Quest for Innovations in August
DEF & Ford Foundation to Organise 2-Day Wireless Access Workshop in Delhi

Digital Empowerment Foundation and Ford Foundation is organising a two-day workshop on, ‘Wi-Fi Mesh Networking Technologies & Prospects’ on 7 - 8 August, 2012 in Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram located in New Delhi, India.

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Nominations are going to be Opened for Manthan Award 2012 from 6th August

The 9th Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2012 will be opened for general Nominations from August 6th. A notification in this regard has already been put up on DEF’s ( & Manthan Award website (

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Nomination Open for 3rd eNorth East Award 2012

The nomination process for the 3rd eNorth East Award 2012 is now open. The nomination date has been extended until August 21, 2012. The Award scouts, recognises, nurtures and promotes best ICT for development practices in the North Eastern Region of India including all the 8 States. Nomination is open in 12 categories.

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Recent Activities
mBillionth Award 2012 Held Successfully
21st July 2012 has been another remarkable event date for mBillionth south Asia Award, which aims to explore & felicitate the Best m-Innovators across 8 south Asian countries. Delegates & Experts of Mobile & Telecom Domain from 15 Countries joined the conference to motivate the awarded best 54 Innovators for their ideas of using Mobile phones in such a way where it can be seen as a tool for empowering & educating the society. Speakers include Peter Bruck, Tomi Ahonen, J. Satyanarayana, Amir Ullah Khan, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Jonathan Bill, Anuraj Gambhir, Rajendra P. Gupta, Madan Mohan Rao, R. Sukumar, Subho Ray, Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Ashis Sanyal, Tulika Pandey & many more.

mBillionth Award South Asia through lense
Meet participants & exhibitors of the 3rd mBillionth Award South Asia Grand Gala, held on July 21 , 2012 at Eros Hotel, New Delhi, India @ Picasa

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M4G Grant to 4 Winners
Vodafone Mobiles for Good Programme 2012 has announced four best mobile projects driven by NGOs on the occasion of mBillionth Award South Asia held on July 21st, 2012. The winning NGOs have got fund amount of INR 10,00,000 each and nominated for next two years mentorship.The selected NGOS are Human Welfare Association and SAHAYOG Society for Participatory Rural Development from Uttar Pradesh, Naandi Foundation from Andhra Pradesh and Women's Organization for Socio Cultural Awareness (WOSCA) from Odisha.

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Chairman's Column
In the nine years since the annual Manthan awards began and in the three years since the mBillionth awards began, we have accumulated more than 5,000 case studies on how people are innovating and using information and communications technology, mobile phones and the digital media for social and economic empowerment.
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Special Focus
IC4D 2012: Maximizing Mobile
This report analyzes the growth and evolution of applications for mobile phones, focusing on their use in agriculture, health and financial services, as well as their impact on employment and government. It also explores the consequences for development of the emerging “app economy”, summarizing current thinking and seeking to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. It’s no longer about the phone itself, but about how it is used, and the content and applications that mobile phones open.
Read more on website here
and in PDF here
mBillionth Expo
mBillionth Expo was a part of the 3rd mBillionth South Asia Award held at Hotel EROS in New Delhi on 21st July 2012. Mr. J. Satyanarayana inaugurated the Expo in morning & the mobile innovators interacted with a footfall of 600 attendees & enjoyed the networking & media exposure at the event. Few of the exhibitors were IAMAI, NIXI, Paywast from Afghanistan, Vtax from Nepal, Databiz ATM Explorer from Bangladesh, Media Lab Asia, Planhound, MapMyIndia, Bella Health Care from India etc. Except from this 15 best identified NGOs, working on mobile platform for social good, participated in expo to showcase their services to the audience.

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DEF Sets-up 14 DP Centres in Phase-I
DEF has Successfully established 14 Digital Panchayat Centers in 12 states in India covering 400 Panchayats. All 400 panchayats are online with .in domain.

Log on to Facebook and have a look at Digitalpanchayat

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DEF Successfully Completed the First Phase of eNGO Programme
DEF has successfully completed the first phase of PIR supported eNGO Programme. More than 5000 NGOs have joined eNGO Network and are online with .ORG Domain.

Join the eNGO Group on facebook at eNGO Group

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mBillionth Award in News
Recognizing innovation using mobile phones
Winners of the mBillionth Award South Asia 2012, organized by the Digital Empowerment Foundation, were announced at an event in New Delhi on Saturday. The third edition of the awards, aimed at encouraging and recognizing innovations on the mobile phone platform across South Asia.

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Mobile has the potential to get bigger than internet
3rd mBillionth South Asia Award, initiated by Digital Empowerment Foundation, a Delhi based non-profit organisation recently recognised and honoured mobile/telecom innovations from across eight South Asian countries, which uses ICT tools like mobile phones and digital media for social and economic empowerment.

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“An Ecosystem of Empowerment” - Interview with Osama Manzar
mBillionth curator Osama Manzar gives interview to WSA Mobile: Mobile fraternity, mBillionth curator Osama Manzar explains rationale behind the award process at

South Asia ready to climb mobile’s Mount Olympus
mBillionth Award 2012 has brought up mobile services that really make a difference for people across South Asia. This year's winners are now nominated to prove their excellence in a global, UN-based contest: the World Summit Award Mobile (WSA-mobile). In September, WSA-mobile Grand Jury will come together in Abu Dhabi to select the world’s best mobile content. Three months later, awardees will enter the global limelight at the WSA-mobile Winners’ events in Abu Dhabi.

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There are views of ICT & mobile domain experts who have written for the annual Manthan Award & mBillionth Award publications down the years. Here under we are publishing just two of the Expert’s views (of Laura Turkington of Vodafone Foundation & Anisha Singh of from the recently held mBillionth Award South Asia 2012 edition. More expert views will be published in the subsequent volumes of the monthly DEF’s newsletters. Happy reading. Feedback awaited.
“The mobile phone is the single most transforming technology for development” by Laura Turkington
There are currently over five mobile subscribers worldwide with more people having access to a mobile phone than clean water or the electrical grid. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2012, 1.7 billion people will have a mobile phones but no bank account.
Understandably, the potential of this device is huge. Mobility solutions can increase productivity and efficiencies in a multitude of ways and reach the global masses. The mBillionth award serves to celebrate just that, by highlighting and honouring the efforts of many leading organisations which have used technology to create new opportunities and experiences for mobile users across Asia.

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"Call of progress" by Anisha Singh
About 17 years ago, in 1995, India’s first mobile phone call was made by the late Jyoti Basu (West Bengal’s CM). Basu made the historic call to the then Union Communications Minister Sukh Ram. The handset was a clunky one and call rates were as high as Rs. 32 per minute. But what began with that call, a decade ago, has led to one of the most impactful transformations for modern India: The Mobile revolution.
Today India has more than 920 million phone subscribers,1 making it the world’s second largest mobile market after China. In the metros, about 57% of Indian youth access the internet using their mobile phones. Further, mobile internet in India has seen a spurt in growth over the past few years. While in 2009, 53.5 million subscribers accessed internet through their mobile phones, by 2012 this number is expected to rise to about 200 million.

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Meet the technology Innovators
Powercuts in India
‘’ is a crowd-sourcing based service that aggregates ground-up information on electricity supply and usage situation. It spreads knowledge about what the government is actually doing, the latest happenings in the energy sector, makes tax payers aware and also identiies citizens’ problem.The idea is easily replicable to other citizen media initiatives.The service is available through Voice (phone call), SMS, Internet, Mobile Apps.

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Swara IVR
In a country where more than 80 million tribal people lack access to mainstream media outlets, ‘Swara’ has proven to be an effective bridge between the poorest sections of society in remote areas and the administration and concerned citizens. Swara is a voice-based communication platform that enables real-time feedback from the grassroots regarding administrative schemes and other areas of governance and democracy. Since 2010, it has been successfully piloted in Chhattisgarh and other parts of Central India. The CGNet Swara, as the pilot is popularly known, receives over 200 calls a day from a user-base of over 11,000 people.

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Nano Ganesh
Nano Ganesh is a GSM Mobile-based remote control system exclusively for water pump sets used in agricultural areas. It allows farmers and irrigation operators to use mobile phones to remotely monitor irrigation systems in even hazardous and remote areas. This service connects farmers’ mobile phones to electric pumps in their fields, allowing them to remotely ‘call’ the irrigation system rather than manually turning on each pipe. This automated mobile technology has proven to be a low-cost wireless solution, saving enormous amount of water, electricity, fuel, time, labour and soil erosion.

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DEF’s Upcoming Case Studies
DEF supports North East ICTD Study

'Unlocking North East India: Opportunities & Impact in ICT for Development' is about establishing and reaffirming the critical elements and areas that requires a renewed development focus more from an information communication technology (ICT) perspective on the ground involving all the 8 North Eastern States in India.The focus of the North East ICTD study is on - State specific sectoral need, relevance and challenges in development and adoption of best practices powered by ICTs; Sectoral emphasis on education, health, infrastructure building, livelihood, commerce & business, financial inclusion, enterprise building, and R&D. The Study is field based involving stakeholders with highlights of key development practices having ICT impacts in the region. The Study is initiated by North East Development Foundation with support from Digital Empowerment Foundation and Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
DEF Conducted Study on 'Mobile Phones in India: Mapping across the Formal/ Informal Divide'

Anne Stevans, a student of OCAD University, Canada, conducted a study on mapping of mobile phones focusing on formal and informal divide during her internship at DEF. This study addresses the following questions: can mapping the full and extended life of the mobile phone in India help improve awareness and lead to more informed decision‐making at all levels (consumer, businesses large and small, government)? Is the longer than world‐average life‐span of the Indian mobile phone a sign of a healthy and robust economy and society? How does the long life‐span manifest itself in Indian society? Can constructive re‐use extend the life of mobile phones before they reach the industrial recyclers?

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News to know
The ‘National Knowledge Network (NKN)’, as it is known, started as a small programme in the Planning Commission in 2009 without Cabinet approval. Now, it is enabling Indian scientists to take on big data challenges that earlier required weeks and months of high-power computing.
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Net neutrality is a growing issue across a number of countries worldwide, particularly those in which mobile Internet usage is catching (or has already overtaken) that of the fixed-line Web.
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In a move to bring FM radio to rural India, the government will consider allowing small towns with population of about 1 lakh to have FM stations with a limited footprint. The cost of frequency for these non-news channels will be just Rs 50 lakh.
Read more, launched in August 2007 is a ticketing web portal launched with a goal to provide online services to everyone travelling by bus. Ticketgoose provides information like price, availability and booking facility for buses to more than 3000 destinations in South India and currently have more than 250 bus travel partners.
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IRCTC has integrated payments using the Interbank Mobile Payments Service, as per an email sent out by the company. IMPS allows real time payments between individuals, and has been working on integrating merchant payments so far, so an IRCTC integration comes as quite a significant development for the fledgling service, which has been struggling for traction, with low transaction numbers so far.
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Online bookstores may have brought about the demise of many a brick-and-mortar rival across the world, but in India they’re responsible for another trend: a boom in sales of vernacular literature.
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This is Shravan and Sanjay .K. We develop Application for new World to make life easier. Our Focus is to develop Mobile Application. Primarily in the area of Education, Games, Lifestyle & Convenience.
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Unlimited BBM plan at just Rs. 129 launched by Reliance - Reliance Communication (RCom) has announced the launch of a new plan called the BBM129 which will give prepaid and postpaid Reliance users, Unlimited access to the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for 30 days
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Sachin Pilot, minister of state for communications and information technology, believes countries like India, with growing internet users, should have far more share in the running of the internet.
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Following an annulment motion against the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011, moved by a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is holding a Roundtable on liability, due diligence and guidelines to be observed by intermediaries. The Roundtable has invited the participation of all stakeholders, i.e. IT industry, IT intermediaries, political parties and others.
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India is the Second-Largest Mobile Phone user in World - India is the second-largest mobile phone user with over 900 million users in the world. It accounted for over 10% of the world’s online population in 2011.
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"The online companies are trying to get an offline presence to tap into the non-Internet using population while the offline ones are building an online presence," he said. He insisted that both models will co-exist as customers are still looking for personal service."Online is definitely the way forward."
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TAM has been doing viewership measurement surveys since 2000. It installs peoplemeters in randomly chosen TV households in urban and semi-urban areas. The data is then analysed and extrapolated for the entire viewership universe.
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The real secret is old-fashioned and un-sexy: world-class, compelling content that subscribers feel they cannot afford to ignore. What the subscriber reads is still primary, how he reads it is a secondary problem.
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Foreign telecom equipment for critical networks to be banned - Fear of cyber intrusion and control by China has prompted an inter-ministerial panel to recommend a complete ban on overseas sourcing of telecom equipment for all critical networks while supporting 100 per cent domestic sourcing for such projects.
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Ministry of Information And Broadcasting Launches Facebook Page For Community Radio
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55% of all daily Mobile Internet users hail from outside the top 8 metros and almost the survey* reveals that 80% of the users have performed some form of financial transaction through their mobile phone
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Google isn’t an idea any more. It is a lab and a foundry rolled into one. Crucially, along with its various successes the company has had several products and services that have failed to take off.
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Contact Us
Digital Empowerment Foundation
House No. 44, 3rd Floor Kalu Sarai, (Near IIT Flyover) New Delhi – 110016
Tel: +91-11-26532786 / Fax: +91-11-26532787,

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