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State of Internet Rights and Freedom in India

The study aims to assist decision makers, civil society organisations (CSOs), telecom regulators, policy makers and national and international human rights and internet rights advocates in assessing the state of internet freedoms in India. Further, the report will help identify policy gaps, recommendation points and key stakeholders who can play vital roles in reforming policies, and may assist in the development of advocacy strategies to reform laws, improve internet governance and policies to protect human rights online and offline. Finally, this research seeks to contribute to understanding of how the internet can help promote and strengthen human rights.

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Kept in the dark social and psychological impacts of network shutdowns in India

The paper is a continuous effort of Digital Empowerment Foundation’s (DEF) comprehensive research to understand the social and psychological impact of network shutdowns (including Internet/data and SMS) on the lives of people. This paper documents on-ground stories and experiences to build a strong and effective case against network shutdowns, with specific focus on the social and psychological impact. The paper has analysed media reports of shutdowns (till August 2017) and conducted interviews in the affected areas of Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir to find the inter-link between Internet shutdowns and their impact on the socio-cultural-economic well-being of citizens.

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Community Networks: Regulatory Issues and Gaps in India

This paper reflects views and opinions of community network providers who are trying to build their own low-cost and effective infrastructure for providing Internet connectivity. This document is part of a series of policy briefing papers, a collaborative effort between DEF & ISOC that address technological, content, sustainability, and organisational challenges, among others, which require further discussion in relevant national, regional and global policy fora.

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A network by the community and for the community

The paper tries to understand Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF)’s wireless for communities programme is one of the community wireless networks that is trying to provide affordable, ubiquitous and democratically controlled Internet access in rural regions of the country. The network enables for community economic development that can reduce poverty and encourage civic participation.

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Policy Gaps and regulatory issues in the Indian experience on community networks

This document takes the Delhi, India-based Digital Empowerment Foundation’s (DEF) Wireless for Communities (W4C) model as a case study to understand the legal and regulatory challenges of spectrum allocation and management, licensing regulation, and bandwidth issues in developing countries. The first section of this document maps out the common elements of these challenges among community network providers, while the next section addresses the policy, legal, licensing, and bandwidth problems in India. This document investigates the efficacy of creating wireless community networks (WCNs), Rural Internet service providers (RISPs), or Community-based Internet Service Providers (C-ISPs), and explores the possibility of policies, which could help in creating widespread information infrastructure for the country to better connect the subcontinent.

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The binary Language to unbind digital literacy for illiterate

The paper is to illustrate a coming of age approach of imparting digital literacy to rural populations of the country, where traditional literacy is still lagging and where knowledge of English—a language that dominates the world of the Internet both in terms of technology and content—is rare or weak. New Delhi-based non-profit organization Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has designed and developed START, a digital and media literacy learning curriculum and toolkit. This toolkit has been designed for first-generation technology users living in rural, remote and tribal parts of the country.

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Assessing, evaluating and mapping risks involved in the informal e-Waste sector in India

The paper compares the recycling process of the informal sector with the formal sector. The paper also attempts to highlight the health and environmental issues created by the informal sector. At last, it attempts to identify a mechanism to regulate the informal sector and how it will create job opportunities if it is regulated and integrated with the formal sector. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by presenting findings from discussions with informal sector workers, highlighting the elements for scaling up learnings and initiatives of formal-informal integration.

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Barefoot women wireless engineers creating socially viable community networks in India

In this paper, we define ‘new technologies’ as technologies that are a result of the innovation of older technologies and aim at transforming lives. These technologies are often considered as threatening and unfamiliar and are often viewed as ‘unacceptable’ especially for women. However, with new sustainable innovation, technology has become an empowering agent in the lives of women, especially rural women. The paper also highlights how women have specifically understood the importance of connectivity and are building their own network. This paper also focuses on Creating ‘Community Women Barefoot Engineers’ which would mean that learning and knowledge are transferred and exchanged as women are empowered to act in a predominantly male society and venture into areas that were previously restricted for them.

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Published at: OAsis, COL’s Open Access Repository

http://oasis.col.org/bitstream/handle/11599/3439/PCF9_Papers_paper_200.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y