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Last updateSat, 22 Jul 2017 6am

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Ambivalent internet: Freedoms and fears

The internet is not a gender-neutral space. Women from patriarchal backgrounds especially need to be empowered to negotiate the sexism and misogyny they encounter online


Urban poor marginalised in policy for internet inclusion?

The internet user base in the country is projected to touch 243 million by June 2014, a year-on-year growth of 28%, according to the Internet And Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). It is mobile internet that is responsible for much of this growth. IAMAI predicts that we will have 165 million mobile internet users by March 2015.


‘Design-reality gaps’ in municipal reforms

“E-governance is about using ICTs to improve government processes themselves, making them more efficient, and about transforming the relationship between governments and citizens by enabling more direct interaction and fostering inclusive development”


Digital inequality in the Global South

Studies which focus on information and communication technologies (ICTs)  as tools for new forms of instrumental communication and information processing take a technocratic view of technology, providing a perspective that understands notions such as  ‘efficiency’ or productivity as the essence of technology (Bertot, Jaeger & Grimes, 2010a; Bertot, Jaeger & Grimes, 2010b; Lea, 2004). Generalisations about the imperatives of technology appear prominently in this approach.


Caste concerns in landmark e-governance projects

Many e-governance programmes in developing countries reach into the furthest regions of the rural countryside. These programmes intend to bring governance services, via digital means, to citizens who have little access to modern governance mechanisms. This technology ‘contact’ brings with it new assumptions and new relations of governance; it emerges in a field that is already dense with social relations that are both historically defined and changing and re-forming in response to the onslaught of modernity.


Internet ‘magic’ in Indian slums

As mobiles, PCs and web 2.0 technologies reach the poor, technology plays out in their everyday reality in creative new ways. The global poor are usually characterised as passive consumers. We need to shift this perspective of the poor and see them as active producers and innovators. As Heeks (2010) argues, disbursing ICT-enabled incentives for new incomes and jobs will require ‘a new view of the world’s poor’: one that sees them as innovative producers and agile agents of ICT products and services.


Sam Pitroda: Re-engineering the nation

Dr Sam Pitroda, who was instrumental in shaping the telecom revolution in the country, is presently adviser to the prime minister on public information, infrastructure and innovations. He is also chairman of the National Innovation Council.


A brief history of the internet in India

1986: ERNET project starts up; email exchange using UUCP protocol established between National Centre for Software Technology, Bombay, and IIT Bombay (Bombay was renamed Mumbai in 1995)



The gendered internet

Bhavana Upadhyaya

She was always a homemaker, keeping her home clean and family happy. Spoke Telugu and a smattering of English. When her sons were ready to leave home, they set up a Facebook account for her. Over the months and then years, she became an avid user of social media. She read news articles and blogposts on her newsfeed, followed up on civil society movements, checked speeches on YouTube, and reflected on opinions on current affairs. Gradually she began to express her own views on various subjects and took a public stance on trending topics.


Right to internet

"The right to communicate cannot be ignored," Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies, told BBC News in March 2010. "The Internet is the most powerful potential source of enlightenment ever created... (Governments must) regard the Internet as basic infrastructure -- just like roads, waste and water. We have entered the knowledge society and everyone must have access to participate."