The Centre for Internet & Society
Developing India’s internet governance
Having lived abroad and run a business through the advent and development of the internet, our founding trustees Anurag and Soma have always taken an interest and supported India’s Centre for Internet & Society. Based in Bangalore, it’s the leading civil society organization in the country lobbying for rights related to the internet. It relies on funding for its operations and between June 2010 and August 2016 we were thrilled to support CIS’s work with just over £1m of core and programmatic funding in three parts.
With rapid growth, growing pains
Anurag takes up the topic, ‘as you’d expect from a developing country, India is lagging on some internet governance issues such as freedom of expression, privacy, access to knowledge and openness. Also, with around 70 million disabled people who can’t read printed material, accessibility for people with disabilities also needs to be improved.’
CIS is working to create a world in which everyone, including people with disabilities, are able to access the internet. And it lobbies the government for reform and legislation, aiming to shape a coherent vision for internet governance among political leaders.
- CIS has gained extensive coverage including articles in The Hindu, The Times of India, Wall Street Journal, Asia Times Online and IBN Live.
- The first grant period saw £120,000 go towards funding work on reforming copyright law and drafting and implementing electronic accessibility standards.
- The second and third grants totalled £928,860, and provided core costs to CIS as well as continuing and initiating new programmes.
Great leaps forward
In the first grant period we gave CIS £120,000 to fund work on reforming copyright law and drafting and implementing electronic accessibility standards. The grant also went towards research that would help more people understand and advocate for citizen-friendly changes in legislation, and to ensure that students are fully aware of the availability and opportunity to participate in the creation of Open Source resources.
The second and third grants between 2012 and 2016 totalled £928,860, and provided core costs to CIS as well as continuing and initiating new programmes. During that period CIS has taken major steps forward in its aim to protect consumers and citizen enterprises, as well as becoming an established authority for media, policy makers, academia and research on internet governance.
‘We are deeply indebted to Kusuma Trust for helping CIS protect public interest within information society policy and research. CIS has been quoted hundreds of times in the media to date and we hope that in the upcoming years with the support of The Trust, CIS will become the ‘go-to organisation’ for the global south when it comes to internet policy research’.Sunil Abraham, Executive Director at Centre for Internet and Society.