Vol 3 Issue 7 | July 2014
 
 
 Mobile is hot in Health and Agriculture
Letter From the Editor
Dear Readers,
 
Glad to be connecting with you all once again. The key highlights this month are- Mobile for Social and Behavioural Change, Mobile for Good Awards, mBillionth Award and the launch of e-Uttara. Through many of our projects we bank in Mobile phones as a change maker.
 
With the firm belief in Mobile Phones as a tool to bring forth change, we also conducted 'Mobile for Social and Behavioural Change' (MSBC) consultation, in partnership with UNICEF in India. We held 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 and Chennai. We are looking forward to host two more in Lucknow and Hyderabad over the next two months.
 
Accounting on Mobile phones we are also conducting 'Mobile for Good' Awards, where Vodafone Foundation has collaborated with Digital Empowerment Foundation as implementation partner. Next month we are holding two roadshows in Lucknow and Kochi respectively to mobilize potential innovators in mobile usage of development and empowerment to participate in the nomination and award process.
 
Taking leverage of the affordability and popularity of the medium, mobile phones are now being used as a tool to empower the masses in many developing countries. In order to felicitate efforts being made with respect to mobile phones, DEF successfully hosted the 5th edition of mBillionth Award held on July 18th, 2014 India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.
 
Recently DEF has also launched two regional level awards –Manthan Award South West India and e-Uttara. Both of these awards look at providing a platform to digital innovators at a regional level. Manthan South West Award gala is due to take place on 7th August, 2014 while applications for e-Uttara are ongoing. Keeping in mind the growing usage of social media DEF has also launched Social media Awards 2014 this month.
 
Through these small efforts we are trying to create leaders and torch bearers who can provide support and assistance to people who are living at the bottom most layer of the society and take India toward a well-connected future.
 
It is a strange paradox that despite the multitude of schemes & programmes for the marginalized, there is hardly any improvement in their condition. Even though the plans are in place, nothing seems to trickle down to the targeted beneficiaries. Limited access to information is identified as the root cause of the problem. With an average of 60% of the beneficiaries completely unaware of their entitlements, 'Information poverty' is a wide development and governance challenge. Read more
Recent Activities
 
CIRC- Our torch bearers in hinterland
The CIRC team at Alwar is planning to conduct a Google supported computer workshop training for women by the first week of July 2014. As per the proposed benchmarks, they are approaching beneficiaries and trying to connect them with this programme. The team hopes to bring in a positive change in the community by making such efforts. The CIRC team is also looking forward to invite and speak with a few doctors who can contribute to this noble cause and make this training much more effective. Read more
e-Heritage-Empowering youth
India. The eponym represents an ornate realm, psychedelically hued due to the enormous medley of masses that are living or have prevailed on this land. It is a montage of beliefs, faiths, customs and languages that amalgamate magnificently to forge a majestic kaleidoscope. Abounding in evocative spots and spaces representing the rich heritage, India also has a responsibility to cherish, care and preserve this priceless treasure in every guise and form. With the aim to give these rich spaces a digital presence, in 2013, Digital Empowerment Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO and IHCN. Read more
eNGO workshop at Faizabad and Basti- An insight
Digital Empowerment Foundation (www.defindia.org) & Public Interest Registry (www.pir.org) organized eNgo workshops in Basti and Faizabad. In Basti, the workshop was heldin association with the local partner Yuva Vikas Samiti at Press Club (Basti) on 14th of June, 2014. The main aim behind the workshop was to stimulate NGOs towards using ICT tools. In Faizabad the worshop was held on 16th of June, 2014 under the banner of Prominent Public School Samiti on the topic, "The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), web tools and the promotion of .NGO domain". Read more
euttara- Creating platform for innovators in Uttar Pradesh
The Manthan Award (www.manthanaward.org) recognizes the best practices in the area of digital content, solutions and innovations that seeks to address development challenges. The award was instituted 10 years back under the framework of World Summit on Information Society, and looks at how digital tools and digital media including web based applications impact the masses, especially people living in remote, difficult and underserved areas. Due to the regular increase in nominations the competition was getting very tough for all nominees. Small-scale regional level innovations were suffering and getting overpowered. Read more
It is just about rights
Association for Progressive Communications (APC) conducted a meeting from 1-9 June 2014 at Barcelona, Spain. Hosted by APC member Pangea at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (BarcelonaTech UPC), it was the 12th face-to-face APC member meeting, since it was founded in 1990. This meeting was not only for APC board members or staff, but also its organizational members; and individual affiliates who are strengthening the network and bringing collaborative efforts within their community. About 100 people from across the world representing different cultures and traditions came forward and talked about various issues . Read more
MSBC consultation in Bhopal
A two-day long multi-stakeholder consultation on the topic, 'Mobile Phones: A tool for Social & Behavior Change' was organized by the joint effort of UNICEF India and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) on 17th -18th of June 2014 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The main objectives of the consultation were to explore and understand various mobile-based practices that have been effectively using mobile phones in area of health, education, water and sanitation and women and empowerment; and to create a formidable platform to provide knowledge. Read more
Towards using Social Media for development
Social Media is increasingly seen as positive and transforming discovery for enabling desired social and development changes. In 2013 Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) initiated the "Social Media for Empowerment" Award programme with a firm belief that while making continuous efforts to make India digitally empowered, social media can act as one of the great enabler to make this happen in a more efficient/effective way. Social Media gives voice to what is untold, broadcast what is untouched and integrate common man efforts towards social inclusion. It has the capacity towards bringing desired social and behavioural changes. Read more
mBillionth Award 2014 Press Release
These words, spoken at the Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi at the 5th annual mBillionth awards, presented by Digital Empowerment Foundation exquisitely embody the thump that mobile phones have in our lives. Mobile phones are no longer limited to conversations and messages but have a plethora of apps floating on mobile screens. The mBillionth awards since the last five years has been serving as a dedicated platform to explore the latent potential of mobile & telecom sector across 8 countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Read more
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मोबाइल दिला सकती है आदिवासी सूरों को पहचान
अगर भारत को भाषाओं की धरोहर का खजाना कहा जाए तो कोई अतिश्योक्ति न होगी। विश्व के नक्शे पर शायद भारत ही एक ऐसा देश है जहां हर कोस पर भाषा में अलग रंगत, अलग अंदाज नज़र आता है, उनमें से एक है भाषा गोंडी। 2011 जनगणना में पाया गया कि देश में करीब 30 लाख ऐसे लोग हैं जो गोंडी भाषा बोलते हैं। जबकि गोंडी भाषा पर शोध करने वालों की मानें तो ये संख्या करीब 1 करोड़ तक पहुंच जाती है। दरअसल, गोंडी भाषा मुख्यतः महाराष्ट्र, मध्य-प्रदेश, छत्तीसगढ़, ओडीशा और आंध्र-प्रदेश में बसे आदिवासी लोगों द्वारा बोली जाती है। और ये इलाके पूरी तरह माओवादी क्षेत्र हैं, जहां गोंडी भाषा बोलने वाले रहते हैं। ऐसे हालात में गोंडी क्षेत्रों में जनगणना करना इतना आसान नहीं था। हालांकि, वैसे भी आम तौर पर हर शख्स कम से कम 3 से 4 भाषाएं समझ या बोल सकता है। Read more
मोबाइल पर स्थानीय भाषाओं को बढ़ावा, सशक्तिकरण का कारगर हथियार
1950 में इंटरनेट की शुरुआत हुई तो इंटरनेट की दुनिया में क्रांति आते-आते चार दशकों का वक्त लग गया। मगर जब क्रांति आई तो इसका सकारात्मक असर पूरी दुनिया पर नज़र आया। जिसके चलते संचार के क्षेत्र में भी अप्रत्याशित बदलाव हमें देखने को मिले। एक क्लिक पर आपके हाथ विश्व की जानकारियों, संस्कृतियों का खज़ाना लग गया। इसके उपभोक्ताओं और प्रशसंकों में लगातार इजाफा होता गया और इस फेहरिस्त में एक मेरा भी नाम शामिल है। यूं तो मैं हमेशा से ही इंटरनेट का समर्थक रहा हूं, क्योंकि मुझे यकीन है कि इंटरनेट से लोगों के बीच समानता एहसास कराता है। मैं इसकी वकालत करता हूं कि क्योंकि इंटरनेट से आज विश्व की प्रत्येक भाषा, संस्कृति, भूगौलिक, जाति, धर्म, लिंग व स्वाभाविक मानवीय विविधता शामिल है।Read more
Digitally securing tribal land
Tribals are the true sons of the soil. India has a tribal population of an estimated 100 million. Of them, 40 million—or say 8-10 million families—live in and around forests and other remote areas. This could mean an agricultural area of around 20-40 million acres, if each family has an average of two plots of two to four acres each. In a remote area, a typical village may have 100 families or households with an average of 250-300 acres of agricultural land. The village may also have its common land of 1,000-1,200 acres, which could be part of the forest, but allowed to be used by villagers entitled for minor forest produce.Read more
Broadband push raises hopes
The department of telecom (DoT) is reportedly working on a National Broadband Policy and a Right to Broadband (RTB) to be rolled out in 100 days. The policy aims at high-speed Internet access as a basic right. India already has Right to Information (RTI) and Right to Education (RTE), but no Right to Health. The government reportedly wants to focus on higher broadband penetration as well as convergence of various access and delivery technologies. How timely is this proposed policy focus? India's broadband reach is still below national capacity, touching only 61 million subscribers by the end of March. The National Telecom Policy 2012 has targeted 175 million broadband connections. Read more
Partners activities
 
Vodafone 3rd Annual Mobile Apps 2014
The mobile app market is thriving to great heights. More than hundreds of handsets are capable of installing and running apps and a swerve of big-name app stores are striving to compete. It is expected that the market for mobile applications will be "as big as the internet", peaking at 10 million apps in 2020. The global mobile industry is witnessing volatile growth for last couple of years. Advancement of mobile technology, improved infrastructure and Smartphone revolution have allowed people to perform much more with their mobile phones than ever before. This has resulted in an exponential demand and growth of mobile applications. Read more
CNBC TV-18 extends integrated newsroom with Mint alliance
After a break of three years, the English business news channel from the Network 18 group, CNBC TV-18 has come back with its alliance with the daily business newspaper Mint. Starting 1 April, the two organisations have entered into a 'strategic content alliance' that allows them to share content, analyses and work on joint editorial initiatives. The partnership is for an undecided period, as of now. The editorial teams of the two companies will exchange their ideas and plans on a daily basis and decide on the type of content that they will require of each other. Read more
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/mbillionth
दिल्ली में अब एक फोन घुमाओ और ऑटो मंगाओ
दिल्ली में अब एक ऐसा मोबाइल एप्लीकेशन इस्तेमाल में आ गया है जिसके जरिये आसपास मौजूद ऑटो की ना सिर्फ जानकारी हो सकेगी, बल्कि ड्राइवर को फोन करके बुलाया भी जा सकेगा। उपराज्यपाल नजीब जंग ने इस एप का लोकार्पण किया। हांलाकि दिल्ली में ज्यादातर आटो ड्राइवर ऐसे हैं जो सवारियों को ले जाने से कभी भी मना कर देते हैं और मीटर से भी चलने को तैयार नहीं होते। ऐसे में तमाम लोगों को पूछो नाम से पेश किया गया है। Read more
 
Asus ZenFone 5 review: A good phone at a great price
Taiwanese tech major Asus, which has a sizeable presence in the Indian computer market for years, is now poised to test the waters in the burgeoning Indian smartphone market. Asus has introduced its ZenFone range of smartphones - the ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, and ZenFone 6 - in the Indian market. Read more
 
Mobile display jargon decoded
A few years ago, all that seemed to matter was the size of the display. You were considered a geek if you so much as asked about its resolution. Fast forward to the present day and age and mobile phone display is surrounded by a deluge of terms pertaining to resolutions, pixels, colours, materials, and the Lord of Displays alone knows what else—and each comes with its own accepted wisdom. It can all be a bit overwhelming . Read more
 
Get ready for inflated telephone bills with nationwide mobile number portability
Telecom users may have seen bills drop after switching operators in their own circles.But the government's plan to take mobile number portability (MNP) nationwide – where a user would be able to retain the number while switching from one circle to another-- may lead to inflated bills. Read more
 
Will Facebook's Missed Call Ads Work?
Facebook is going to debut its 'missed call' ads in India, in a bid to connect advertisers with a large untapped market of feature phone users in the country. The feature allows users to press a button to place a call to relevant advertisers and then disconnect it. The user then receives a call back playing a pre-recorded message, detailing offers. Read more
 
Mozilla to sell '$25' Firefox OS smartphones in India
the firm's chief operating officer suggested the handsets, which will be manufactured by two Indian companies, would retail at $25 (£15). They will run Mozilla's HTML5 web-based mobile operating system, Firefox OS. The firm already sells Firefox-powered phones in Europe and Latin America.Read more
 
Unprecedented new powers in surveillance bill, campaigners warn
Official impact assessments on the emergency surveillance bill due to be rushed through parliament this week appear to confirm privacy campaigners' fears that the law contains sweeping new surveillance powers that will affect every man, woman and child in Britain. Two Home Office impact assessments deposited in the House of Commons library late on Friday show. Read more
 
The Evolution of Imagining the Internet
The research initiative was inspired by a suggestion from Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, during a visit to Elon University in 2000. He spoke then with faculty members Janna Quitney Anderson and Dr. Constance Ledoux Book about his idea to gather a collection of early Internet predictions - this idea was inspired by Ithiel de Sola Pool's. Read more
 
 
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
Would it confuse you
Would it confuse you to go on a website called www.young.indians only to find out it belonged to the Reliance group and was not a Government of India website? Would it offend you if a website ending in the suffix .ram talked about a product and not the deity? Would new forms of web addresses serve to confuse you, excite you, or just like phone numbers. Read more
 
We award excellence in IT sector
GTo recognise digital innovations in south and west India, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), Pune chapter has introduced Manthan Awards for southwest India. DEF, which is first time calling for nominations for the awards from 11 states from southwest India, has been organising similar awards in Asia for last 10 years. A city based social entrepreneur. Read more
 
DD Kisan' channel for farmers soon: Govt
The BJP had before the 2014 General Elections declared that if voted to power, it would "explore setting up of regional Kisan TV channels." Earlier, Prasar Bharati had been deliberating whether a single agriculture channel would suffice considering the different languages and requirements in various states. Read more
 
Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)
Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a Delhi-based not-for-profit that seeks sustainable information communication technology solutions for underserved and unreached regions and communities, focuses on districts under the government's Backward Regions Grant Fund list. Wireless for Communities, a DEF initiative, has set up several broadband networks across rural Rajasthan. Read more
 
519 Million Mobile Internet Users By FY18 In India
The drastic drop in handset prices and the proliferation of smartphones in the country is bound to impact the data consumption of the country. A recent research by IDC said, "Smartphone sales in India are expected to reach 80.57 million units by the end of this year." Also the sales would continue to grow at a CAGR of about 40 percent over the next five years. Read more
 
ICT4D 2016: New Priorities for ICT4D Policy, Practice and WSIS in a Post-2015 World
In 2016, the Millennium Development Goals will be replaced by the post-2015 development agenda (PTDA). The foundational content is in place for this new agenda, which will be the single most-important force shaping the future of international development and, hence, the single most-important force shaping the future. Read more
 
Entertainment battle moves to the web
The growth in mobile devices coupled with an improving bandwidth has liberated millions of Indians. This in turn has led to an explosion in online video consumption in one of the world's largest internet markets. From liftmen and security guards to college students - more than 227 million Indians are online. 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
 
 
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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