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Thu28Jul2016

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Do you want to be watched?

The new rules for surveillance under the IT Act are an assault on our freedom. They also seem misguided, says Sunil Abraham. How many terrorists or criminals will be arrested in India thanks to the new ID requirements at cybercafés or a ban on public wi-fi? Intelligence work cannot be replaced with blanket surveillance

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No bar on this front: Technology can aid accountability

By Frederick Noronha

A BarCamp held in Gurgaon recently showcased a number of new initiatives focused on technology, transparency and accountability, from ways to minimise corruption in dealings with government to ways to track power cuts

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Dreaming of a peer to peer world

By V Sasi Kumar

Michel Bauwens, founder of the Peer to Peer Foundation, is one of those who believe in open spaces and creation without incentive. In this interview he talks about the Free Software and Wikipedia movements as pointers to a genuine change in the way we think, create and distribute goods. He believes that we have never before had such real-time possibilities for human cooperation and collective intelligence on a global scale

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Knowledge for all

By Nick Gill

In a backlash to the skyrocketing prices of academic journals, academics worldwide are seeking ways to wrest knowledge back from the corporations and open access to all. Following the lead of major universities in Europe and USA, IMSc Chennai launched its open-access repository last month

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Call centres for farmers

By Neeta Lal

Eighty-four call centres across the country are answering farmers' queries related to everything from fungus on brinjals to kisan credit cards and prices of insecticides

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Mouthpiece of change

By Malvika Kaul

The recently announced community radio policy will change the landscape of grassroots media, giving a voice to the voiceless and providing a viable alternative to the mainstream media's monopolistic and trivial interpretation of news

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Radio days in Indian villages

By Sandip Das

In villages across nine Indian states listeners are getting hooked on to radio shows featuring women sarpanches and journalists fighting social and economic inequities through panchayati raj institutions. In the process, listeners are spurred on to participate in local institutions of self-governance themselves

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This is Radio Budikote....

By Elisa Patnaik

The villagers of Budikote in Karnataka are making and narrowcasting their own cable radio programmes on issues of local interest. Thirty-five neighbouring villages also tune in to the cable radio network for two hours everyday. With legislation on community radio broadcasting still a long way off in India, cable radio could be the best way forward

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Flaws in Bhoomi, India's model e-governance project

By Keya Acharya

Karnataka's Bhoomi project, which computerised 20 million rural land records, was designed as an instrument of equity. But is IT also reinforcing inequality, with men benefiting more than women and the rich benefiting more than the poor?

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Dollars versus idealism: It's a Gates-versus-GNU/Linux tug-of-war in India

By Frederick Noronha

The world's richest man, Bill Gates, is pouring money into India. Is it largely because of the challenge posed by the GNU/Linux computer operating system? And what really are the benefits of Free Software?

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Enabling airwaves

By Lalitha Sridhar

It's been a long time coming, but India's first radio programme for the disabled is finally being broadcast every week from All India Radio Madras. If the response is anything to go by, this could be the beginning of a revolution for India's 70 million disabled

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Indian-language computing: The long road ahead

By Frederick Noronha

If government-to-citizen initiatives are to succeed, Indian local language computing is a must. But with almost three dozen major languages and hundreds of dialects, the task is complex. Some headway is being made however, with the debut of a 'total Tamil' computer

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Digital library: Another tool for biopiracy

By Devinder Sharma

The proposed digital library will offer thousands of pages of traditional Indian knowledge on a platter. But it will also enable private companies to manipulate what is already known and project it as an invention or a novelty

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Computer education for rural kids riddled with obstacles

By Frederick Noronha

There are plans afoot to computerise thousands of rural schools across India, attended mainly by poor children. But where is the software that is suitable for use in these schools

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