Vol 3 Issue 10 | September - October 2014
 Paving the way for Digital Empowerment
Letter From the Editor
Dear Readers,
Last month was the most important time in our lives as we hosted one of the most important international personalities of Global Digital World, Chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in Chandauli village, Alwar district, Rajasthan.
Mark was here because India happens to be an important destination for his ambitious social development venture, Internet.org, that envisions to provide affordable broadband internet to grassroots communities in third world countries. I believe, Chandauli experience was as enriching for Mark as it was a privilege for us because we welcomed him in the first Minority Cyber village that we established in partnership with Ministry of Minority Affairs under 'Minority Cyber Gram Yojana', to extend digital footprints to Meo Muslim population in the area.
If Mark Zuckerberg has a vision, we have a commitment. We believe, such a huge task cannot be achieved by a single effort. We need as many minds and hands working towards a common goal as we can get. And recognizing and appreciating innovations that contribute to digital growth is certainly one way of going forward.
E-Uttara Award concluded in Lucknow on 11th October, 2014, recognises innovative digital projects in Uttar Pradesh. In its opening year itself, the award received whopping 397 entries. 46 finalists were shortlisted and 14 most innovative digital ventures won the prestigious E-Uttara award at a gala event, organized at Hotel Clarks Awadh, Lucknow.
Our motto in live is to empower marginalized sections of society, whether it's grassroots communities or disabled people.
According to the 2011 national census, 2.13% of the Indian population (about 22 million persons) had some form of disability. We collaborated with UNESCO and the Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India, to organize a two day National Conference and Exhibition on 'ICT for Persons with Disabilities: Taking Stock and Identifying Opportunities'. This may be a drop in the ocean to encourage social and economic inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, but there will be many more innovative measures to address this cause in the near future.
Mobile phone is fast emerging as a powerful device for information dissemination.
We along with UNICEF India organized a state consultation with regards to "Mobile Phones: A Tool for Social & Behaviour Change". It was the third consultation in the series that aims to explore various projects where women, adolescent girls and youth have effectively used mobiles in areas of health, education, sanitation, environment and monitoring and training of frontline workers.
We are stepping into the future by leaps and bounds. And events like Mark Zuckerberg visiting Chandauli village acts like testosterone to our impassioned spirits.
With the best intention for the benefits of the marginalized people in India, Soochna Seva team is doing its best to leave no stone unturned in identifying the channels of information dissemination. With the completion of two workshops with the other 13 partners under the initiatives of European Union, there are gradual addition and generation of more and more ideas for the advancement of the project's superlative implementation. Read more
Recent Activities
TATA-MIT Education Initiative Feasibility Study Survey
The TATA Trust and MIT University, USA are collaborating to develop an educational program for high schools and B.Ed. colleges in three states of India using modern educational technology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The program aims to address the learning needs of students and prepare them for higher education and employment as well as to improve teacher education and provide a platform for research and innovation. A Feasibility Study was conducted in September, 2014 by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) to understand the situation on the field Read more
Basirhat Workshop
Digital Empowerment Foundation & Public Interest Registry organized an eNGO Summit at Basirhat, North 24 Parganas in collaboration with its State Partner Sukalyan Welfare Society. This event was organized on 14th September'2014 at Basirhat Town Hall. In this summit many Govt. officials were present as the guests. 60 Non-profit Organizations attended the workshop and have applied for the .org websites. They will all now be online through eNGO programme. Out of the participants 6 NGOs had previously registered on the eNGO network and are already online. There were some NGOs from Sundarban Areas like Read more
eUttara award -minutes of the event
E-Uttara Award 2014 was a Join initiative of Digital Empowerment Foundation & Govt. of Uttar Pradesh in association with India Development Alternatives Foundation & FifthEstate and was held on Oct. 11, 2014 at Hotel Clarks Avadh, Lucknow. Award function started with power inaugural session, which was inaugurated by Mr. Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary, Gov. of UP. E-Uttara Award was launched on June 1st, 2014 with an objective to promote and recognize ICT enabled services in Uttar Pradesh. Nomination started on June 15th and closes on August 15th. During this interval eUttara received 397 entries. Read more
ICT for Person with Disability
Over 600 million people, or approximately 10% of the world's population, have disabilities of one kind or another. In 2007, the World Bank estimated that PWDs constituted 4–8% of the country's population, or about 40–90 million persons. According to the 2011 national census, which used a different methodology and definition of 'disability', 2.13% of the Indian population (about 22 million persons) had some form of disability. At this period of time where Technology has reached very far, accessibility to public services and professional sectors, social and economic inclusion is still a challenge for Person with Disabilities. Read more
Mobile Phones: A Tool for Social & Behavior Change
UNICEF India and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) organized the state consultation "Mobile Phones: A Tool for Social & Behaviour Change" on 28-29 August at hotel Clarks Avadh in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The consultation is the third consultation in a series of ''Mobile Phone as a Tool for Social & Behaviour Change" programme, a joint effort of UNICEF India and Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) that aims to explore various projects where women, adolescent girls and youth have effectively used mobiles in areas of health, education, sanitation, environment and monitoring and training of frontline workers. Trying to examine the prospects of how mobile phones are bringing social and behavioural changes . Read more
Google Digital Literacy, Safety & Security Workshop
The 1990s commercialization of the internet resulted in its popularity and penetration into all aspects of life of the mainstream people around the globe. Virtual existence has become the modern human way of life. The internet is a vast world existent only virtually but shaping the modern lifestyle of an average individual in all its possible ways with the advent of e-learning, internet banking, online shopping, social media only to name a few. Just like the physical world around us is populated with people with good agenda and others with harmful agendas, similarly, the World Wide Web is also filled with good and bad. Read more
Social Media Grand Jury
The Social Media Grand Jury was successfully held at American Center, New Delhi on September 27th, 2014. The jury marked the final stage of selection of best social media practices for empowerment for the year 2014. A panel of 9 members reviewed into 67 nominations from 9 award categories. DEF received in total 161 nominations under 9 categories showing immense use of Social Media for Social Good. These were reviewed by a set of virtual jurors to shortlist the first batch of the best. As the next step, a jury panel of 9 Social MediaExperts reviewed, discussed and evaluated all the shortlisted practices to pick bestest of best. Read more
Mark Zuckerberg in Chandauli Village
10th October, 2014, would've been just another day for unassuming people in non-descript Chandauli village, situated in Alwar district, Rajasthan, India, had it not been for a certain Mark Zuckerberg, who brought the world's attention to its doorstep, when he came knocking during his short two day visit to India for the first time. Chairman and CEO of Facebook, could not have found a better destination to flag his ambitious initiative Internet.org, in which he pledges to commit his vast resources to provide affordable access of broadband internet to the people of third world countries, who have little or no hope of ever going online. Read more
index on censorship
Index on Censorship in association with The Digital Empowerment Foundation, organised a workshop in Bengaluru to launch Frontline Freespeech. The workshop was held in the Bangalore Management Academy on 24th September,2014. This workshop brought together grassroots activists alongside leading free expression campaigners to share their recent experiences of censorship, to record and map current censorship challenges and to build impactful free speech networks in India. Various campaigners, community leaders, network co-ordinators, human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, artists, scholars and representatives of minority groups facing free expression challenges alongside key human rights. Read more
मंगलयान की सफलता से सोशल मीडिया मंगलमय
भारत ने अंतरिक्ष के क्षेत्र में इतिहास रचते हुए अपने मंगल मिशन को जिस तरह सफलतापूर्वक अंजाम दिया है यकीनन वो भारत के वैज्ञानिक इतिहास की सबसे बड़ी कामयाबी है। इसका सौ फीसदी श्रेय भारतीय अंतरिक्ष अनुसंधान केंद्र (इसरो) के वैज्ञानिकों को जाता है, जिन्होंने अपने कौशल से ये इतिहास रचा है। बुधवार (24 सितंबर 2014) को ये एक ऐसा क्षण था जिस पर 125 करोड़ भारतीय गर्व कर रहे थे। इस सफलता के बाद भारत दुनिया का पहला ऐसा देश बन गया जिसने पहली ही बार में मंगल मिशन पर फतह पाई हो। इस कामयाबी के साथ ही भारत दुनिया के उन चार देशों में शामिल हो गया, जो मंगल पर अपना यान भेजने में कामयाब हुए हैं, जिसकी तारीफ दुनिया भर में हुई। इस तारीफ का जरिया बना सोशल मीडिया, जिसके सहारे लोग दुनिया के एक कोने से दूसरे कोने तक बधाई के संदेश भेजते रहे। जिसमें सबसे अहम था ट्विटर और फेसबुक का इस्तेमाल।Read more
घाटी में गूंजती एक उम्मीद की आवाज़
आखिर जी हां, यही रेडियो है जो शंकराचार्य पहाड़ी की चोटी से मुसीबत में फंसे लोगों का संपर्क सूत्र बनकर सूचनाएं देता रहा। शंकराचार्य पहाड़ी से पूरा शहर डूबा दिखाई देता है और इसी डूबे शहर में रेडियो कश्मीर की इमारत भी शामिल है। मुसीबत की इस घड़ी में रेडियो की गूंज कहीं थम न जाए इसलिए रेडियो दफ्तर को शंकराचार्य की पहाड़ी पर स्थापित कर अस्थायी प्रसारण शुरू किया गया, ताकि मुसीबत में फंसे लोग अपनों की खबर ले सकें और संपर्क कर सकें। आज इस मुसीबत की घड़ी में जहां संचार के सारे माध्यम ठप पड़ चुके हैं, वहां यही रेडियो पूरी घाटी के लिए इकलौता संपर्क का साधन है, जो स्थानीय समाचार के साथ-साथ बाढ़ में गुमशुदा लोगों की खबर भी ले रहा है। कम्युनिटी रेडियो ने एक स्पेशल फोन-इन प्रोग्राम जीवन रेखा की शुरू की है, जो बाढ़ में फंसे लोगों के लिए मददगार साबित हुई है।Read more
Governance through citizen participation @ social media
In India there are about 187 municipal corporations. Municipal corporations serve cities with a population of a million or more each. Municipal corporations are a sign of development, urbanization, prosperity and mushrooming slums, filth and unplanned progress. One thing, however, is clear in a city: the penetration of mobile phones is significantly high. In fact, in some of the municipalities, it could be as high as 400%.Read more
Need for robust information infra
According to the Digital India Program (DIP) that the government has announced recently, about which I talked in brief in one of my earlier pieces (mintne.ws/1ELthTz), one of the most important promises is to make all government entitlements pertaining to individuals available through the cloud. Which means, up to about 13,000 government schemes to be made available in a digital format accessible any time, anywhere, by anybody. My calculation of the number of schemes is based on our organizational experience when we were simplifying each of the schemes per state and found that, on average, each state has schemes in access of anywhere between 300 and 450.Read more
Towards Digital India: One positive step at a time
The prime minister recently announced the exciting Digital India programme (DIP). However, there are three things: one, there is nothing new except that it is repackaged into one brand name; secondly, it should have been called "Digital Bharat" rather than Digital India; thirdly, we at Digital Empowerment Foundation felt elated that two of its three words—digital and empowerment—have been used in the programme details several times. First of all, what is DIP? The official material says, "Digital India—A programme to transform India into digitally empowered society and knowledge economy". It further claims, "Digital India aims to provide the much needed thrust to the nine pillars of growth areas, namely. Read more
News to Know from https://www.facebook.com/DEFIndia
Telecoms to lose $14 bn revenue in 2014 due to WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype
Telecom network operators will lose $14 billion in revenues in 2014, a 26 percent increase compared to 2013, due to voice and messaging traffic by OTT players such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype. Juniper Research said mobile operator's voice revenues fell to less than 60 percent Read more
Narendra Modi government takes RTI to another level
It had been expected to dilute the UPA government's showpiece Right to Information (RTI) Act that had become a scourge of sorts for its ministers and bureaucrats and was even blamed by some as a contributing factor for the policy paralysis during its reign. But the Narendra Modi-led BJP government. Read more
Technology saves fishermen
Modern Telecom Technology has come to the rescue of fishermen in the Hudhud cyclone, as many lives as well as their fishing gears were saved. The government departments and private agencies alerted the fishermen about the threat posed by Hudhud. They were warned not to venture in to the sea right from October 7. Read more
Google Releases Penguin 3.0
Google has confirmed to Search Engine Land that it updated its Penguin filter on Friday. Penguin targets sites deemed to be spammy, especially those found in violation of Google's guidelines about linking.Some noticed major changes in Google search results beginning late Friday night US time and speculated that this was due to the long-awaited Penguin Update. Read more
एप्पल ने टैबलेट आईपैड मिनी के दामों में भारी कटौती की!
मीडिया रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक कंपनी एप्पल ने टैबलेट की बिक्री में इजाफा के लिए उसके दामों में भारी कटौती की है। बताया जा रहा है कि एप्पल ने 16 गीगाबाइट स्टोरेज वाली आईपैड मिनी को सिर्फ 249 डॉलर में देने का ऐलान किया है। रिपोर्ट के मुताबिक दूसरी तरफ 9.7 इंच वाले आईपैड एयर-2 को कंपनी 499 डॉलर में बेच रही है। साथ ही आईपैड मिनी-3 को कंपनी 399 डॉलर में आकर्षक छूट में बेच रही है। एप्पल ने अपने उत्पादों को कभी भी इतने छूटै। Read more
Cyber crime cases shot up in 10 years
India has witnessed a massive surge in cyber crime incidents in about 10 years -- from just 23 in 2004 to 72,000 last year, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today."In the year 2004, we had only 23 incidents (of cyber crime). Last year we had about 72,000 incidents. Media reports show as to how cyber attacks are done to completely immobilise the financial infrastructure, information infrastructure," Read more
The 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You a Job
According to respondents, the worst thing you can do is make any kind of references to illegal drugs. That should probably be common sense—but in case it's not, know that 83% of recruiters say doing so is a strong turn off. (Perhaps more interesting: 2% of hiring managers think it's a positive.) Also on the "obviously don't do this" list are "sexual posts," which 70% of recruiters. Read more
नए जीमेल ऐप में ही मिलेंगे आपको अपने हर अकाउंट के ईमेल
गूगल ने हाल ही में नए मटीरियल डिजाइन के साथ अपने कई ऐंड्रॉयड ऐप्स को अपडेट किया है और अब ऐसा लगता है कि जीमेल में बड़ा बदलाव होने वाला है। ऐंड्रॉयड पुलिस के मुताबिक जीमेल 5.0 याहू और आउटलुक.कॉम को भी सपॉर्ट करेगा यानी आप इन सर्विसेज़ के ईमेल्स भी जीमेल के ऐप में देख पाएंगे। इसका एक विडियो भी जारी हुआ है, जिसे आप यहां क्लिक करके देख सकते हैं। गूगल केवल जीमेल, याहू और आउटलुक.कॉम के सपॉर्ट। Read more
Internet.org wants to connect India's offline millions
But not in one poor suburb on the outskirts of Delhi, where youngsters are sent to learn.Sharing a few laptops between them, they're being taught some basic online skills - how to search for information, how to send money to their families in the villages and how to book train tickets. Read more
Most Indians feel smartphones critically important: Survey
Tech-savvy Indians have emerged as the most hooked on to gadgets globally with as many as 95% finding their smartphones 'critically important' while 75% use their smartphone or tablet to book a hotel, says a survey by leading online travel firm Expedia. "The findings clearly suggest an increasing dependency. Read more
Start-up culture finds new wings
It was nice to spend a few hours at Tiecon Delhi last week, in the congregation that helps startups happen in India. Tiecon (Tie Conference) has its roots in The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a US-based network that played on the India-US (Ind-US) expression in the Silicon Valley. What seems obvious now was not obvious in the 1990s, when it was a new thing for job-seeking Indian.Read more
दुनिया भर के सीईओ भारत की ओर क्यों दौड़े?
मार्क ज़करबर्ग, सत्य नडेला, और जेफ़ बेज़ोस इन तीनों में आम क्या है? फ़ेसबुक, माइक्रोसॉफ्ट और एमेज़न के शीर्ष अधिकारी इन तीनों ने हाल ही में भारत की यात्रा की है.ये दुर्लभ मौका है जब 'फॉर्चून 500' सूची में शामिल अमरीका अधारित ग्लोबल कंपनियों के तीन प्रमुख एक पखवाड़े में भारत आए हों. क्यों आ रहे हैं वे यहां? प्रशांत के रॉय का विश्लेषण भारत दुनिया में एक उभरता हुआ बाज़ार है. Read more
Apple Unveils the iPad Air 2, for Real This Time
Apple claims the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad Air 2 has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet, reducing glare by up to 56%.It's powered by a new processor, the A8X, a 64-bit chip based on the A8 processor in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple says the CPU is 40% faster than the first iPad Air, with graphics that are 2.5x faster. The iPad Air 2 also includes an M8 motion coprocessor, gathering elevation info from a barometer, the same as the new iPhones. Read more
LINE Messenger finally released for iPad
LINE Corporation has finally released its first iPad app for LINE Messenger. You can login with your registered email and password to login, but you can create an account using the app yet. You can chat, send stickers, images, videos, voice messages and more easily with the app. Some features of the smartphone version of LINE, such as voice and video calls, the Sticker Shop. Read more
Stay connected with us
With the motto of 'Inform, Communicate and Empower,' Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) started its journey in the month of December, 2002. Based out of New Delhi and registered as not-for-profit under the "Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, the effort at DEF has been to find sustainable Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions and communities. With a non-political approach, it was founded to contribute to an enabling social and economic order in India as well as in developing societies with the need based support of ICT tools and means. With ground work since 2003, DEF has reached over 22 States and 8 countries.
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