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Research and policy advocacy around accessibility, access to knowledge, openness, privacy, freedom of expression, internet governance, telecom, digital natives, and how the internet affects society.
Research and policy advocacy around accessibility, access to knowledge, openness, privacy, freedom of expression, internet governance, telecom, digital natives, and how the internet affects society.

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Surveillance and the Indian Constitution - Part 2: Gobind and the Compelling State Interest Test: Gautam Bhatia analyses the first case in which the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional right to privacy, Gobind v. State of Madhya Pradesh, and argues that the holding in that case adopted the three-pronged American test of strict scrutiny, compelling State interest, and narrow tailoring in its approach to privacy violations. After its judgment in Kharak Singh, the Court was not concerned with the privacy question for a while. The next case that dealt – peripherally – with the issue came eleven years later. In R.M. Malkani v State of Maharashtra, the Court held that attaching a recording device to a person’s telephone did not violate S. 25 of the Telegraph Act, because "where a person talking on the telephone allows another person to record it or to hear it, it can-not be said that the other person who is allowed to do so is damaging, removing, tampering, touching machinery battery line or post for intercepting or acquainting himself with the contents of any message. There was no element of coercion or compulsion in attaching the tape recorder to the telephone." Although this case was primarily about the admissibility of evidence, the Court also took time out to consider – and reject – a privacy-based Article 21 argument, holding that: "Article 21 was invoked by submitting that the privacy of the appellant’s conversation was invaded. Article 21 contemplates procedure established by law with regard to deprivation of life or personal liberty. The telephonic conversation of an innocent citizen will be protected by Courts against wrongful or high handed interference by tapping the conversation. The protection is not for the guilty citizen against the efforts of the police to vindicate the law and prevent corruption of public servants. It must not be understood that the Courts will tolerate safeguards for the protection of the citizen to be imperiled by permitting the police to proceed by unlawful or irregular methods." Apart from the fact that it joined Kharak Singh in refusing to expressly find a privacy right within the contours of Article 21, there is something else that unites Kharak Singh and R.M. Malkani: they hypothetical in Kharak Singh became a reality in Malkani – what saved the telephone tapping precisely because it was directed at "… a guilty person", with the Court specifically holding that the laws were not for targeting innocent people. Once again, then, the targeted  and specific nature of interception became a crucial – and in this case, a decisive – factor. One year later, in another search and seizure case, Pooran Mal v Inspector, the Court cited M.P. Sharma and stuck to its guns, refusing to incorporate the Fourth Amendment into Indian Constitutional law. It is Gobind v State of MP, decided in 1975, that marks the watershed moment for Indian privacy law in the Constitution. Like Kharak Singh, Gobind also involved domiciliary visits to the house of a history-sheeter. Unlike Kharak Singh, however, in Gobind the Court found that the Regulations did have statutory backing – S. 46(2)(c) of the Police Act, which allowed State Government to make notifications giving effect to the provisions of the Act, one of which was the prevention of commission of offences. The surveillance provisions in the impugned regulations, according to the Court, were indeed for the purpose of preventing offences, since they were specifically aimed at repeat offenders. To that extent, then, the Court found that there existed a valid “law” for the purposes of Articles 19 and 21. By this time, of course, American constitutional law had moved forward significantly from eleven years ago, when Kharak Singh had been decided. The Court was able to invoke Griswold v Connecticut and Roe v Wade, both of which had found a "privacy" as an "interstitial" or "penumbral" right in the American Constitution – that is, not reducible to any one provision, but implicit in a number of separate provisions taken together. The Court ran together a number of American authorities, referred to Locke and Kant, to dignity, to liberty and to autonomy, and ended by holding, somewhat confusingly: “the right to privacy must encompass and protect the personal intimacies of the home, the family marriage, motherhood, procreation and child rearing. This catalogue approach to the question is obviously not as instructive as it does not give analytical picture of that distinctive characteristics of the right of privacy. Perhaps, the only suggestion that can be offered as unifying principle underlying the concept has been the assertion that a claimed right must be a fundamental right implicit in the concept of ordered liberty… there are two possible theories for protecting privacy of home. The first is that activities in the home harm others only to the extent that they cause offence resulting from the mere thought that individuals might he engaging in such activities and that such ‘harm’ is not Constitutionally protective by the state. The second is that individuals need a place of sanctuary where they can be free from societal control. The importance of such a sanctuary is that individuals can drop the mask, desist for a while from projecting on the world the image they want to be accepted as themselves, an image that may reflect the values of their peers rather than the realities of their natures… the right to privacy in any event will necessarily have to go through a process of case-by-case development." But if no clear principle emerges out of the Court’s elucidation of the right, it was fairly unambiguous in stressing the importance of the right itself. Interestingly, it grounded the right within the context of the freedom struggle. "Our founding fathers," it observed, "were thoroughly opposed to a Police Raj even as our history of the struggle for freedom has borne eloquent testimony to it." (Para 30) The parallels to the American Fourth Amendment are striking here: in his historical analysis Akhil Amar tells us that the Fourth Amendment was meant precisely to avoid the various abuses of unreasonable searches and seizures that were common in England at the time. The parallels with the United States become even more pronounced, however, when the Court examined the grounds for limiting the right to privacy. "Assuming that the fundamental rights explicitly guaranteed to a citizen have penumbral zones and that the right to privacy is itself a fundamental right, that fundamental right must be subject to restriction on the basis of compelling public interest." "Compelling public interest" is an interesting phrase, for two reasons. First, “public interest” is a ground for fundamental rights restrictions under Article 19 (see, e.g., Article 19(6)), but the text of the Article 19 restrictions do not use – and the Court, in interpreting them, has not held – that the public interest must be “compelling”. This suggests a stricter standard of review for an Article 21 privacy right violation than Article 19 violations. This is buttressed by the fact that in the same paragraph, the Court ended by observing: “even if it be assumed that Article 19(5) [restrictions upon the freedom of movement] does not apply in terms, as the right to privacy of movement cannot be absolute, a law imposing reasonable restriction upon it for compelling interest of State must be upheld as valid.” The Court echoes the language of 19(5), and adds the word “compelling”. This surely cannot be an oversight. More importantly – the compelling State interest is an American test, used often in equal protection cases and cases of discrimination, where “suspect classes” (such as race) are at issue. Because of the importance of the right at issue, the compelling state interest test goes hand-in-hand with another test: narrow tailoring. Narrow tailoring places a burden upon the State to demonstrate that its restriction is tailored in a manner that infringes the right as narrowest manner that is possible to achieve its goals. The statement of the rule may be found in the American Supreme Court case of Grutter v Bollinger: "Even in the limited circumstance when drawing racial distinctions is permissible to further a compelling state interest, government is still constrained under equal protection clause in how it may pursue that end: the means chosen to accomplish the government’s asserted purpose must be specifically and narrowly framed to accomplish that purpose." To take an extremely trivial example that will illustrate the point: the State wants to ban hate speech against Dalits. It passes legislation that bans “all speech that disrespects Dalits.” This is not narrowly tailored, because while all hate speech against Dalits necessarily disrespects them, all speech that disrespects Dalits is not necessarily hate speech. It was possible for the government to pass legislation banning only hate speech against Dalits, one that would have infringed upon free speech more narrowly than the “disrespect law”, and still achieved its goals. The law is not narrowly tailored. Crucially, then, the Court in Gobind seemed to implicitly accept the narrow-tailoring flip side of the compelling state interest coin. On the constitutionality of the Police Regulations itself, it upheld their constitutionality by reading them narrowly. Here is what the Court said: “Regulation 855, in our view, empowers surveillance only of persons against whom reasonable materials exist to induce the opinion that they show a determination, to lead a life of crime – crime in this context being confined to such as involve public peace or security only and if they are dangerous security risks. Mere convictions in criminal cases where nothing gravely imperiling safety of society cannot be regarded as warranting surveillance under this Regulation. Similarly, domiciliary visits and picketing by the police should be reduced to the clearest cases of danger to community security and not routine follow-up at the end of a conviction or release from prison or at the whim of a police officer.” But Regulation 855 did not refer to the gravity of the crime at all. Thus, the Court was able to uphold its constitutionality only by narrowing its scope in a manner that the State’s objective of securing public safety was met in a way that minimally infringed the right to privacy. Therefore, whether the Gobind bench was aware of it or not, its holding incorporates into Indian constitutional law and the right to privacy, not just the compelling State interest test, but narrow tailoring as well. The implications for the CMS are obvious. Because with narrow tailoring, the State must demonstrate that bulk surveillance of all individuals, whether guilty or innocent, suspected of crimes or not suspected of crimes (whether reasonably or otherwise), possessing a past criminal record or not, speaking to each other of breaking up the government or breaking up a relationship – every bit of data must be collected to achieve the goal of maintaining public security, and that nothing narrower will suffice. Can the State demonstrate this? I do not think it can, but at the very least, it should be made to do so in open Court. For more details visit http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/surveillance-and-the-indian-consitution-part-2 http://goo.gl/ixcAE6
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Interview with Mathew Thomas from the Say No to UID campaign - UID Court Cases: The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) recently interviewed Mathew Thomas from the Say No to UID campaign about his ongoing efforts to challenge the UID scheme legally in the Bangalore High Court and Supreme Court of India. Read this interview and gain an interesting insight on recent legal developments with regards to the UID! Hi Mathew! We've heard that you've been in court a lot over the last few years with regards to the UID scheme. Could you please tell us about the UID case you have filed? In early 2012, I filed a civil suit at the Bangalore Court to declare the UID scheme illegal and to stop further biometric enrollments. I alleged that foreign agencies are involved in the process of biometric enrollment, and that cases of corruption have occurred with regards to the companies contracted by the UID Authority of India (UIDAI). Many dubious companies have been empanelled for biometric enrollments by the UIDAI and many cases of corruption have been noted, especially with regards to the preparation of biometric databases for below poverty line (BPL) ration cards in Karnataka. In 2010, according to a government audit report, COMAT Technologies Private Limited had a contract with the Karnataka Government and was required to undertake a door-to-door survey and to set up biometric devices. COMAT Technologies Private Limited was paid ₹ 542.3 million for this purpose, but it turns out that the company did not comply with the terms of the contract and did not fullfill its obligations under the contract. Even though COMAT Technologies Private Limited had been contracted and had been paid ₹ 542.3 million, the company did not hand over any biometric device to the Karnataka Government. Instead, when the company got questioned, it walked away from the contract in 2010, even though it had been paid for a service it did not deliver. In the same year, 2010, COMAT Technologies was empanelled as an Enrolling Agency of the UIDAI. COMAT Technologies also carries out enrollments in Mysore and a TV channel sting operation revealed that fake IDs were being issued in the Mysore enrollment center. After much persuasion, the e-Government department of Karnataka informed me that they have filed an FIR. And this is just one case of a corrupt company empanelled as an enrollement agency with the UIDAI. Many similar cases with other companies have occurred in other cities in India, such as Mumbai, where the empanelled agencies have committed fraud and police complaints have been filed. But unfortunately, there is no publicly available information on the state of the investigations. As such, I filed a case at the Bangalore Court and stated that the whole UID system is insecure, that it will not achieve the objective of preventing leakages of welfare subsidies and that, therefore, it is a waste of public funds, which also affects individuals' right to privacy and right to life. In my complaint in the civil court I made allegations of corruption and dangers to national security backed by documentary evidence. According to Order 8 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), defendants are required to specifically deny each of the allegations against them and if they don't, the court is required to accept the allegations as accurate. According to law, vague, bald denials are not acceptable in courts. Interestingly enough, the defendants in this court case did not deny any of the allegations, but instead stated that they (allegations) are “trivial” and requested the judge to dismiss the case without a trial. The judge requested the defendants to file a written application, asking for the suit to be dismissed under Order 7, Rule 11, of the Civil Procedure Code. Nonetheless, in May 2012, the judge observed that this is a serious case which should not be dismissed and that he would like to have a daily hearing of the case, especially since the case was grounded on the allegation that thousands of crores of rupees of public money are spent every day. However, one month later in June 2012, the judge dismissed the case by stating that I did not have a “cause of action” and that the case is not of civil nature under Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure. I argued that tax payers have a right to know where their money is going and that we all have a right to privacy and that therefore, I did have a cause for action. I quoted the Supreme Court case setting out the law relating to the meaning of “civil nature”. The Apex court said, “Anything which is not of criminal nature is of civil nature”. I also quoted several court precedents which explained conditions under which complaints could be dismissed under Order VII Rule 11. Unfortunately though, the judge dismissed all of this and suggested that I should take this case to the High Court or to the Supreme Court, since the Bangalore Court did not have the authority to address the violation of fundamental human rights. In my opinion, the fallacy in this judgement was that, on the one hand, the judge stated in his order that there was “no cause for action”, but on the other hand, he said that I should take the case to the High Court or to the Supreme Court! And on top of that, the judge stated that my case was frivolous and levied on me a Rs. 25, 000 fine, because apparently I was “wasting the court's time” ! In addition to all of this, the judge made a very intriguing statement in his order: he claimed that the biometric enrollment with the UIDAI is voluntary and that therefore I need not enrol. I argued that although the UID is voluntary in theory, it is actually mandatory on many levels, especially since access to many governmental services require enrollment with the UIDAI. Nonetheless, the judge insisted that the UID is purely voluntary and that if I am not happy with the UID, then I should just “stay at home”. And how did the case continue thereafter? In October 2012 I appealed against this to the High Court by stating that there was a misapplication of Order 7, Rule 11, of the Civil Procedure Code and requested the High Court to send the suit back for trial at the Bangalore Court. Now, when you appeal in India, the Court has to issue notices to the opposite party, which are usually sent by registered post. However, nothing was happening, so I filed a number of applications to hear the case. The registrar’s office filed a number of trivial “objections” with which I needed to comply and this took three months, until January 2013. For example, one “objection” was that the lower court order stated the date of the order as "03-07-12", whereas I had mentioned the date as 3 July 2012. Then they would argue that the acknowledgement of the receipt of the notice from the respondents was not received. The High Court is located next to the head post office (GPO) in Bangalore and normally it would be sent there, then directly to the GPO in Delhi and from there to the Planning Commission or to the UIDAI. Yet, the procedure was delayed because apparently the notices weren't sent. In one hearing, the court clerk said that the address of the defendant was wrong and that the address of the Planning Commission should also be included. All in all, it seemed to me like there was some deliberate attempt to delay the procedure and the dismissal of the case by the Bangalore Court seemed very questionable. As a result, in January 2013, I asked the High Court to permit me to personally hand over my appeal to the Government Council. And finally, on 17th December 2013, my appeal was heard by the Bangalore High Court! Over the last three months, the defendants have not filed any counter affidavit. Instead, the Government Council came to the High Court and stated that I have not filed a “paper book” (which includes depositions and evidence, among other things). However, the judge stated that this is not a case which requires a “paper book”, since my appeal was about the misapplication of Order 7, Rule 11, of the Civil Procedure Code. Then the Government Council asked for more time to review the appeal and it is has been postponed. Have there been any other recent court cases against the UID? Yes. While all of this was going on, retired judge, Justice Puttaswamy, filed a petition in the Supreme Court, stating that the UID scheme is illegal, since it violates article 73 of the Constitution. Aruna Roy, who is an activist at the National Council for People’s Right to Information, has also filed a petition where she has questioned the UID because it violates privacy rights and the rights of the poor. Furthermore, petitions have been filed in the Madras High Court and in the Mumbai High Court. In 2012, it was argued in the Madras High Court that the only legal provision for taking fingerprints exists under the Prisoners Act, whereas the UIDAI is taking the fingerprints of people who are not prisoners and therefore it is illegal. In 2013, Vikram Crishna, Kamayani Bahl and a few others argued in the Mumbai High Court that the right to privacy is being violated through the UID scheme. It is noteworthy that in most of these cases, the defendants have not filed any counter-arguments. The only exceptions were in the Aruna Roy and Puttaswamy cases, where the defendants claimed that the UID is secure and supported it in general. In the end, the Supreme Court directed that the cases in Mumbai and Madras should be clubbed together and addressed by it. As such, the cases filed in the Madras and Mumbai High Courts have been sent to the Supreme Court of India. Major General Vombathakere also filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that the UID scheme violates individuals' right to privacy. When the counsel for the General commenced his arguments the judge pointed to the possibility of the Government passing the NIA Bill soon, which will contain provisions for privacy, as stated by the Government. As such, the judge implied that if the Government passes such a law the argument, that the Government is implementing the scheme in a legal vacuum, may not be valid. So what is the status of your pending court cases? Well, I impleaded myself in Aruna Roy's petition and brought my arguments with regards to corruption in the case of companies contracted with the UIDAI and the danger to national security through the involvement of persons linked to US intelligence agencies. The last hearing in the Supreme Court was on 10th December 2013, but it was postponed to 28 January 2014. So in short, in the Supreme Court I am currently filing a case for investigation with regards to corruption and links with foreign intelligence agencies by companies contracted with the UIDAI, while in the Bangalore High Court, I have appealed a civil trial with regards to the misplacement of Order 7, Rule 11, of the Civil Procedure Code. For more details visit http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/interview-with-mathew-thomas-from-the-say-no-to-uid-campaign http://goo.gl/3e15Dm
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Surveillance and the Indian Constitution - Part 1: Foundations: In this insightful seven-part series, Gautam Bhatia looks at surveillance and the right to privacy in India from a constitutional perspective, tracing its genealogy through Supreme Court case law and compares it with the law in the USA. Note: This was originally posted on the Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy blog. --- On previous occasions, we have discussed the ongoing litigation in ACLU v. Clapper in the United States, a challenge to the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk surveillance program. Recall that a short while after the initial Edward Snowden disclosures, The Hindu revealed the extent of domestic surveillance in India, under the aegis of the Central Monitoring System (CMS). The CMS (and what it does) is excellently summarized here. To put thing starkly and briefly: “With the C.M.S., the government will get centralized access to all communications metadata and content traversing through all telecom networks in India. This means that the government can listen to all your calls, track a mobile phone and its user’s location, read all your text messages, personal e-mails and chat conversations. It can also see all your Google searches, Web site visits, usernames and passwords if your communications aren’t encrypted.” The CMS is not sanctioned by parliamentary legislation. It also raises serious privacy concerns. In order to understand the constitutional implications, therefore, we need to investigate Indian privacy jurisprudence. In a series of posts, we plan to discuss that. Privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution. It plays no part in the Constituent Assembly Debates. The place of the right – if it exists – must therefore be located within the structure of the Constitution, as fleshed out by judicial decisions. The first case to address the issue was M. P. Sharma v. Satish Chandra, in 1954. In that case, the Court upheld search and seizure in the following terms: "A power of search and seizure is in any system of jurisprudence an overriding power of the State for the protection of social security and that power is necessarily regulated by law. When the Constitution makers have thought fit not to subject such regulation to Constitutional limitations by recognition of a fundamental right to privacy, analogous to the American Fourth Amendment, we have no justification to import it, into a totally different fundamental right. by some process of strained construction." The right in question was 19(1)(f) – the right to property. Notice here that the Court did not reject a right to privacy altogether – it only rejected it in the context of searches and seizures for documents, the specific prohibition of the American Fourth Amendment (that has no analogue in India). This specific position, however, would not last too long, and was undermined by the very next case to consider this question, Kharak Singh. In Kharak Singh v. State of UP, the UP Police Regulations conferred surveillance power upon certain “history sheeters” – that is, those charged (though not necessarily convicted) of a crime. These surveillance powers included secret picketing of the suspect’s house, domiciliary visits at night, enquiries into his habits and associations, and reporting and verifying his movements. These were challenged on Article 19(1)(d) (freedom of movement) and Article 21 (personal liberty) grounds. It is the second ground that particularly concerns us. As a preliminary matter, we may observe that the Regulations in question were administrative – that is, they did not constitute a “law”, passed by the legislature. This automatically ruled out a 19(2) – 19(6) defence, and a 21 “procedure established by law” defence – which were only applicable when the State made a law. The reason for this is obvious: fundamental rights are extremely important. If one is to limit them, then that judgment must be made by a competent legislature, acting through the proper, deliberative channels of lawmaking – and not by mere administrative or executive action. Consequently – and this is quite apart from the question of administrative/executive competence - if the Police Regulations were found to violate Article 19 or Article 21, that made them ipso facto void, without the exceptions kicking in. (Paragraph 5) It is also important to note one other thing: as a defence, it was expressly argued by the State that the police action was reasonable and in the interests of maintaining public order precisely because it was “directed only against those who were on proper grounds suspected to be of proved anti-social habits and tendencies and on whom it was necessary to impose some restraints for the protection of society.” The Court agreed, observing that this would have “an overwhelming and even decisive weight in establishing that the classification was rational and that the restrictions were reasonable and designed to preserve public order by suitable preventive action” – if there had been a law in the first place, which there wasn’t. Thus, this issue itself was hypothetical, but what is crucial to note is that the State argued – and the Court endorsed – the basic idea that what makes surveillance reasonable under Article 19 is the very fact that it is targeted – targeted at individuals who are specifically suspected of being a threat to society because of a history of criminality. Let us now move to the merits. The Court upheld secret picketing on the ground that it could not affect the petitioner’s freedom of movement since it was, well secret – and what you don’t know, apparently, cannot hurt you. What the Court found fault with was the intrusion into the petitioner’s dwelling, and knocking at his door late at night to wake him up. The finding required the Court to interpret the meaning of the term “personal liberty” in Article 21. By contrasting the very specific rights listed in Article 21, the Court held that: “Is then the word “personal liberty” to be construed as excluding from its purview an invasion on the part of the police of the sanctity of a man’s home and an intrusion into his personal security and his right to sleep which is the normal comfort and a dire necessity for human existence even as an animal? It might not be inappropriate to refer here to the words of the preamble to the Constitution that it is designed to “assure the dignity of the individual” and therefore of those cherished human value as the means of ensuring his full development and evolution. We are referring to these objectives of the framers merely to draw attention to the concepts underlying the constitution which would point to such vital words as “personal liberty” having to be construed in a reasonable manner and to be attributed that these which would promote and achieve those objectives and by no means to stretch the meaning of the phrase to square with any preconceived notions or doctrinaire constitutional theories.” (Paragraph 16) A few important observations need to be made about this paragraph. The first is that it immediately follows the Court’s examination of the American Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, with their guarantees of “life, liberty and property…” and is, in turn, followed by the Court’s examination of the American Fourth Amendment, which guarantees the protection of a person’s houses, papers, effects etc from unreasonable searches and seizures. The Court’s engagement with the Fourth Amendment is ambiguous. It admits that “our Constitution contains no like guarantee…”, but holds that nonetheless “these extracts [from the 1949 case, Wolf v Colorado] would show that an unauthorised intrusion into a person’s home and the disturbance caused to him thereby, is as it were the violation of a common law right of a man – an ultimate essential of ordered liberty”, thus tying its own holding in some way to the American Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. But here’s the crucial thing: at this point, American Fourth Amendment jurisprudence was propertarian based – that is, the Fourth Amendment was understood to codify – with added protection – the common law of trespass, whereby a man’s property was held sacrosanct, and not open to be trespassed against. Four years later, in 1967, in Katz, the Supreme Court would shift its own jurisprudence, to holding that the Fourth Amendment protected zones where persons had a “reasonable expectation of privacy”, as opposed to simply protecting listed items of property (homes, papers, effects etc). Kharak Singh was handed down before Katz. Yet the quoted paragraph expressly shows that the Court anticipated Katz, and in expressly grounding the Article 21 personal liberty right within the meaning of dignity, utterly rejected the propertarian-tresspass foundations that it might have had. To use a phrase invoked by later Courts – in this proto-privacy case, the Court already set the tone by holding it to attach to persons, not places. While effectively finding a right to privacy in the Constitution, the Court expressly declined to frame it that way. In examining police action which involved tracking a person’s location, association and movements, the Court upheld it, holding that “the right of privacy is not a guaranteed right under our Constitution and therefore the attempt to ascertain the movements of an individual which is merely a manner in which privacy is invaded is not an infringement of a fundamental right guaranteed by Part III.” The “therefore” is crucial. Although not expressly, the Court virtually holds, in terms, that tracking location, association and movements does violate privacy, and only finds that constitutional because there is no guaranteed right to privacy within the Constitution. Yet. In his partly concurring and partly dissenting opinion, Subba Rao J. went one further, by holding that the idea of privacy was, in fact, contained within the meaning of Article 21: “it is true our Constitution does not expressly declare a right to privacy as a fundamental right, but the said right is an essential ingredient of personal liberty.” Privacy he defined as the right to “be free from restrictions or encroachments on his person, whether those restrictions or encroachments are directly imposed or indirectly brought about by calculated measures.” On this ground, he held all the surveillance measures unconstitutional. Justice Subba Rao’s opinion also explored a proto-version of the chilling effect. Placing specific attention upon the word “freely” contained within 19(1)(d)’s guarantee of free movment, Justice Subba Rao went specifically against the majority, and observed: “The freedom of movement in clause (d) therefore must be a movement in a free country, i.e., in a country where he can do whatever he likes, speak to whomsoever he wants, meet people of his own choice without any apprehension, subject of course to the law of social control. The petitioner under the shadow of surveillance is certainly deprived of this freedom. He can move physically, but he cannot do so freely, for all his activities are watched and noted. The shroud of surveillance cast upon him perforce engender inhibitions in him and he cannot act freely as he would like to do. We would, therefore, hold that the entire Regulation 236 offends also Art. 19(1)(d) of the Constitution.” This early case, therefore, has all the aspects that plague the CMS today. What to do with administrative action that does not have the sanction of law? What role does targeting play in reasonableness – assuming there is a law? What is the philosophical basis for the implicit right to privacy within the meaning of Article 21’s guarantee of personal liberty? And is the chilling effect a valid constitutional concern? We shall continue with the development of the jurisprudence in the next post. --- You can follow Gautam Bhatia on Twitter For more details visit http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/blog/surveillance-and-the-indian-consitution-part-1 http://goo.gl/xwQQll
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UDAAN: Voices of Young Change Makers in India: This post is a short account of what happened at UDAAN in December 2013 — a conference that gathered 100 youth from across the country to discuss pressing environmental issues and creative strategies to tackle them. We conducted a survey to map the perspectives of these young change-makers and get a glimpse of how India's youth is now framing and going about making 'change' CHANGE-MAKERS: Youth (India) EVENT: UDAAN 2013 organized by 350 India: a global organization building grassroots movements across the country. METHOD OF CHANGE: Behavioral change, solidarity networks and creative activism. “Change or making change is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do certain things. To alter our general way of life as it remains now into something that is positive and ideal.” This is one of the many responses we collected from UDAAN participants on what it means to make change in India today.  So far, in previous articles, we have looked at organizations working with specific demographics and themes. On this opportunity, we are exploring the ideas behind a group conformed by individuals coming from different walks of life, who embody an array of historical, linguistic and cultural understandings of the world, yet still find an intersection at their intents for change. We addressed the core questions raised in the project's thought piece: Whose Change is it Anyway: “What is the understanding of change with which we were working? What are the kinds of changes being imagened? Whose change is it, anyway?” to start touching base with the ideas underpinning their actions, and identify how -or whether it introduces new ways to define this concept.   UDAAN 2013 I had the privilege of joining this inspiring group during a four day conference and got the opportunity to share with students, activists and entrepreneurs from 13 states of India (chosen from a pool of 2000 applicants) involved in social change practices across the country. Despite the diverging world views among participants, the sense of a common purpose was almost undisputed. Every attendee was committed to mitigate the detrimental impact of climate change in their cities, protect vulnerable populations and advocate for justice. However, the most interesting points of contention lied on how to translate this commitment into individual and collective action, create conditions that enable change, and encourage community participation in environmental, political and social issues. With these questions in mind, the conference focused on providing strategies of action and the attendees explored all sorts of lobbying and political participation mechanisms through its workshops. Three main elements stood out for me. First, the cocktail of tactics provided by experienced campaigners: from direct resistance and non-violent action to story-telling and street theater; participants were inspired to experiment and re-conceptualize activism. Space Theatre Ensemble Educators Collective Second, the use of gamification in the workshops, facilitated by the experiential learning group Educators Collective, was the key to introduce values of leadership, solidarity and sustainability into individual behaviour and team practices. And finally, the add of 'unconference slots' to the program empowered attendees to share their methods, initiatives and projects in an open platform. This fostered peer-to-peer learning and more importantly reinforced the net of support and the immense amount of admiration (that grew exponentially between participants) for each other's work. Youth and Activism in India Coming from the perspective of our research project: Making Change, it was second nature to me to question frameworks utilized around "making change". I was pleasantly surprised to find an array of perspectives and experiences floating around panels, workshops and keynote presentations. They were definitely seeking consensus, yet in a way that did not inhibit diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection. This sparked the idea of collecting these views and use them as a sample of the current status of youth activism in India. Particularly considering how many of the strategies taught at UDAAN, while incredibly powerful, require a set of resources (including capital, time and energy) that are not readily accessible for all aspiring activists in the country. These thoughts are consistent with a couple of articles I referred to for context on Indian youth and activism. Starting with the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the UN-HABITAT's report: "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills". It states that in only seven years, India will become the youngest country of the world with a median age of 29 years old.  This, coupled with the fact that India's youth is the largest group in the working-age population — in a country that is expected to become one of the world's next major economic powers (Ilavasaran, 2013) — has, according to Padma Prakash, led demographers and economists to consider youth as the future of the country's economic growth. Having said that, these promising prospects do not reflect that 87.2% of the unemployed of the country are youth, only 27% of Indian youth is literate and 64% is located in rural areas. These facts display a constant negotiation between precariousness and hope, and particularly the high level of dissonance between the expectations and opportunities surrounding this group. Furthermore, as put by Prakash, despite the amount of economic information we have on this group, we lack a deep understanding of the social constructs underpinning their motivations and actions. On one hand, Ilavasaran suggests precariousness is the trigger behind both their unrest and their activism. On the other, the path they end up taking will depend on how they understand making change and their role within this process. This dilemma was quite evident at UDAAN. Youth from all over India came together to fervently speak about the grievances climate change is causing in their regions and share the stories behind their struggles. On this note, the conference represented an incubator for their ideas and frustrations. and one of its main goals was to steer all this energy towards a path of constructive positive change. Carpini on his work on civic engagement (2000) outlines three factors that lead to participation: motivation, opportunities and capabilities; and how the interplay of the three result in different patterns of change-making. Hence, what is left to answer is how will this chaotic ecosystem shape youth's ideas of creating change? And to what extent will these conditions determine their motivation, opportunities and capacities of participating in the process? The survey we sent out to participants is only a starting point to reflect on these points. It did not aim to resolve these questions, but instead gather a snapshot of how politically and socially active young citizens are locating change and framing some of the biggest challenges of its generation. Online Survey About 25 people participated in the survey. The survey had five questions that explored three concepts analyzed in the Making Change research project: change, civic engagement and methods of change. It was divided into three sections: a) Definitions: Participants were asked how they understand 'change' and 'making change'. b) Actors: Participants were asked to reflect on their role and the role of youth in the process of making change. It also touched on concepts of active citizenship and engagement. c) Methods: This section looked at the practices and methods preferred by youth for making change. Participants were asked to think about strategies and tactics discussed at the UDAAN workshops or other initiatives of interest, and how ICT/technology affect the process. The purpose was to collate as many ideas and perspectives around change-making from this group and hence, the questions were broad and open-ended. The participants remained anonymous and details about their age, religion, region, socio-economic status, etc., were not disclosed. The language barrier and access (and frequency of access) to social media platforms was a big limitation to obtain a larger sample but the responses still reflected interesting patterns, which were later classified and categorized using a keyword system.  The results were displayed on the info-graphics found below: * Infographic 1* reflects the different ways participants outlined change-making: definitions of 'change' and 'making change', type of change (positive, neutral or confrontational), location of change (individual, society or system) and time of change (now, future, long-term). * Infographics 2* and 3 outline the profiles of a change-maker and an active citizen. * Infographic 4 lists their preferred methods of change in no particular order. The bottom section reflects the spectrum of opinions around the use of technology. The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reflected this view and the texts are excerpts of the respondents' answers. This presentation format was chosen for three reasons: first, to facilitate the consumption of raw data collected from the survey and make visual associations between themes. Second, to put into practice some the recommendations from the storytelling workshop to make research more accessible to the public. And third, as a somewhat self-serving experiment to measure a) the ability of a graphic designer rookie, with no previous experience (like me), to create visual aids and graphics with free online tools, and b) explore empirically some of the methods I have encountered through my research: Methods for Social Change.  Hence, the following results will not be of an academic nature as previous posts, but will instead clarify some of the patterns, evident in the original responses, that may have been lost in graphic translation.  Locating Change: Definitions  "Change is any alteration from an established status-quo. Making change is creating a system that is self-sustaining and capable of surviving over a long period of time" In spite of including both concepts on the same question, most respondents differentiated them in their answers. Approximately 50% of the sample responded 'change' was either an irreversible process or an outcome to a process, while the other 50% implicated themselves in the 'change' process, stating it means to shift and modify how we act and think. A similar spirit was reflected about 'making change'. About 29% of the participants acknowledges a break from previous practices, and 29% considers we are implicated through the adoption of a new model of action. Interestingly enough, only 5% considers making change a duty or a responsibility. This low percentage signals making change is understood as non-compulsory which does not affect active politically involved citizens but leaves the more passive and idle off the hook when it comes to acknowledging their role in the process of  change.  Moving on to type of change: 38% of the respondents consider making change a neutral process that does not guarantee a positive change (as considered by 33% of the sample). It was defined as an event that merely breaks the norm or from usual practices. A possible reading of this is that a group is not mobilizing its efforts with a plausible positive alternative in mind. Instead, it seeks difference without a deeper considerations of how will it differ from the conditions it is breaking from. This fits into the 'politics of hope' paradigm brought up by Shah in the piece: This approach to change and the idiom 'making a difference' is "so infused with the joy of possibilities" that it doesn't evaluate whether the outcome will lead to further assurance or precariousness, when compared to the earlier structure.  This approach limits structural, systemic and sustainable change, an issue that was also evident in the results of the time-line. 0% thinks change must be made immediately but the rest of the sample was divided into making plans for the future (19%) and a smaller number on securing a self-sustaining system (10%) to replace the former.  Infographic 1: Making Change (Generated using: easel.ly) Finally, on the question of where is change located, we find the first instance of a pattern that was evident throughout the survey. On this category 38% finds change must occur externally: either in society and others (19%), or through the shift from a status quo that is perpetuating inequality (19%). Yet the largest group (24%) identified that change must occur internally first. The role of the self was also very prominent in the following sections as well.  Agents of Change After locating change, the project also intends to understand who are the main actors and stakeholders lumped into the category of 'citizen' or 'citizen action'. On this survey, these actors were dubbed 'change-makers'. Respondents were free to describe what they understood by the term and the social construct determining the model they were working towards (as aspiring change-makers themselves). The second actor we inquired about was 'active citizen'. The concept of citizenship is ambiguous terrain, yet there seems to be a connection between the identity confered by the 'citizen' status and the respondents' inner call for action.  a) The Change-Maker: "I think that all of us can be change-makers. We need to be sure of what and why we need to change and have a vision of how the world will be after making the change" The Change-Maker (Infographic 2) was defined by the four characteristics outlined below. Infographic 2: The Change Maker (Generated using: easel.ly ) Each characteristic was coupled by actions that reinforce this behaviour. For example, understanding the issue (33%) comes hand-in-hand with inciting motivation through information: 'If one aspires to change, then one must first understand what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and what would replace the changed system. The primary step is to realize and acknowledge the problem, educate others and then action” (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) Another interesting example is how the 28% that identified the individual as the source of change, also recommend self-reflection on how to create the most impact: "[My role as a change-maker is] practicing what I preach and learning to critique myself constructively and in a manner that helps me improve" (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) This brings a different light to Carpinis categorization of 'capabilities' in social change. It is no longer about participation in an external movement but more about how the individual secures sustained change through his own consistent and coherent behaviour. b) The Active Citizen "An active citizen is who follows the constitution, understands and takes responsibility for himself and for influencing his family and community for the betterment of life's social, economic and environmental issues" Self-awareness was a key point in how the active citizen was personified. It was one of most emphasized points, placing more responsibility on the role of the citizen as opposed to on the issue at hand. Attitudes such as 'realizing the problem', 'taking responsibility' and 'taking initiative' reflect that the individual is finding motivation on taking ownership of his choices and decision-making power. The individual is focusing less on antagonizing the structure and is instead elevating his identity to a fearless, noble status the citizen is becoming the hero of its own narrative. This ego-emphasis, is also motivating the citizen to invest on increasing its own knowledge capital and attain a thorough understanding of the issues, to then heighten individual and collective awareness around them. The objective is either local -give back to its community or normative work towards justice and equity but there seems to be consensus on the starting point.  Infographic 3 - The Active Citizen (Generated using: easel.ly) Methods for Change “By going out there and making the change! Get down and dirty. Then use those examples in the form of story, pictures, etc. and inspire others around you to first change themselves and then help change society!” Finally, infographic 4 displays a mapping of the methods brought up by participants. Again, awareness and behavioural change were the most popular, placing information and the individual at the epicenter of change-making. The impact of the theater and story telling workshops on participants was also evident, on several mentions to the power of 'artivism'. Infographic 4: Methods for Social Change (Generated using: easel.ly ) In regards to communication and technology, I was surprised to find that many respondents find it insufficient. They instead recognize the need for strong offline communities making sure activism online translates into the offline realm.  “[online platforms] are vital in building quick connections amongst those who feel alike towards bringing change. But eventually, all struggles for change have to be offline [...] technology could be the first step that eventually leads the path to more offline and personal connections.”(Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) : Others were wary about its power and they recognize it can be used to both help and contain the activist with the same intensity: "Technology can either blind people or give them sight."(Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) These views reflect youth has moved on from the tech hype that pervades the digital activism discourse. The role of technology was not excluded from the conference's tactic package and  the group perceives technology as a powerful complement, yet it still places a lot more emphasis on creating sustainable change through education, behaviour and offline interactions than through digital interventions. Conclusion Comments at the aftermath of the event reflected participants had undergone a collective mental shift on how to create social change. We arrived looking outwards: accustomed to pointing fingers and scouting for common enemies that personify the misdoings of inequality perpetrators. Five days at Fireflies later and after UDAAN's intervention, I can safely say we left looking inwards. We are now determined to seek information and identify the most effective ways to mainstream it and make it accessible; we are impelled to reconnect with our creative and artistic selves and put them at service of communication; we are encouraged to share our personal stories and have them inspire solidarity and movement in our communities, and above all, we will continue to pursue the level of behaviour-action consistency that legitimizes our efforts at making change. The conference turned out to be a very organic experience and it provided all of us with a space to connect with ourselves and one another in a time of growing loneliness and isolation in the digital age. Furthermore, the thoughts that surfaced on the survey are important pointers to continue uncovering what drives civic engagement among youth. Seeing these activists locate change in the self was a refreshing break from the times we used to overindulge in the possibilities of technology-mediated change. It seems that the digital is already so embedded in our interactions and ecosystems that it has not only has ceased to be novel, but it is recognized as insufficent, and hence, the attention has returned back to the user and its offline communities. With this in mind, the group that attended UDAAN, as part of the demographic who represents "the promise and future of India's growth", is taking up the challenge of strengthening ideas of making change in their networks. Have them succeed, and this 'growth' will be met by a current of better informed, better armed young activists working to secure a self-sustaining system for the generations to come.  * Thanks to everyone who participated on the survey, Special mention to UDAAN organizers, Educators Collective and the wonderful UDAAN 2013 group** Sources: * HABITAT, UN. "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012.", (2013) * Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara. "Community work and limited online activism among India youth." International Communication Gazette 75, no. 3 (2013): 284-299. * Shah, Nishant “Whose Change is it Anyways? Hivos Knowledge Program. (April 30, 2013). Resources: * Easel.ly: To create and share visual ideas online: www.easel.ly/‎ * Info.gram: Create infographics: infogr.am * More on UDAAN: http://world.350.org/udaan/ * More on Global Power Shift (350) - http://globalpowershift.org/ For more details visit http://cis-india.org/digital-natives/making-change/young-voices-udaan http://goo.gl/ZDww3E
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Government of India's Response to WGEC Questionnaire: The Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation circulated a questionnaire to collect the views and positions of the stakeholders on the various aspects of enhanced cooperation. India's response to the questionnaire is documented below for archival purposes.   INDIA, Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations Office 9, RUE DU VALAIS, 1202, GENEVA Mission.india@ties.itu.int 1. Which stakeholder category do you belong to? Government If non-government, please indicate: If non-government, please indicate if you are: 2. What do you think is the significance, purpose and scope of enhanced cooperation as per the Tunis Agenda? 1) Significance 2) Purpose 3) Scope * Significance The World Summit on Information Society (WSIS), held in two phases had discussed the issues relating to Internet Governance at a great length and in detail and recommended (i) convening a new forum for multi-stake holder policy dialogue and (ii) beginning the process towards Enhanced Cooperation. As a result of the first recommendation, an Internet Governance Forum was established in 2006 as a forum for dialogue among various stakeholders. However, the process towards Enhanced Cooperation to develop international public policy issues pertaining to Internet in a fair and equitable manner is yet to take off. The use of internet and its socio-economic impact has grown further in the last few years. This has made the need for Enhanced Cooperation even more significant and urgent. * Purpose The purpose of Enhanced Cooperation is to enable governments, on an equal footing, through a suitable multilateral, transparent and democratic mechanism, to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet, in consultation with all other stakeholders. * Scope The scope of Enhanced Cooperation covers international public policy issues pertaining to the internet as well as the development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues pertaining to the coordination and management of critical internet resources, but not the dayto-day technical and operational matters, that do not impact on international public policy issues. 3. To what extent has or has not enhanced cooperation been implemented? Please use the space below to explain and to provide examples to support your answer. Enhanced Cooperation, as envisaged in Paras 68 and 69 of the Tunis Agenda, has not been realized. This remains a major shortcoming in implementation of WSIS Outcomes related to Enhanced Cooperation, considering that a specific mandate was given by the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS) in 2005 to begin such a process of Enhanced Cooperation in the first quarter of 2006. There is no multilateral, transparent and democratic global platform where governments can, on an equal footing, decide the full range of international public policies related to internet, in a holistic manner. There is also no mechanism for the development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues including those pertaining to coordination and management of critical Internet resources. Not establishing an Enhanced Cooperation process has denied the Governments an opportunity to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public-policy issues pertaining to the internet. 4. What are the relevant international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet? The Working Group on Internet Governance set up by WSIS identified many public policy issues pertaining to internet, which continue to be relevant today, as listed below: * Issues relating to infrastructure and the management of critical Internet resources, including administration of the domain name system and Internet protocol addresses (IP addresses), administration of the root server system, technical standards, peering and interconnection, telecommunications infrastructure, including innovative and convergent technologies, as well as multilingualization; * Issues relating to the use of the Internet, including spam, network security and cybercrime; * Issues that are relevant to the Internet but have an impact much wider than the Internet and for which existing organizations are responsible, such as intellectual property rights (IPRs) or international trade; * Issues relating to the developmental aspects of Internet governance, in particular capacity building in developing countries; * Issues relating to interconnection costs, meaningful participation in global policy development, freedom of expression, Data protection and privacy rights, Consumer rights, convergence and “next generation networks” (NGNs), as well as trade and e-commerce; Furthermore, Para 59 of the Tunis Agenda recognised that Internet Governance includes social, economic and technical issues including affordability, reliability and quality of service and para 60 of the Tunis Agenda recognised that there are many cross-cutting public policy issues that require attention. Since WSIS, international internet-related public policy issues have only grown in their number as well as importance. Several issues such as cloud computing have emerged in the last few years. Newer issues will keep arising with significant international public policy dimensions as the Internet continues to evolve and grow in its reach and spread. 5. What are the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders, including governments, in implementation of the various aspects of enhanced cooperation? Enhanced Cooperation is a dynamic process due to the dynamic nature of internet. As a result, the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders would need to be broadly defined. In this regard, we concur with the recommendations of the Working Group on Internet Governance on the role of different stakeholders — as listed below: Governments: Public authority for Internet related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States and that they have rights and responsibilities for international Internet public policy. Their roles and responsibilities include:- * Public policy-making and coordination and implementation, as appropriate, at the national level, and policy development and coordination at the regional and international levels; * Creating an enabling environment for information and communication technology (ICT) development; Oversight functions; Development and adoption of laws, regulations and standards; * Treaty-making; Development of best practices; Fostering capacity-building in and through ICTs; * Promoting research and development of technologies and standards; * Promoting access to ICT services; Combating cybercrime; * Fostering international and regional cooperation; * Promoting the development of infrastructure and ICT applications; * Addressing general developmental issues; * Promoting multilingualism and cultural diversity; Dispute resolution and arbitration. Private sector: The private sector has important role and responsibilities which include the following:- Industry self-regulation; Development of best practices; Development of policy proposals, guidelines and tools for policymakers and other stakeholders; Research and development of technologies, standards and processes; Contribution to the drafting of national law and participation in national and international policy development; Fostering innovation; Arbitration and dispute resolution; Promoting capacity-building. Civil society: Civil society has also played an important role on Internet matters especially at the community level and should continue to play such roles. The roles and responsibilities of civil society include: * Awareness-raising and capacity-building (knowledge, training, skills sharing); * Promoting various public interest objectives; Facilitating network-building; Mobilizing citizens in democratic processes; * Bringing perspectives of marginalized groups, including, for example, excluded communities and grass-roots activists; * Engaging in policy processes; Contributing expertise, skills, experience and knowledge in a range of ICT policy areas; * Contributing to policy processes and policies that are more bottom-up, people-centred and inclusive; Research and development of technologies and standards; Development and dissemination of best practices; * Helping to ensure that political and market forces are accountable to the needs of all members of society; * Encouraging social responsibility and good governance practice. Advocating for the development of social projects and activities that are critical but may not be “fashionable” or profitable; * Contributing to shaping visions of human-centred information societies based on human rights, sustainable development, social justice and empowerment. Furthermore, the contribution to the Internet of the academic community is very valuable and constitutes one of its main sources of inspiration, innovation and creativity. Similarly, the technical community and its organizations are deeply involved in Internet operation, Internet standard-setting and Internet services development. Both of these groups make a permanent and valuable contribution to the stability, security, functioning and evolution of the Internet. They interact extensively with and within all stakeholder groups. The para 35 of the Tunis Agenda recognises the role of intergovernmental organizations in facilitating the coordination of internet related public policy issues and international organizations in the development of internet related technical standards and relevant policies. 6. How should enhanced cooperation be implemented to enable governments, on an equal footing, to carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet? A suitable multilateral, transparent and democratic mechanism must be created where governments, on an equal footing, may carry out their roles and responsibilities in international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and public policy issues pertaining to coordination and management of critical Internet resources, in consultation with all other stakeholders. India would submit its recommendations on such a mechanism separately to the WGEC. WGEC should submit its recommendation on the broad parameters of such a mechanism to the UNGA through CSTD as an input to the overall review of the outcomes of the WSIS. 7. How can enhanced cooperation enable other stakeholders to carry out their roles and responsibilities? The mechanism should be designed so as to enable the other stakeholders to discharge their respective roles and responsibilities as mentioned above in response to Question 5 above in an effective manner. Further, Para 70 of the Tunis Agenda stated that relevant international organizations responsible for essential tasks associated with the Internet should contribute in creating an environment that facilitates the development of public policy principles. Therefore these organizations would need to make necessary changes to facilitate an appropriate interface with the mechanism of Enhanced Cooperation. 8. What are the most appropriate mechanisms to fully implement enhanced cooperation as recognized in the Tunis Agenda, including on international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet and public policy issues associated with coordination and management of critical Internet resources? It is relevant to recall relevant paragraphs of the Tunis Agenda to identify most appropriate mechanisms to fully implement enhanced cooperation. The Para 69 sets the tone for Governments to define a mechanism of the enhanced cooperation. This paragraph together with other paras in the Tunis Agenda, when read with the WSIS outcomes clearly provides the basis for establishing the mechanism of enhanced cooperation. The sequence of paragraphs that help define the contours of a mechanism is as follows: * Para 29 states that international management of internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic with the full involvement of governments and other stakeholders. * Para 31 commits to full participation of all stakeholders, within respective roles and responsibilities, to ensure requisite legitimacy of governance of internet. * The roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders have been defined in brief in para 35 of the Tunis Agenda and in detail in paras 29-34 of WGIG report. * In Para 60 of the Tunis Agenda, the Leaders have clearly pointed out the inadequacy of the current mechanisms for dealing with many cross-cutting international public policy issues. As a sequel to this recognition, Para 61 stresses the need to initiate, and reinforce, as appropriate, a transparent, democratic, and multilateral process, with the participation of governments, private sector, civil society and international organizations, in their respective roles. * Para 68 further recognizes the need for development of public policy by governments in consultation with all stakeholders. The Para 69 recognises the importance of the governments to act on an equal footing with each other. Thus, there is a clear mandate for defining a mechanism for effective and enhanced cooperation on global internet governance. India would submit its recommendations on such a mechanism separately to the WGEC. 9. What is the possible relationship between enhanced cooperation and the IGF? The IGF is a forum for multi-stakeholder dialogue. The discussions and dialogue in IGF would enrich the process of development of the international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet by the mechanism proposed under Enhanced Cooperation. Enhanced Cooperation is a mechanism for policy development whereas IGF is a forum for policy dialogue - IGF is, thus, a distinct and a complementary process to the enhanced cooperation mechanism. IGF should contribute its outcomes as inputs into the policy development/ making processes to be undertaken by the new mechanism for Enhanced Cooperation. 10. How can the role of developing countries be made more effective in global Internet governance? Paragraph 65 of the Tunis Agenda underlines the need to maximize the participation of developing countries in decisions regarding Internet governance, which should reflect their interests, as well as in the development of capacity building. The developing countries are integral part of the global Internet governance. They would participate, at equal footing in the mechanism explained above. 11. What barriers remain for all stakeholders to fully participate in their respective roles in global Internet governance? How can these barriers best be overcome? The main barrier to the participation of stakeholders is the absence of a mechanism for global internet governance where they can participate in their respective roles. Second barrier to participation of stakeholders is the nature of selection process of participants who represent these stakeholders. The process of selection of the representatives should be made in a transparent manner and using an inclusive approach. 12. What actions are needed to promote effective participation of all marginalised people in the global information society? The mechanism proposed above involves all stakeholders, having important role to play in addressing the challenge to effective participation of marginalised people. Challenges like accessibility, availability and affordability of information services have to be addressed at regional, national and international level with participation of all stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities effectively. 13. How can enhanced cooperation address key issues toward global, social and economic development? Since enhanced cooperation would facilitate establishment of a mechanism to formulate international internet related public policies with the participation of all stakeholders in their respective roles from developed and developing countries, the implementation of these policies would be able to address the issues toward global, social and economic development in a better way than today. 14. What is the role of various stakeholders in promoting the development of local language content? Development of local language content is an important element in ensuring overall socioeconomic development. All stakeholders have an important role to play in generation, dissemination and consumption of the local language content. National governments would be responsible for creation of an enabling environment including, development of relevant standards, legal protection and business opportunities. Private sector would be responsible to provide innovative solutions to the challenge. Civil society would play a very important role in supporting and generating community interest towards local language content development. 15. What are the international internet-related public policy issues that are of special relevance to developing countries? The issues important for developing countries include accessibility, affordability and availability of the information services and technologies. The public policy issues contained in our replies to Question No. 4 are also equally important for developing countries. 16. What are the key issues to be addressed to promote the affordability of the Internet, in particular in developing countries and least developed countries? The key issues relating to affordability of the Internet, include the following:- * Co-location of content in geographically dispersed location along with Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) * Lowering of Interconnection costs * Internet Exchange Points with peering for routing local traffic and interconnection across borders * Location of Internet “host” computers in the country and/or region. * Regional backbones that interlink countries in the region and which also link to international backbones * Location of the root server systems in these countries * Interoperability and Net Neutrality - In response to the limitation posed by propriety software, alternative products such as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and alternative licensing regimes (for example Creative Commons, Copy left etc.) to help reduce the costs and (legal) risks associated with proprietary software and content. * Multi-lingualization (Internationalized Domain Names and Local Language Content). * Affordability in accessing International internet connectivity. 17. What are the national capacities to be developed and modalities to be considered for national governments to develop Internet-related public policy with participation of all stakeholders? The national capacities that need to be considered by national governments to develop Internet related public policy include: * Setting up of Centre of Excellence on Internet Governance and related issues. * Establishment of R&D centers in the area of Internet related Public Policy. * Introduction of formal courses on Internet governance in premier educational institutes for Industries, Academia & Civil Society. * Introduction of Training and Awareness building programmes in the area of Internet Governance. * Creation of online Knowledge Repository Portal on Internet Governance. 18. Are there other comments, or areas of concern, on enhanced cooperation you would like to submit? Enhanced Cooperation is a dynamic process, and hence it requires periodic reassessment – based on the feedback from Governments as well as other relevant stakeholders, on any inter-governmental mechanism that is set up to oversee its operationalization. For more details visit http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/resources/government-of-indias-response-to-wgec-questionnaire http://goo.gl/v4yvaq
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UDAAN: Voices of Young Change Makers in India: This post is a short account of what happened at UDAAN in December 2013 — a conference that gathered 100 youth from across the country to discuss pressing environmental issues and creative strategies to tackle them. We conducted a survey to map the perspectives of these young change-makers and get a glimpse of how India's youth is now framing and going about making 'change' CHANGE-MAKERS: Youth (India) EVENT: UDAAN 2013 organized by 350 India: a global organization building grassroots movements across the country. METHOD OF CHANGE: Behavioral change, solidarity networks and creative activism. “Change or making change is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do certain things. To alter our general way of life as it remains now into something that is positive and ideal.” This is one of the many responses we collected from UDAAN participants on what it means to make change in India today.  I had the privilege of joining this inspiring group during a four day conference and got the opportunity to share with students, activists and entrepreneurs from 13 states of India (chosen from a pool of 2000 applicants) involved in social change practices across the country. Despite the diverging world views among participants, the sense of a common purpose was almost undisputed. Every attendee was committed to mitigate the detrimental impact of climate change in their cities, protect vulnerable populations and advocate for justice. However, the most interesting points of contention lied on how to translate this commitment into individual and collective action, create conditions that enable change, and encourage community participation in environmental, political and social issues. With these questions in mind, the conference focused on providing strategies of action and the attendees explored all sorts of lobbying and political participation mechanisms through its workshops. Three main elements stood out for me. First, the cocktail of tactics provided by experienced campaigners: from direct resistance and non-violent action to story-telling and street theater; participants were inspired to experiment and re-conceptualize activism. Space Theatre Ensemble Educators Collective Second, the use of gamification in the workshops, facilitated by the experiential learning group Educators Collective, was the key to introduce values of leadership, solidarity and sustainability into individual behaviour and team practices. And finally, the add of 'unconference slots' to the program empowered attendees to share their methods, initiatives and projects in an open platform. This fostered peer-to-peer learning and more importantly reinforced the net of support and the immense amount of admiration (that grew exponentially between participants) for each other's work. Making Change Coming from the perspective of our research project: Making Change, it was second nature to me to question frameworks utilized around "making change". I was pleasantly surprised to find an array of perspectives and experiences floating around panels, workshops and keynote presentations. They were definitely seeking consensus, yet in a way that did not inhibit diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection. This sparked the idea of collecting these views and use them as a sample of the current status of youth activism in India. Particularly considering how many of the strategies taught at UDAAN, while incredibly powerful, require a set of resources (including capital, time and energy) that are not readily accessible for all aspiring activists in the country. These thoughts are consistent with a couple of articles I referred to for context on Indian youth and activism. Starting with the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the UN-HABITAT's report: "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills". It states that in only seven years, India will become the youngest country of the world with a median age of 29 years old.  This, coupled with the fact that India's youth is the largest group in the working-age population — in a country that is expected to become one of the world's next major economic powers (Ilavasaran, 2013) — has, according to Padma Prakash, led demographers and economists to consider youth as the future of the country's economic growth. Having said that, these promising prospects do not reflect that 87.2% of the unemployed of the country are youth, only 27% of Indian youth is literate and 64% is located in rural areas. These facts display a constant negotiation between precariousness and hope, and particularly the high level of dissonance between the expectations and opportunities surrounding this group. Furthermore, as put by Prakash, despite the amount of economic information we have on this group, we lack a deep understanding of the social constructs underpinning their motivations and actions. On one hand, Ilavasaran suggests precariousness is the trigger behind both their unrest and their activism. On the other, the path they end up taking will depend on how they understand making change and their role within this process. This dilemma was quite evident at UDAAN. Youth from all over India came together to fervently speak about the grievances climate change is causing in their regions and share the stories behind their struggles. On this note, the conference represented an incubator for their ideas and frustrations. and one of its main goals was to steer all this energy towards a path of constructive positive change. Carpini on his work on civic engagement (2000) outlines three factors that lead to participation: motivation, opportunities and capabilities; and how the interplay of the three result in different patterns of change-making. Hence, what is left to answer is how will this chaotic ecosystem shape youth's ideas of creating change? And to what extent will these conditions determine their motivation, opportunities and capacities of participating in the process? The survey we sent out to participants is only a starting point to reflect on these points. It did not aim to resolve these questions, but instead gather a snapshot of how politically and socially active young citizens are framing some of the biggest challenges of its generation. Method About 25 people participated in the survey. The survey had five questions that explored three concepts analyzed in the Making Change research project: change, civic engagement and methods of change. It was divided into three sections: a) Concepts: Participants were asked how they understand 'change' and 'making change'. b) Actors: Participants were asked to reflect on their role and the role of youth in the process of making change. It also touched on concepts of active citizenship and engagement. c) Methods: This section looked at the practices and methods preferred by youth for making change. Participants were asked to think about strategies and tactics discussed at the UDAAN workshops or other initiatives of interest, and how ICT/technology affect the process. The purpose was to collate as many ideas and perspectives around change-making from this group and hence, the questions were broad and open-ended. The participants remained anonymous and details about their age, religion, region, socio-economic status, etc., were not disclosed. The language barrier and access (and frequency of access) to social media platforms was a big limitation to obtain a larger sample but the responses still reflected interesting patterns, which were later classified and categorized using a keyword system. Survey A few disclaimers The results are displayed on info-graphics for three reasons: first, to facilitate the consumption of raw data collected through the survey and make visual associations and connections between themes. Second, to put into practice some of the recommendations provided in the conference's storytelling workshop, and make research and information dissemination more accessible to the public. And third, as a self-serving experiment to measure a) my ability to display information in a graphic format and b) explore empirically some of the visual methods I have encountered throughout my research on methods for social change. Hence, the following analysis will not be of an academic nature as previous posts but will instead clarify some patterns evident in the original survey responses that might have been lost in graphic translation. * Infographic 1* reflects the different ways participants outlined change-making: definitions of 'change' and 'making change', type of change (positive, neutral or confrontational), location of change (individual, society or system) and time of change (now, future, long-term). * Infographics 2* and 3 outline the profiles of a change-maker and an active citizen. * Infographic 4 lists their preferred methods of change in no particular order. The bottom section reflects the spectrum of opinions around the use of technology. *The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reflected this view and the texts are excerpts of the respondents' answers. a) Concepts: What do you understand by change or making change? "Change is any alteration from an established status-quo. Making change is creating a system that is self-sustaining and capable of surviving over a long period of time" In spite of including both concepts on the same question, most respondents differentiated them in their answers. Approximately 50% of the sample responded 'change' was either an irreversible process or an outcome to a process, while the other 50% implicated themselves in the 'change' process, stating it means to shift and modify how we act and think. A similar spirit was reflected about 'making change'. About 29% of the participants acknowledges a break from previous practices, and 29% considers we are implicated through the adoption of a new model of action. Interestingly enough, only 5% considers making change a duty or a responsibility. This low percentage signals making change is understood as non-compulsory which does not affect active politically involved citizens but leaves the more passive and idle off the hook when it comes to acknowledging their role in the process of  change. Moving on to type of change: 38% of the respondents consider making change a neutral process that does not guarantee a positive change (as considered by 33% of the sample), but that only breaks the norm from usual practices. A possible reading of this is that a group is not mobilizing its efforts with a plausible positive alternative in mind, but instead, seeks difference in a practice regardless of the outcome, an attitude which ultimately affects the sustainability of change practices. The issue of sustainability was also brought up in the time line of change-making. 0% thinks change must be made immediately but the rest of the sample was divided into making plans for the future (19%) and a smaller number on securing a self-sustaining system (10%) to replace the former. Infographic 1: Making Change (Generated using: easel.ly) Finally, on the question of where is change located, we find the first instance of a pattern that was evident throughout the survey. On this category 38% finds change must occur externally: either in society and others (19%), or through the shift from a status quo that is perpetuating inequality (19%). Yet the largest group (24%) identified that change must occur internally first. The role of the self was also very prominent in the following sections. b) Actors Two main overlapping actors were explored on this section of the survey. i. The Change-Maker: How do you see your role as a change-maker? "I think that all of us can be change-makers. We need to be sure of what and why we need to change and have a vision of how the world will be after making the change" The Change-Maker (Infographic 2) was defined by the four characteristics outlined below. Infographic 2: The Change Maker (Generated using: easel.ly ) Each characteristic was coupled by actions that reinforce this behaviour. For example, understanding the issue (33%) comes hand-in-hand with inciting motivation through information: 'If one aspires to change, then one must first understand what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and what would replace the changed system. The primary step is to realize and acknowledge the problem, educate others and then action” (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) Another interesting example is how the 28% that identified the individual as the source of change, also recommend self-reflection on how to create the most impact: "[My role as a change-maker is] practicing what I preach and learning to critique myself constructively and in a manner that helps me improve" (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) This brings a different light to Carpinis categorization of 'capabilities' in social change. It is no longer about participation in an external movement but more about how the individual secures sustained change through his own consistent and coherent behaviour. ii. The Active Citizen: What is an active citizen? "An active citizen is who follows the constitution, understands and takes responsibility for himself and for influencing his family and community for the betterment of life's social, economic and environmental issues" Self-awareness was also a key point in the personification of the active citizen. It was one of most emphasized points, placing considerable responsibility on the role of the citizen as opposed to on the issue at hand. Attitudes such as 'realizing the problem', 'taking responsibility' and 'taking initiative' reflect that the individual is finding motivation on self-awareness and information (whether it comes from a local or global perspective) and tailoring his response/action accordingly: Infographic 3 - The Active Citizen (Generated using: easel.ly) c) Methods What are your preferred methods to create social change and what is the role of ICT in the process? “By going out there and making the change! Get down and dirty. Then use those examples in the form of story, pictures, etc. and inspire others around you to first change themselves and then help change society!” Finally, infographic 4 displays a mapping of the methods brought up by participants. Again, awareness and behavioural change were the most popular, placing information and the individual at the epicenter of change-making. The impact of the theater and story telling workshops on participants was also evident, on several mentions to the power of 'artivism'. Infographic 4: Methods for Social Change (Generated using: easel.ly ) In regards to communication and technology, I was surprised to find that many respondents find it insufficient. They instead recognize the need for strong offline communities making sure activism online translates into the offline realm.  “[online platforms] are vital in building quick connections amongst those who feel alike towards bringing change. But eventually, all struggles for change have to be offline [...] technology could be the first step that eventually leads the path to more offline and personal connections.”: Others were wary about its power and they recognize it can be used to both help and contain the activist with the same intensity: "Technology can either blind people or give them sight." These views reflect youth has moved on from the tech hype that pervades the digital activism discourse. The role of technology was not excluded from the conference's tactic package and  the group perceives technology as a powerful complement, yet it still places a lot more emphasis on creating sustainable change through education, behaviour and offline interactions than through digital interventions. Conclusion Comments at the aftermath of the event reflected participants had undergone a collective mental shift on how to create social change. We arrived looking outwards: accustomed to pointing fingers and scouting for common enemies that personify the misdoings of inequality perpetrators. Five days at Fireflies later and after UDAAN's intervention, I can safely say we left looking inwards. We are now determined to seek information and identify the most effective ways to mainstream it and make it accessible; we are impelled to reconnect with our creative and artistic selves and put them at service of communication; we are encouraged to share our personal stories and have them inspire solidarity and movement in our communities, and above all, we will continue to pursue the level of behaviour-action consistency that legitimizes our efforts at making change. The conference turned out to be a very organic experience and it provided all of us with a space to connect with ourselves and one another in a time of growing loneliness and isolation in the digital age. Furthermore this group, as part of the collective that symbolizes "the promise and future of India's growth", carries great responsibility in translating these learnings into the networks, and the private and public spaces they are part of. Nonetheless, according to the thoughts and plans they shared on this survey,  there are high hopes for this 'growth' to be met by a current of better informed, better armed young activists working to secure structural changes and a self-sustaining system for generations to come. Sources: * HABITAT, UN. "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012." (2013). * Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara. "Community work and limited online activism among India youth." International Communication Gazette 75, no. 3 (2013): 284-299. Resources: * Easel.ly: To create and share visual ideas online: www.easel.ly/‎ * Info.gram: Create infographics: infogr.am * More on UDAAN: http://world.350.org/udaan/ * More on Global Power Shift (350) - http://globalpowershift.org/ For more details visit http://cis-india.org/digital-natives/making-change/young-voices-udaan http://goo.gl/TR2LTT
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UDAAN: Voices of Young Change Makers in India: This post is a short account of what happened at UDAAN in December 2013 — a conference that gathered 100 youth from across the country to discuss pressing environmental issues and creative strategies to tackle them. We conducted a survey to map the perspectives of these young change-makers and get a glimpse of how India's youth is now framing and going about making 'change' CHANGE-MAKERS: Youth (India) EVENT: UDAAN 2013 organized by 350 India: a global organization building grassroots movements across the country. METHOD OF CHANGE: Behavioral change, solidarity networks and creative activism. “Change or making change is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do certain things. To alter our general way of life as it remains now into something that is positive and ideal.” This is one of the many responses we collected from UDAAN participants on what it means to make change in India today.  I had the privilege of joining this inspiring group during a four day conference and got the opportunity to share with students, activists and entrepreneurs from 13 states of India (chosen from a pool of 2000 applicants) involved in social change practices across the country. Despite the diverging world views among participants, the sense of a common purpose was almost undisputed. Every attendee was committed to mitigate the detrimental impact of climate change in their cities, protect vulnerable populations and advocate for justice. However, the most interesting points of contention lied on how to translate this commitment into individual and collective action, create conditions that enable change, and encourage community participation in environmental, political and social issues. With these questions in mind, the conference focused on providing strategies of action and the attendees explored all sorts of lobbying and political participation mechanisms through its workshops. Three main elements stood out for me. First, the cocktail of tactics provided by experienced campaigners: from direct resistance and non-violent action to story-telling and street theater; participants were inspired to experiment and re-conceptualize activism. Space Theatre Ensemble Educators Collective Second, the use of gamification in the workshops, facilitated by the experiential learning group Educators Collective, was the key to introduce values of leadership, solidarity and sustainability into individual behaviour and team practices. And finally, the add of 'unconference slots' to the program empowered attendees to share their methods, initiatives and projects in an open platform. This fostered peer-to-peer learning and more importantly reinforced the net of support and the immense amount of admiration (that grew exponentially between participants) for each other's work. Making Change Coming from the perspective of our research project: Making Change, it was second nature to me to question frameworks utilized around "making change". I was pleasantly surprised to find an array of perspectives and experiences floating around panels, workshops and keynote presentations. They were definitely seeking consensus, yet in a way that did not inhibit diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection. This sparked the idea of collecting these views and use them as a sample of the current status of youth activism in India. Particularly considering how many of the strategies taught at UDAAN, while incredibly powerful, require a set of resources (including capital, time and energy) that are not readily accessible for all aspiring activists in the country. These thoughts are consistent with a couple of articles I referred to for context on Indian youth and activism. Starting with the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the UN-HABITAT's report: "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills". It states that in only seven years, India will become the youngest country of the world with a median age of 29 years old.  This, coupled with the fact that India's youth is the largest group in the working-age population — in a country that is expected to become one of the world's next major economic powers (Ilavasaran, 2013) — has, according to Padma Prakash, led demographers and economists to consider youth as the future of the country's economic growth. Having said that, these promising prospects do not reflect that 87.2% of the unemployed of the country are youth, only 27% of Indian youth is literate and 64% is located in rural areas. These facts display a constant negotiation between precariousness and hope, and particularly the high level of dissonance between the expectations and opportunities surrounding this group. Furthermore, as put by Prakash, despite the amount of economic information we have on this group, we lack a deep understanding of the social constructs underpinning their motivations and actions. On one hand, Ilavasaran suggests precariousness is the trigger behind both their unrest and their activism. On the other, the path they end up taking will depend on how they understand making change and their role within this process. This dilemma was quite evident at UDAAN. Youth from all over India came together to fervently speak about the grievances climate change is causing in their regions and share the stories behind their struggles. On this note, the conference represented an incubator for their ideas and frustrations. and one of its main goals was to steer all this energy towards a path of constructive positive change. Carpini on his work on civic engagement (2000) outlines three factors that lead to participation: motivation, opportunities and capabilities; and how the interplay of the three result in different patterns of change-making. Hence, what is left to answer is how will this chaotic ecosystem shape youth's ideas of creating change? And to what extent will these conditions determine their motivation, opportunities and capacities of participating in the process? The survey we sent out to participants is only a starting point to reflect on these points. It did not aim to resolve these questions, but instead gather a snapshot of how politically and socially active young citizens are framing some of the biggest challenges of its generation. Method About 25 people participated in the survey. The survey had five questions that explored three concepts analyzed in the Making Change research project: change, civic engagement and methods of change. It was divided into three sections: a) Concepts: Participants were asked how they understand 'change' and 'making change'. b) Actors: Participants were asked to reflect on their role and the role of youth in the process of making change. It also touched on concepts of active citizenship and engagement. c) Methods: This section looked at the practices and methods preferred by youth for making change. Participants were asked to think about strategies and tactics discussed at the UDAAN workshops or other initiatives of interest, and how ICT/technology affect the process. The purpose was to collate as many ideas and perspectives around change-making from this group and hence, the questions were broad and open-ended. The participants remained anonymous and details about their age, religion, region, socio-economic status, etc., were not disclosed. The language barrier and access (and frequency of access) to social media platforms was a big limitation to obtain a larger sample but the responses still reflected interesting patterns, which were later classified and categorized using a keyword system. Survey A few disclaimers The results are displayed on info-graphics for three reasons: first, to facilitate the consumption of raw data collected through the survey and make visual associations and connections between themes. Second, to put into practice some of the recommendations provided in the conference's storytelling workshop, and make research and information dissemination more accessible to the public. And third, as a self-serving experiment to measure a) my ability to display information in a graphic format and b) explore empirically some of the visual methods I have encountered throughout my research on methods for social change. Hence, the following analysis will not be of an academic nature as previous posts but will instead clarify some patterns evident in the original survey responses that might have been lost in graphic translation. * Infographic 1* reflects the different ways participants outlined change-making: definitions of 'change' and 'making change', type of change (positive, neutral or confrontational), location of change (individual, society or system) and time of change (now, future, long-term). * Infographics 2* and 3 outline the profiles of a change-maker and an active citizen. * Infographic 4 lists their preferred methods of change in no particular order. The bottom section reflects the spectrum of opinions around the use of technology. *The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reflected this view and the texts are excerpts of the respondents' answers. a) Concepts: What do you understand by change or making change? "Change is any alteration from an established status-quo. Making change is creating a system that is self-sustaining and capable of surviving over a long period of time" In spite of including both concepts on the same question, most respondents differentiated them in their answers. Approximately 50% of the sample responded 'change' was either an irreversible process or an outcome to a process, while the other 50% implicated themselves in the 'change' process, stating it means to shift and modify how we act and think. A similar spirit was reflected about 'making change'. About 29% of the participants acknowledges a break from previous practices, and 29% considers we are implicated through the adoption of a new model of action. Interestingly enough, only 5% considers making change a duty or a responsibility. This low percentage signals making change is understood as non-compulsory which does not affect active politically involved citizens but leaves the more passive and idle off the hook when it comes to acknowledging their role in the process of  change. Moving on to type of change: 38% of the respondents consider making change a neutral process that does not guarantee a positive change (as considered by 33% of the sample), but that only breaks the norm from usual practices. A possible reading of this is that a group is not mobilizing its efforts with a plausible positive alternative in mind, but instead, seeks difference in a practice regardless of the outcome, an attitude which ultimately affects the sustainability of change practices. The issue of sustainability was also brought up in the time line of change-making. 0% thinks change must be made immediately but the rest of the sample was divided into making plans for the future (19%) and a smaller number on securing a self-sustaining system (10%) to replace the former. Infographic 1: Making Change (Generated using: easel.ly) Finally, on the question of where is change located, we find the first instance of a pattern that was evident throughout the survey. On this category 38% finds change must occur externally: either in society and others (19%), or through the shift from a status quo that is perpetuating inequality (19%). Yet the largest group (24%) identified that change must occur internally first. The role of the self was also very prominent in the following sections. b) Actors Two main overlapping actors were explored on this section of the survey. i. The Change-Maker: How do you see your role as a change-maker? "I think that all of us can be change-makers. We need to be sure of what and why we need to change and have a vision of how the world will be after making the change" The Change-Maker (Infographic 2) was defined by the four characteristics outlined below. Infographic 2: The Change Maker (Generated using: easel.ly ) Each characteristic was coupled by actions that reinforce this behaviour. For example, understanding the issue (33%) comes hand-in-hand with inciting motivation through information: 'If one aspires to change, then one must first understand what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and what would replace the changed system. The primary step is to realize and acknowledge the problem, educate others and then action” (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) Another interesting example is how the 28% that identified the individual as the source of change, also recommend self-reflection on how to create the most impact: "[My role as a change-maker is] practicing what I preach and learning to critique myself constructively and in a manner that helps me improve" (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) This brings a different light to Carpinis categorization of 'capabilities' in social change. It is no longer about participation in an external movement but more about how the individual secures sustained change through his own consistent and coherent behaviour. ii. The Active Citizen: What is an active citizen? "An active citizen is who follows the constitution, understands and takes responsibility for himself and for influencing his family and community for the betterment of life's social, economic and environmental issues" Self-awareness was also a key point in the personification of the active citizen. It was one of most emphasized points, placing considerable responsibility on the role of the citizen as opposed to on the issue at hand. Attitudes such as 'realizing the problem', 'taking responsibility' and 'taking initiative' reflect that the individual is finding motivation on self-awareness and information (whether it comes from a local or global perspective) and tailoring his response/action accordingly: Infographic 3 - The Active Citizen (Generated using: easel.ly) c) Methods What are your preferred methods to create social change and what is the role of ICT in the process? “By going out there and making the change! Get down and dirty. Then use those examples in the form of story, pictures, etc. and inspire others around you to first change themselves and then help change society!” Finally, infographic 4 displays a mapping of the methods brought up by participants. Again, awareness and behavioural change were the most popular, placing information and the individual at the epicenter of change-making. The impact of the theater and story telling workshops on participants was also evident, on several mentions to the power of 'artivism'. Infographic 4: Methods for Social Change (Generated using: easel.ly ) In regards to communication and technology, I was surprised to find that many respondents find it insufficient. They instead recognize the need for strong offline communities making sure activism online translates into the offline realm.  “[online platforms] are vital in building quick connections amongst those who feel alike towards bringing change. But eventually, all struggles for change have to be offline [...] technology could be the first step that eventually leads the path to more offline and personal connections.”: Others were wary about its power and they recognize it can be used to both help and contain the activist with the same intensity: "Technology can either blind people or give them sight." These views reflect youth has moved on from the tech hype that pervades the digital activism discourse. The role of technology was not excluded from the conference's tactic package and  the group perceives technology as a powerful complement, yet it still places a lot more emphasis on creating sustainable change through education, behaviour and offline interactions than through digital interventions. Conclusion Comments at the aftermath of the event reflected participants had undergone a collective mental shift on how to create social change. We arrived looking outwards: accustomed to pointing fingers and scouting for common enemies that personify the misdoings of inequality perpetrators. Five days at Fireflies later and after UDAAN's intervention, I can safely say we left looking inwards. We are now determined to seek information and identify the most effective ways to mainstream it and make it accessible; we are impelled to reconnect with our creative and artistic selves and put them at service of communication; we are encouraged to share our personal stories and have them inspire solidarity and movement in our communities, and above all, we will continue to pursue the level of behaviour-action consistency that legitimizes our efforts at making change. The conference turned out to be a very organic experience and it provided all of us with a space to connect with ourselves and one another in a time of growing loneliness and isolation in the digital age. Furthermore this group, as part of the collective that symbolizes "the promise and future of India's growth", carries great responsibility in translating these learnings into the networks, and the private and public spaces they are part of. Nonetheless, according to the thoughts and plans they shared on this survey,  there are high hopes for this 'growth' to be met by a current of better informed, better armed young activists working to secure structural changes and a self-sustaining system for generations to come. Sources: * HABITAT, UN. "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012." (2013). * Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara. "Community work and limited online activism among India youth." International Communication Gazette 75, no. 3 (2013): 284-299. Resources: * Easel.ly: To create and share visual ideas online: www.easel.ly/‎ * Info.gram: Create infographics: infogr.am * More on UDAAN: http://world.350.org/udaan/ * More on Global Power Shift (350) - http://globalpowershift.org/ For more details visit http://cis-india.org/digital-natives/making-change/young-voices-udaan http://goo.gl/ca3Wr4
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UDAAN: Voices of Young Change Makers in India: This post is a short account of what happened at UDAAN in December 2013 — a conference that gathered 100 youth from across the country to discuss pressing environmental issues and creative strategies to tackle them. We conducted a survey to map the perspectives of these young change-makers and get a glimpse of how India's youth is now framing and going about making 'change' CHANGE-MAKERS: Youth (India) EVENT: UDAAN 2013 organized by 350 India: a global organization building grassroots movements across the country. METHOD OF CHANGE: Behavioral change, solidarity networks and creative activism. “Change or making change is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do certain things. To alter our general way of life as it remains now into something that is positive and ideal.” This is one of the many responses we collected from UDAAN participants on what it means to make change in India today.  I had the privilege of joining this inspiring group during a four day conference and got the opportunity to share with students, activists and entrepreneurs from 13 states of India (chosen from a pool of 2000 applicants) involved in social change practices across the country. Despite the diverging world views among participants, the sense of a common purpose was almost undisputed. Every attendee was committed to mitigate the detrimental impact of climate change in their cities, protect vulnerable populations and advocate for justice. However, the most interesting points of contention lied on how to translate this commitment into individual and collective action, create conditions that enable change, and encourage community participation in environmental, political and social issues. With these questions in mind, the conference focused on providing strategies of action and the attendees explored all sorts of lobbying and political participation mechanisms through its workshops. Three main elements stood out for me. First, the cocktail of tactics provided by experienced campaigners: from direct resistance and non-violent action to story-telling and street theater; participants were inspired to experiment and re-conceptualize activism. Space Theatre Ensemble Educators Collective Second, the use of gamification in the workshops, facilitated by the experiential learning group Educators Collective, was the key to introduce values of leadership, solidarity and sustainability into individual behaviour and team practices. And finally, the add of 'unconference slots' to the program empowered attendees to share their methods, initiatives and projects in an open platform. This fostered peer-to-peer learning and more importantly reinforced the net of support and the immense amount of admiration (that grew exponentially between participants) for each other's work. Making Change Coming from the perspective of our research project: Making Change, it was second nature to me to question frameworks utilized around "making change". I was pleasantly surprised to find an array of perspectives and experiences floating around panels, workshops and keynote presentations. They were definitely seeking consensus, yet in a way that did not inhibit diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection. This sparked the idea of collecting these views and use them as a sample of the current status of youth activism in India. Particularly considering how many of the strategies taught at UDAAN, while incredibly powerful, require a set of resources (including capital, time and energy) that are not readily accessible for all aspiring activists in the country. These thoughts are consistent with a couple of articles I referred to for context on Indian youth and activism. Starting with the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the UN-HABITAT's report: "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills". It states that in only seven years, India will become the youngest country of the world with a median age of 29 years old.  This, coupled with the fact that India's youth is the largest group in the working-age population — in a country that is expected to become one of the world's next major economic powers (Ilavasaran, 2013) — has, according to Padma Prakash, led demographers and economists to consider youth as the future of the country's economic growth. Having said that, these promising prospects do not reflect that 87.2% of the unemployed of the country are youth, only 27% of Indian youth is literate and 64% is located in rural areas. These facts display a constant negotiation between precariousness and hope, and particularly the high level of dissonance between the expectations and opportunities surrounding this group. Furthermore, as put by Prakash, despite the amount of economic information we have on this group, we lack a deep understanding of the social constructs underpinning their motivations and actions. On one hand, Ilavasaran suggests precariousness is the trigger behind both their unrest and their activism. On the other, the path they end up taking will depend on how they understand making change and their role within this process. This dilemma was quite evident at UDAAN. Youth from all over India came together to fervently speak about the grievances climate change is causing in their regions and share the stories behind their struggles. On this note, the conference represented an incubator for their ideas and frustrations. and one of its main goals was to steer all this energy towards a path of constructive positive change. Carpini on his work on civic engagement (2000) outlines three factors that lead to participation: motivation, opportunities and capabilities; and how the interplay of the three result in different patterns of change-making. Hence, what is left to answer is how will this chaotic ecosystem shape youth's ideas of creating change? And to what extent will these conditions determine their motivation, opportunities and capacities of participating in the process? The survey we sent out to participants is only a starting point to reflect on these points. It did not aim to resolve these questions, but instead gather a snapshot of how politically and socially active young citizens are framing some of the biggest challenges of its generation. Method About 25 people participated in the survey. The survey had five questions that explored three concepts analyzed in the Making Change research project: change, civic engagement and methods of change. It was divided into three sections: a) Concepts: Participants were asked how they understand 'change' and 'making change'. b) Actors: Participants were asked to reflect on their role and the role of youth in the process of making change. It also touched on concepts of active citizenship and engagement. c) Methods: This section looked at the practices and methods preferred by youth for making change. Participants were asked to think about strategies and tactics discussed at the UDAAN workshops or other initiatives of interest, and how ICT/technology affect the process. The purpose was to collate as many ideas and perspectives around change-making from this group and hence, the questions were broad and open-ended. The participants remained anonymous and details about their age, religion, region, socio-economic status, etc., were not disclosed. The language barrier and access (and frequency of access) to social media platforms was a big limitation to obtain a larger sample but the responses still reflected interesting patterns, which were later classified and categorized using a keyword system. Survey A few disclaimers The results are displayed on info-graphics for three reasons: first, to facilitate the consumption of raw data collected through the survey and make visual associations and connections between themes. Second, to put into practice some of the recommendations provided in the conference's storytelling workshop, and make research and information dissemination more accessible to the public. And third, as a self-serving experiment to measure a) my ability to display information in a graphic format and b) explore empirically some of the visual methods I have encountered throughout my research on methods for social change. Hence, the following analysis will not be of an academic nature as previous posts but will instead clarify some patterns evident in the original survey responses that might have been lost in graphic translation. * Infographic 1* reflects the different ways participants outlined change-making: definitions of 'change' and 'making change', type of change (positive, neutral or confrontational), location of change (individual, society or system) and time of change (now, future, long-term). * Infographics 2* and 3 outline the profiles of a change-maker and an active citizen. * Infographic 4 lists their preferred methods of change in no particular order. The bottom section reflects the spectrum of opinions around the use of technology. *The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reflected this view and the texts are excerpts of the respondents' answers. a) Concepts: What do you understand by change or making change? "Change is any alteration from an established status-quo. Making change is creating a system that is self-sustaining and capable of surviving over a long period of time" In spite of including both concepts on the same question, most respondents differentiated them in their answers. Approximately 50% of the sample responded 'change' was either an irreversible process or an outcome to a process, while the other 50% implicated themselves in the 'change' process, stating it means to shift and modify how we act and think. A similar spirit was reflected about 'making change'. About 29% of the participants acknowledges a break from previous practices, and 29% considers we are implicated through the adoption of a new model of action. Interestingly enough, only 5% considers making change a duty or a responsibility. This low percentage signals making change is understood as non-compulsory which does not affect active politically involved citizens but leaves the more passive and idle off the hook when it comes to acknowledging their role in the process of  change. Moving on to type of change: 38% of the respondents consider making change a neutral process that does not guarantee a positive change (as considered by 33% of the sample), but that only breaks the norm from usual practices. A possible reading of this is that a group is not mobilizing its efforts with a plausible positive alternative in mind, but instead, seeks difference in a practice regardless of the outcome, an attitude which ultimately affects the sustainability of change practices. The issue of sustainability was also brought up in the time line of change-making. 0% thinks change must be made immediately but the rest of the sample was divided into making plans for the future (19%) and a smaller number on securing a self-sustaining system (10%) to replace the former. Infographic 1: Making Change (Generated using: easel.ly) Finally, on the question of where is change located, we find the first instance of a pattern that was evident throughout the survey. On this category 38% finds change must occur externally: either in society and others (19%), or through the shift from a status quo that is perpetuating inequality (19%). Yet the largest group (24%) identified that change must occur internally first. The role of the self was also very prominent in the following sections. b) Actors Two main overlapping actors were explored on this section of the survey. i. The Change-Maker: How do you see your role as a change-maker? "I think that all of us can be change-makers. We need to be sure of what and why we need to change and have a vision of how the world will be after making the change" The Change-Maker (Infographic 2) was defined by the four characteristics outlined below. Infographic 2: The Change Maker (Generated using: easel.ly ) Each characteristic was coupled by actions that reinforce this behaviour. For example, understanding the issue (33%) comes hand-in-hand with inciting motivation through information: 'If one aspires to change, then one must first understand what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and what would replace the changed system. The primary step is to realize and acknowledge the problem, educate others and then action” (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) Another interesting example is how the 28% that identified the individual as the source of change, also recommend self-reflection on how to create the most impact: "[My role as a change-maker is] practicing what I preach and learning to critique myself constructively and in a manner that helps me improve" (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) This brings a different light to Carpinis categorization of 'capabilities' in social change. It is no longer about participation in an external movement but more about how the individual secures sustained change through his own consistent and coherent behaviour. ii. The Active Citizen: What is an active citizen? "An active citizen is who follows the constitution, understands and takes responsibility for himself and for influencing his family and community for the betterment of life's social, economic and environmental issues" Self-awareness was also a key point in the personification of the active citizen. It was one of most emphasized points, placing considerable responsibility on the role of the citizen as opposed to on the issue at hand. Attitudes such as 'realizing the problem', 'taking responsibility' and 'taking initiative' reflect that the individual is finding motivation on self-awareness and information (whether it comes from a local or global perspective) and tailoring his response/action accordingly: Infographic 3 - The Active Citizen (Generated using: easel.ly) c) Methods What are your preferred methods to create social change and what is the role of ICT in the process? “By going out there and making the change! Get down and dirty. Then use those examples in the form of story, pictures, etc. and inspire others around you to first change themselves and then help change society!” Finally, infographic 4 displays a mapping of the methods brought up by participants. Again, awareness and behavioural change were the most popular, placing information and the individual at the epicenter of change-making. The impact of the theater and story telling workshops on participants was also evident, on several mentions to the power of 'artivism'. Infographic 4: Methods for Social Change (Generated using: easel.ly ) In regards to communication and technology, I was surprised to find that many respondents find it insufficient. They instead recognize the need for strong offline communities making sure activism online translates into the offline realm.  “[online platforms] are vital in building quick connections amongst those who feel alike towards bringing change. But eventually, all struggles for change have to be offline [...] technology could be the first step that eventually leads the path to more offline and personal connections.”: Others were wary about its power and they recognize it can be used to both help and contain the activist with the same intensity: "Technology can either blind people or give them sight." These views reflect youth has moved on from the tech hype that pervades the digital activism discourse. The role of technology was not excluded from the conference's tactic package and  the group perceives technology as a powerful complement, yet it still places a lot more emphasis on creating sustainable change through education, behaviour and offline interactions than through digital interventions. Conclusion Comments at the aftermath of the event reflected participants had undergone a collective mental shift on how to create social change. We arrived looking outwards: accustomed to pointing fingers and scouting for common enemies that personify the misdoings of inequality perpetrators. Five days at Fireflies later and after UDAAN's intervention, I can safely say we left looking inwards. We are now determined to seek information and identify the most effective ways to mainstream it and make it accessible; we are impelled to reconnect with our creative and artistic selves and put them at service of communication; we are encouraged to share our personal stories and have them inspire solidarity and movement in our communities, and above all, we will continue to pursue the level of behaviour-action consistency that legitimizes our efforts at making change. The conference turned out to be a very organic experience and it provided all of us provided with a space to connect with ourselves and one another in a time of growing loneliness and isolation in the digital age. Furthermore this group, as part of the collective that symbolizes "the promise and future of India's growth", carries great responsibility in translating these learnings into the networks; private and public spaces they are part of. Nonetheless, according to the thoughts and plans they shared on this survey,  there are high hopes for this 'growth' to be met by a current of better informed, better armed young activists working to secure structural changes and a self-sustaining system for generations to come. Sources: * HABITAT, UN. "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012." (2013). * Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara. "Community work and limited online activism among India youth." International Communication Gazette 75, no. 3 (2013): 284-299. Resources: * Easel.ly: To create and share visual ideas online: www.easel.ly/‎ * Info.gram: Create infographics: infogr.am * More on UDAAN: http://world.350.org/udaan/ * More on Global Power Shift (350) - http://globalpowershift.org/ For more details visit http://cis-india.org/digital-natives/making-change/young-voices-udaan http://goo.gl/D0Au6A
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UDAAN: Voices of Young Change Makers in India: This post is a short account of what happened at UDAAN in December 2013 — a conference that gathered 100 youth from across the country to discuss pressing environmental issues and non-violent strategies to tackle them. We conducted a survey to map the perspectives of these young change-makers and get a glimpse of how India's youth is now framing and going about making 'change' CHANGE-MAKERS: Youth (India) EVENT: UDAAN 2013 organized by 350 India: a global organization building grassroots movements across the country. METHOD OF CHANGE: Behavioral change, solidarity networks and creative activism. “Change or making change is to bring about a paradigm shift in the way we do certain things. To alter our general way of life as it remains now into something that is positive and ideal.” This is one of the many responses we collected from UDAAN participants on what it means to make change in India today.  I had the privilege of joining this inspiring group during a four day conference and got the opportunity to share with students, activists and entrepreneurs from 13 states of India (chosen from a pool of 2000 applicants) involved in social change practices across the country. Despite the diverging world views among participants, the sense of a common purpose was almost undisputed. Every attendee was committed to mitigate the detrimental impact of climate change in their cities, protect the vulnerable population and advocate for justice. However, the most interesting points of contention lied on how to translate this commitment into individual and collective action, create conditions that enable change, and encourage community participation in environmental, political and social issues. With these questions in mind, the conference focused on providing strategies of action and the attendees explored all sorts of lobbying and political participation mechanisms through its workshops. Three main elements stood out for me. First, the cocktail of tactics provided by experienced campaigners: from direct resistance and non-violent action to story-telling and theater activism; participants were inspired to experiment and re-conceptualize activism. Space Theatre Ensemble Educators Collective Second, the use of gamification in the workshops, facilitated by the experiential learning group Educators Collective, was the key to introduce values of leadership, solidarity and sustainability and into individual behaviour and team practices. And finally, the add of 'unconference slots' to the program empowered attendees to share their methods, initiatives and projects in an open platform. This fostered peer-to-peer learning and more importantly reinforced the net of support and the immense amount of admiration (that grew exponentially between participants) for each other's work. Making Change Coming from the perspective of our research project: Making Change, it was second nature to me to question frameworks utilized around "making change". I was pleasantly surprised to find an array of perspectives and experiences floating around panels, workshops and keynote presentations. They were definitely seeking consensus, yet in a way that did not inhibit diversity of thought, intellectual curiosity and self-reflection. This sparked the idea of collecting these views and use them as a sample of the current status of youth activism in India. Particularly considering how many of the strategies taught at UDAAN, while incredibly powerful, require a set of resources (including capital, time and energy) that are not readily accessible for all aspiring activists in the country. These thoughts are consistent with a couple of articles I referred to for context on Indian youth and activism. Starting with the IRIS Knowledge Foundation and the UN-HABITAT's report: "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills". Its states that in only seven years, India will become the youngest country of the world with a median age of 29 years old.  This, coupled with the fact that India's youth is the largest group in the working-age population — in a country that is expected to become one of the world's next major economic powers (Ilavasaran, 2013) — has, according to Padma Prakash, led demographers and economists to consider youth as the future of the country's economic growth. Having said that, these promising prospects do not reflect that 87.2% of the unemployed of the country are youth, only 27% of Indian youth is literate and 64% is located in rural areas. These facts display a constant negotiation between precariousness and hope, and particularly the high level of dissonance between the expectations and opportunities surrounding this group. Furthermore, as put by Prakash, despite the amount of economic information we have on this group, we lack a deep understanding of the social constructs underpinning their motivations and actions. On one hand, Ilavasaran suggests precariousness is the trigger behind both their unrest and their activism. On the other, the path they end up taking will depend on how they understand making change and their role within this process. This dilemma was quite evident at UDAAN. Youth from all over India came together to fervently speak about the grievances climate change is causing in their regions and share the stories behind their struggles. On this note, the conference represented an incubator for the ideas and frustrations. and one of its main goals was to steer all this energy towards a path of constructive positive change. Carpini on his work on civic engagement (2000) outlines three factors that lead to participation: motivation, opportunities and capabilities; and how the interplay of the three result in different patterns of change-making. Hence, what is left to answer is how will this chaotic ecosystem shape youth's ideas of creating change? And to what extent will these conditions determine their motivation, opportunities and capacities of participating in the process? The survey we sent out to participants is only a starting point to reflect on these points. It did not aim to resolve these questions, but instead gather a snapshot of how politically and socially active young citizens are framing some of the biggest challenges of its generation. Method About 25 people participated in the survey. The survey had five questions that explored three concepts analyzed in the Making Change research project: change, civic engagement and methods of change. It was divided into three sections: a) Concepts: Participants were asked how they understand 'change' and 'making change'. b) Actors: Participants were asked to reflect on their role and the role of youth in the process of making change. It also touched on concepts of active citizenship and engagement. c) Methods: This section looked at the practices and methods preferred by youth for making change. Participants were asked to think about strategies and tactics discussed at the UDAAN workshops or other initiatives of interest, and how ICT/technology affect the process. The purpose was to collate as many ideas and perspectives around change-making from this group and hence, the questions were broad and open-ended. The participants remained anonymous and details about their age, religion, region, socio-economic status, etc., were not disclosed. The language barrier and access (and frequency of access) to social media platforms was a big limitation to obtain a larger sample but the responses still reflected interesting patterns, which were later classified and categorized using a keyword system. Survey A few disclaimers The results are displayed on info-graphics for three reasons: first, to facilitate the consumption of raw data collected through the survey and make visual associations and connections between themes. Second, to put into practice some of the recommendations provided in the conference's storytelling workshop, and make research and information dissemination more accessible to the public. And third, as a self-serving experiment to measure a) my ability to display information in a graphic format and b) explore empirically some of the visual methods I have encountered throughout my research on methods for social change. Hence, the following analysis will not be of an academic nature as previous posts but will instead clarify some patterns  evident in the original survey responses that might have been lost in graphic translation. * Infographic 1* reflects the different ways participants outlined change-making: definitions of 'change' and 'making change', type of change (positive, neutral or confrontational), location of change (individual, society or system) and time of change (now, future, long-term). * Infographics 2* and 3 outline the profiles of a change-maker and an active citizen. * Infographic 4 lists their preferred methods of change in no particular order. The bottom section reflects the spectrum of opinions around the use of technology. *The percentages reflect the portion of respondents who reflected this view and the texts are excerpts of the respondents' answers. a) Concepts: What do you understand by change or making change? "Change is any alteration from an established status-quo. Making change is creating a system that is self-sustaining and capable of surviving over a long period of time" In spite of including both concepts on the same question, most respondents differentiated them in their answers. Approximately 50% of the sample responded 'change' was either an irreversible process or an outcome to a process, while the other 50% implicated themselves in the 'change' process, stating it means to shift and modify how we act and think. A similar spirit was reflected about 'making change'. About 29% of the participants acknowledges a break from previous practices, and 29% considers we are implicated through the adoption of a new model of action. Interestingly enough, only 5% considers making change a duty or a responsibility. This low percentage signals making change is understood as non-compulsory which does not affect active politically involved citizens but leaves the more passive and idle off the hook when it comes to acknowledging their role in the process of  change. Moving on to type of change: 38% of the respondents consider making change a neutral process that does not guarantee a positive change (as considered by 33% of the sample), but that only breaks the norm from usual practices. A possible reading of this is that a group is not mobilizing its efforts with a plausible positive alternative in mind, but instead, seeks difference in a practice regardless of the outcome, an attitude which ultimately affects the sustainability of change practices. The issue of sustainability was also brought up in the time line of change-making. 0% thinks change must be made immediately but the rest of the sample was divided into making plans for the future (19%) and a smaller number on securing a self-sustaining system (10%) to replace the former. Infographic 1: Making Change (Generated using: easel.ly) Finally, on the question of where is change located, we find the first instance of a pattern that was evident throughout the survey. On this category 38% finds change must occur externally: either in society and others (19%), or through the shift from a status quo that is perpetuating inequality (19%). Yet the largest group (24%) identified that change must occur internally first. The role of the self was also very prominent in the following sections. b) Actors Two main overlapping actors were explored on this section of the survey. i. The Change-Maker: How do you see your role as a change-maker? "I think that all of us can be change-makers. We need to be sure of what and why we need to change and have a vision of how the world will be after making the change" The Change-Maker (Infographic 2) was defined by the four characteristics outlined below. Infographic 2: The Change Maker (Generated using: easel.ly ) Each characteristic was coupled by actions that reinforce this behaviour. For example, understanding the issue (33%) comes hand-in-hand with inciting motivation through information: 'If one aspires to change, then one must first understand what is to be changed, how it is to be changed and what would replace the changed system. The primary step is to realize and acknowledge the problem, educate others and then action” (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) Another interesting example is how the 28% that identified the individual as the source of change, also recommend self-reflection on how to create the most impact: "[My role as a change-maker is] practicing what I preach and learning to critique myself constructively and in a manner that helps me improve" (Anonymous survey respondent, 2013) This brings a different light to Carpinis categorization of 'capabilities' in social change. It is no longer about participation in an external movement but more about how the individual secures sustained change through his own consistent and coherent behaviour. ii. The Active Citizen: What is an active citizen? "An active citizen is who follows the constitution, understands and takes responsibility for himself and for influencing his family and community for the betterment of life's social, economic and environmental issues" Self-awareness was also a key point in the personification of the active citizen. It was one of most emphasized points, placing considerable responsibility on the role of the citizen as opposed to on the issue at hand. Attitudes such as 'realizing the problem', 'taking responsibility' and 'taking initiative' reflect that the individual is finding motivation on self-awareness and information (whether it comes from a local or global perspective) and tailoring his response/action accordingly: Infographic 3 - The Active Citizen (Generated using: easel.ly) c) Methods What are your preferred methods to create social change and what is the role of ICT in the process? “By going out there and making the change! Get down and dirty. Then use those examples in the form of story, pictures, etc. and inspire others around you to first change themselves and then help change society!” Finally, infographic 4 displays a mapping of the methods brought up by participants. Again, awareness and behavioural change were the most popular, placing information and the individual at the epicenter of change-making. The impact of the theater and story telling workshops on participants was also evident, on several mentions to the power of 'artivism'. Infographic 4: Methods for Social Change (Generated using: easel.ly ) In regards to communication and technology, I was surprised to find that many respondents find it insufficient. They instead recognize the need for strong offline communities making sure activism online translates into the offline realm.  “[online platforms] are vital in building quick connections amongst those who feel alike towards bringing change. But eventually, all struggles for change have to be offline [...] technology could be the first step that eventually leads the path to more offline and personal connections.”: Others were wary about its power and they recognize it can be used to both help and contain the activist with the same intensity: "Technology can either blind people or give them sight." These views reflect youth has moved on from the tech hype that pervades the digital activism discourse. The role of technology was not excluded from the conference's tactic package and  the group perceives technology as a powerful complement, yet it still places a lot more emphasis on creating sustainable change through education, behaviour and offline interactions than through digital interventions. Conclusion Comments at the aftermath of the event reflected participants had undergone a collective mental shift on how to create social change. We arrived looking outwards: accustomed to pointing fingers and scouting for common enemies that personify the misdoings of inequality perpetrators. Five days at Fireflies later and after UDAAN's intervention, I can safely say we left looking inwards. We are now determined to seek information and identify the most effective ways to mainstream it and make it accessible; we are impelled to reconnect with our creative and artistic selves and put them at service of communication; we are encouraged to share our personal stories and have them inspire solidarity and movement in our communities, and above all, we will continue to pursue the level of behaviour-action consistency that legitimizes our efforts at making change. The conference turned out to be a very organic experience and it provided all of us provided with a space to connect with ourselves and one another in a time of growing loneliness and isolation in the digital age. Furthermore this group, as part of the collective that symbolizes "the promise and future of India's growth", carries great responsibility in translating these learnings into the networks; private and public spaces they are part of. Nonetheless, according to the thoughts and plans they shared on this survey,  there are high hopes for this 'growth' to be met by a current of better informed, better armed young activists working to secure structural changes and a self-sustaining system for generations to come. Sources: * HABITAT, UN. "State of the Urban Youth, India 2012." (2013). * Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara. "Community work and limited online activism among India youth." International Communication Gazette 75, no. 3 (2013): 284-299. Resources: * Easel.ly: To create and share visual ideas online: www.easel.ly/‎ * Info.gram: Create infographics: infogr.am * More on UDAAN: http://world.350.org/udaan/ * More on Global Power Shift (350) - http://globalpowershift.org/ For more details visit http://cis-india.org/digital-natives/making-change/young-voices-udaan http://goo.gl/S9Ko6M
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CIS Cybersecurity Series (Part 13) - Pranesh Prakash: CIS interviews Pranesh Prakash, lawyer and policy director with Centre for Internet and Society, as part of the Cybersecurity Series. "When it comes to things cyber we completely lose our sense of proportion. While killing someone by negligence only attracts two years of punishment, saying something that people can define "offensive" attracts even more under 66A of the Information Technology Act. Something that can be a nuisance, under the Criminal Laws, can attract up to six months punishment, whereas under the IT act, it is up to three years..." - Pranesh Prakash, lawyer and policy director, Centre for Internet and Society Centre for Internet and Society presents its thirteenth installment of the CIS Cybersecurity Series. The CIS Cybersecurity Series seeks to address hotly debated aspects of cybersecurity and hopes to encourage wider public discourse around the topic. Pranesh is a Policy Director with the Centre, and is a graduate of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, with a degree in Arts and Law. This work was carried out as part of the Cyber Stewards Network with aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. For more details visit http://cis-india.org/internet-governance/cis-cybersecurity-series-part-13-pranesh-prakash http://goo.gl/9V0mAe
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