most practical buys. We take a look at two second instalments, the latest Windows 8 tablet from HP and the Samsung Gear smartwatch, to find out how far they have evolved since their debut. Read more
 
Twitter-Owned Crashlytics Unveils Beta Testing Tool for App Developers
MCrashlytics announced the transition out of beta on the company blog Thursday. Between Crashlytics, which lets developers test and hone their apps, and Twitter's MoPub, which helps developers monetize them, the company is making a pretty serious run at mobile developers. . Read more
 
KPCB Internet trends 2014
Global Smartphone Quarterly Unit Shipments & Smartphone Users as % of Mobile Phone Users, 2009 – 2013 35 42 43 54 55 64 83 102 104 113 134 170 159 172 203 244 233 266 291 315 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 0 100 200 300 400 GlobalSmartphoneUsersas%ofMobile PhoneUsersRead more
 
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
India: National Anti-Corruption Referral
In the course of UNODC's ongoing work on probity in public procurement and corporate integrity, stakeholders from the above sectors identified a significant information gap regarding "where" and "whom to" report a corrupt act. Both citizens and professionals felt it was difficult to identify the relevant contact person in a government department. Read more
 
Google Invests in Satellites to Spread Internet Access
Google plans to spend $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions of the world. Associated Press Google Inc. GOOGL -1.74% plans to spend more than $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions of the globe, people familiar with the project said Read more
 
YouTube set to be restored in Turkey
Access to video-sharing site YouTube looks set to be restored in Turkey after a ruling by the nation's highest court. A block was imposed in late March, soon after recordings alleging official corruption were aired on the site. Now Turkey's constitutional court has said the block violated laws.Read more
 
Information famine at the centre of the infosphere
WE LIVE in revolutionary times. Information moves around the world at the speed of light and is duplicated endlessly, available to anyone with a connection. "For good and ill," writes Charles Seife in Virtual Unreality, "digital information is now the most contagious thing on the planet.But the history of information is the history of misinformation too. Seife, a journalism professor at New York University Read more
 
This short documentary chronicles a remote Peruvian village¹s four-year struggle to get Internet access.
This Op-Doc video chronicles the four-year struggle to get a remote Peruvian village connected with the outside world. I began filming the project in 2009, while making a feature-length documentaryRead more
 
Two FM radio launched in Tihar Jail
wo FM radio channels have been launched in Central Jail Nos. 2 and 3 in Tihar for entertainment of prison inmates. The two radio channels were launched yesterday by Vimlaa Mehra, the director general (Prisons). The radio channels, along with an e-library in the Central Jail No. 2, was launched in collaboration with the Care Today Foundation for entertainment of prison inmates. Read more
 
India's mobile broadband users to grow 4 times by 2020 to reach 500 million subscribers, says Ericsson
Ericsson estimates that India's mobile subscriber base will grow from 795 million in 2013 to 1145 million subscribers by 2020. Simultaneously, smartphone penetration will grow from 10 percent or 90 million devices in 2013 to 45 percent. Read more
 
We Will Be Known For The Broadband Highway'
His plate is quite as full as that of his predecessor. Soon after assuming office, Ravi Shankar Prasad, India's new minister for communications and information technology who is also the minister for law and justice said: "The Atal Behari Vajpayee government is remembered for the National Highways project. Read more
 
The missing element
The US government has had one since 2002, though an appointee took on the Chief Information Officer (CIO) title only in 2009. The UK has one, Australia had one till a few weeks ago and even New Zealand has one. In an era when getting technology right is key for getting governance right, especially in a country the size and with the population of India and with a massive Digital Divide 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.
DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION
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