Recent Activities
Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2012 Edition Held on 1st December, 2012
The 9th Annual Manthan Award attracted 471 valid nominations from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and some of from countries such as New Zealand. Of these, 221 projects were selected to compete in 16 categories. Seventy-four of them were made to finals, out of which 33 were recognized as winners. Read more
eNGO Challenge Award Honored 12 NGOs on the Occasion of Manthan Award 2012
The 1st eNGO Challenge Award was also held alongside the Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific. The Award aspires to create an ecosystem of NGOs who are using Information Communication Technology (ICT) and digital media for good governance practices benefiting societies and communities at large. The Challenge seeks to recognise, salute and honour best NGO practices using ICT in any parts of the world. At its first year, 167 nominations received, 20 were able to make it as finals, out of which 12 were honored as winners for the eNGO Challenge Award. All eNGO Winners received Samsung Tablet in the ceremony as a sign of their digital empowerment so far and an encouragement to do better in years to come. Read more
Osama's Column in Mint
Need for digital literacy in govt
In the past few years, although India has been ranked among the top three nations by number of Internet users and second only to the US in Facebook users, there has also been an increasing number of not-so-healthy reactions from the government and politicians to postings on social media websites. Read more

Click here to read more Osama's Column in Mint

Follow him @ Facebook | Twitter
Quest for Innovations in Jan-2013
2nd Digital Literacy & Panchayat Summit
Manthan Award 2012 witnessed the 2nd Digital Literacy & Panchayat Summit,’ organized by DEF & Intel Corporation to focus on ‘Empowering Rural Panchayat through Digital literacy Programme’. The session witnessed participants fromPanchayats across the nation and various other dignitaries. The primary objective of the session was to share the experience of people from village councilors, panchayat members, villages, corporate houses and government. Read more
Wireless for communities & Open Spectrum Summit Organized by Ford Foundation & DEF
Among 5 Parallel Summits, Wireless for communities & Open Spectrum Summit focusing on ‘Empowering Communities through Open Media Access’ was one of the major Summits organized by DEF & Ford Foundation on the occasion of Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2012 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The session focused on arriving at better understanding of unlicensed band, free spectrum and its importance to serve last mile connectivity in India and other developing countries. Read more
30 Digital NGOs Showcased Digital Stories at PIR & DEF’s 2nd eNGO Summit
The 2nd eNGO Summit, organized on the occasion of Manthan Award Digital Festival, witnessed the participation of more than 100 NGOs participation. The Summit focused on showcasing the best of NGOs from across Asia and highlighting how ICT has empowered them to be efficient, transparent and beneficial to their communities. Read more
DEF & APC Organized Round Table Discussion on Internet Governance at Manthan Award annual Digital Festival
On the occasion of Manthan Award 2012, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) organized the Round Table Discussion on Internet Governance, focusing on ‘Emerging Internet Governance; Issues & Challenges in South Asia’ along with Association for Progressive Communications (APC). This round-table was an effort to understand the scope of internet governance issues in the context of South Asian countries. Read more
e-North East Award 2012 Honored 13 North East ICT Practitioners
Seventeen (17) ICT practitioners from North East region honored and recognized at the e-North East Award, held on 22-23 November, 2012 at Gangtok, Sikkim. The Award is an effort to scout, review, select, felicitate, award and nurture best practices in information communication technology for development and governance in North East India. The Award concept seeks to bring into focus practices in as many as 12 categories that have impacted development and governance processes for good. This year, 54 nominations received, 27 were able to make it in finals, out of which 13 were honored as winners. Read more
e-NGO Challenge Award 2012 Grand Jury Held on November 2012
The eNGO Challenge Award 2012 Grand Jury was successfully held on 5th November, 2012 at India International Centre, New Delhi, India. The Jury marked the second and final stage of selection of best practices for the eNGO Challenge Award. The Jury marked a fine amalgam of great minds from vastly different walks of life in sync with diversity in 5 award categories. Read more
eNGO Workshop (Africa Chapter) held in Kenya
Report of eNGO workshop Africa chapter held on 24th October 2012 at Kisumu Kenya in a hero pastoral center main hall. The workshop was organized by the local partner Brains and Vision in collaboration with the Digital Empowerment Foundation India. The workshop was attended by one hundred and twenty three organizations. Each organization was represented by two individuals. The total number of people who attended the launch was two hundred and seventy four including the members of Brains and Vision. Read more
Technology for common (wo)man by Debajani Ghosh, MD, Intel
For India to rise ahead of the pack, digital infrastructure has to become a key component of national growth with concerted efforts in four main areas. The first is the building of information superhighways or broadband networks, second, the availability of a broad spectrum of devices, third; is a content and services that can maximize the potential of increased ICT penetration and connectivity and last but not the least is wide spread digital literacy and empowerment of the citizens to enable them to be skilled enough to use this infrastructure and access for their betterment.

Read more
India local content has global reference by Prof. Dr. Peter A. Bruck, Chiarman, WSA
Today we know that access to infrastructure is one critical issue and the provision of high speed backbones based on optical cable will influence greatly the opportunities of people in terms of education and culture, business, commerce, health and participation in government. Yet inequalities in terms of costs persist while Internet and PCs have become pervasive for people around the globe. With six billion mobile connections worldwide, the mobile revolution has taken place. Its centres are not New York or Paris but Mumbai and Manila. The Manthan Award has a lighthouse function in this environment. South East Asian content developers turn available technical devices into powerful knowledge tools for the masses: They create content that has a direct impact on the daily lives of millions of people.

Read more
ICT & Entrepreneurship : Enabling change by Jayashri Ramamurti, Head of People Operations, Engg and Product, Google India
Today, the world of Internet has thrown open unprecedented opportunities for us as a country and region to empower and transform our communities and the world. There are 120 million internet users in the country. India is the third largest internet user market in the world. By 2015, the number of internet users is estimated to scale to 300 million. Imagine the power of 300 million users leveraging technology and the internet every minute to connect and build their hopes, aspirations and ultimately their surroundings. Information & Communication Technology is ushering in a new era and we at Google, recognize the need to support and help grow this ecosystem. ICT innovations are the need of the hour. Google is committed to bridging the digital divide that exists in this country and across the APAC region. ICT is a key driver to usher in a new era of inclusion and connectivity and empower the people of the region.

Read more
A golden time for social techno-preneurs in India by Dr. Madanmohan Rao, Research Director, mobile monday
Business and social entrepreneurship can be accelerated in India via more involvement of educational institutes, ICT companies, social investors, and corporate social responsibility initiatives. Some of the academic institutes such as IIM-B have been nurturing startups in their entrepreneurship centres, but the cases are few and far between and more educational institutes need to address entrepreneurship, according to V. Sridhar, author of "The Telecom Revolution in India." Niche areas such as e-education and e-healthcare are areas with lots of potential. "It is time for unleashing the power of mobile broadband to the masses including low-cost Internet Telephony – an operators’ nightmare as voice will become almost free," Sridhar cautions. Telecom is becoming more and more software centric. In today’s era, content and applications are the important drivers for adoption.

Read more
DEF's New Expansion
DEF Launched NDLM Centres at Arian & Panisagar
The National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) programme was formally launched at the Manthan Digital Festival, held on 1 December 2012 at India Habitat Centre. NDLM is a flagship initiative of DEF in association with Intel, aiming to extend the objectives of NOFN connection at rural communities conquer digital illiteracy challenge. On November 10, 2012, DEF & Intel formally established its first DLM centre at Arain Gram Panchayat Samiti, located in Arain panchayat of Ajmer district. Read report
IGF blog
Where is South Asian participation @IGF2012?
Think-tanks, technologist, policy advocators, government stakeholders, civil society groups, human rights evangelist and individuals across all sectors of internet arena joined, collaborated and participated together to discuss, debate and express their views collaboratively at the international forum, 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held last week at Baku, Azerbaijan from 6-9 November, 2012. Read more
DEF Publications
Digital DIVIDENDS of Asia
Digital Dividends of Asia, the book published on the occasion of Manthan Award South Asia & Asia Pacific 2012. It has columns by ICT4D experts, description of all 74 Winners, special mentions & Finalists. DEF brings out a similar book every year on occasion of the Manthan Award. All the books can be viewed on our website – This year’s book can be read at here
Digital Panchayat: Enabling 250,000 Village Councilors
Digital Panchayat means – a web-based dynamic digital interface created for each and every Panchayat in India, giving information about particular panchayat in a two-way flow of content. Add The digital platform aims to bring out the local voices by empowering the local communities to showcase and share local social, cultural and economic practices, stories and challenges. Read report
NGOs Empowered
The eNGO program is a national movement and a joint effort of Digital Empowerment Foundation and Public Interest Registry. "At the core of the eNGO program is ICT enabled web training and development, as well as the creativity and determination of grassroots organizations – which include NGOs, CBOs, and SHGs." Read the book
Nerve centre that collaborates, integrates information
Five years ago, in 2007, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) was given a mandate to build a better e-infrastructure and help simplify the task of collaborating and integrating information across different Union and state government departments. The result of that was the National e-Governance Service Delivery (NGSD) gateway. "What we are actually doing is saving the time a user spends otherwise, for example, standing in a queue," said Zia Saquib, executive director at CDAC. The Pune-based research and development organization was formed in 1988 with the sole purpose of strengthening India’s technological capabilities. Read more
India's Best Digital Footprints
This section includes 50 videos where few of the best practices (awarded in Manthan South Asia Award) has been displayed. People belongs to the projects shared their experiences & ideas with us on their project development, future course of action & also how they are benefiting masses.
Click here to see more best Digital Footprints
News to know
If we take a quick look in the areas of ICT infrastructure readiness in the country it is evident that we have covered significant ground since the last decade.
Read more
A recent fatwa issued by a leading Indian Islamic seminary advises women to refrain from working as receptionists, describing the job as un-Islamic and against Sharia law.
Read more
A village council in Northern India last week banned women from using mobile phones. The leaders of Sunderbari village, population 8000, hope that fining unmarried women (Rs 10,000, or 114 GBP) and married women (Rs 2000, or 23 GBP) will stop premarital and extramarital affairs.
Read more
India and social media: When will it be safe for the average citizen to critique the powerful? Last week, in the small town of Palghar, Maharastra, a 21-year-old was arrested for a Facebook post questioning a citywide shutdown to mark the death of a regional leader.
Read more
A war over free expression between Indian citizens and their government is raging, with social media serving as the battlefield.
Read more
The arrest of 21 year old ShaheenDhada for posting anti-Bal Thackeray comments has not only outraged Indians. The story has been picked up and reported across international media as well.
Read more
The government has modified rules under the controversial Section 66(A) of the Information Technology Act in the wake of its alleged misuse in recent few cases.
Read more
Section 66A of the Information Technology (IT) Act criminalizes "causing annoyance or inconvenience" online, among other things. A conviction for such an offence can attract a prison sentence of as many as three years.
Read more
A commercial and ideological clash is set for next week, when representatives of more than 190 governments, along with telecommunications companies and Internet groups, gather in Dubai for a once-in-a-generation meeting.
Read more
Draft nonsense : Seriously flawed and dodgily drafted provisions in the IT Act provide the state a stick to beat its citizens with.
Read more
Government does not intend to change the policy to auction spectrum for mobile phone operators, Telecom Minister KapilSibal told the LokSabha
Read more
A U.S. and Canadian proposal to protect the Internet from new international regulation has failed to win prompt backing from other countries, setting up potentially tough negotiations to rewrite a telecom treaty.
Read more
With the festive rush throwing up several complaints with the electronic train ticket booking system, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is in the process of developing a technology that will enable travellers to book tickets through text messages.
Read more
The Indian government ranked second in demanding Web user information — next only to the U.S. government — from Google in the six-month period from January to June this year, according to the ‘Transparency Report’ published by the Web services major on Tuesday.
Read more
The Uttar Pradesh Police launched the much-hyped Women's Power phone helpline '1090'. The police band played to the applause of Samajwadi party workers, as chief minister Akhilesh Yadav inaugurated the helpline at his official residence in Lucknow.
Read more
Why are you in burka? I ask Chennai's popular radio jockey, Sanobar Sultana. "Because I want to prove a point. Because I want to prove that it is possible to be a modern Muslim," she replies, before breaking off to introduce the next song.
Read more
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting begins its series of consultations on community radio at Radio Madhuban, Mount Abu, Rajasthan to encourage the community radio movement in India.
Read more
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) launched the 2012 edition of the Global Information Society Watch during the second day of the Internet Governance Forum that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in a joint presentation with the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Internet & Society Co:llaboratory.
Read more
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on an indigenous operating system in a bid to secure the country's cyber network. According to DRDO director-general V K Saraswat, the Indian OS will be ready in couple of years.
Read more
In the world of UN conference boondoggles, luxury-loving oppressors masquerade as the oppressed, while seeking to restrict everyone else's freedom.
Read more
Of late, India has seen many instances where citizens have been pulled up by the police for posting opinions on social networking websites.
Read more
Bhopal-based educational institute, AISECT, won the 9th edition of the Manthan Award South Asia and Asia Pacific 2012 in the e-financial inclusion and livelihood category.
Read more
The World Bank has been making increasing use of Apps to make its information and data more accessible via mobile devices.
Read more
Google has drawn up a petition to boycott a forthcoming UN-organised conference that it warns threatens the "free and open internet".
Read more
Google is increasingly throwing around its power to improve its bottom line. The latest incident is a draft law in Germany that would force the company to share some revenues with newspaper publishers.
Read more
'Sensationalism killed telecom in India'
Read more
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,