Advocacy statements

The Government of Rajasthan has floated a tender for the purchase of 112,000 laptops in January 2013. In their bid document they have specifically asked for proprietary software to be provided. A letter has been sent to the Government asking it to re-consider the waste of public resources in this procurement.

IT for Change submitted its input to the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women for its report on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice in public and political life. The position paper problematises public spaces in the network age from the standpoint of gender justice also suggesting considerations for action by the Working Group.

Brief elaboration of some points made during stakeholder consultation on Legitimate Restrictions on Freedom of Online Speech:  Creating Balanced Approach: From Deadlock to Dialogue” held by FICCI on 4th of September, 2012

 

IT for Change took part in stakeholder consultation on “Legitimate Restrictions on Freedom of Online Speech: Creating Balanced Approach: From Deadlock to Dialogue” Held by FICCI on 4th of September, 2012. We also submitted written comments on how this issue should dealt at a practical level, especially in view of the very problematic application of IT Act and IT Rules in India. All written comments were compiled by the organizers and passed on to the ministry.

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) gave a mandate to commence a process towards enhanced cooperation with regard to international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. This phrase largely implies development of appropriate institutions for global Internet governance. Unfortunately nothing had been done on this important meeting.

 

IT for Change participated as one of the five civil society members of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development's Working Group on Improvements to the Internet Governance Forum (WGIIGF). IT for Change submitted two input papers arguing that processes need to be developed to strengthen the IGF for more concrete outcomes.

Based on our advocacy work relating to National Policy on ICT in School Education, the issue of 'vendor driven ICT programs' was discussed in the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) and a sub-committee was setup to study the issue.

For the 4th IGF (14-17th September 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania), IT for Change partnered with the Association for Progressive Communications, Centre for Internet and Society, Global Partners and Internet Rights and Principles Dynamic Coalition to hold a pre-event on “Internet Governance and Human Rights : Strategies for Collaboration and Empowerment” on September 13. Among others, the event was attended by Frank La Rue, UN's Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression. The event sought to frame Internet Governance issues in rights frameworks – civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights, along with the right to development.

CABE accepts ICT in school education policy - June 2012

Read the final version of the policy on ICTS in School Education

In January 2008, MHRD released a draft policy on ICTs in school education. This policy, created by a committee that included big businesses interested in the 'ICT in education' space was hugely problematic - in a way looking at education as a process of private sector training of public system teachers in its resources and models, creating labour force for the global economy. Many educationists were uncomfortable with both the process and substance of this and organised consultations on this policy, networked (the ict-education-india googlegroups was created for this) to build broad positions, submitted several policy advocacy letters as well as substantive comments on the policy, some of us met officials in MHRD and other institutions to explain how ICTs in education required a deep understanding of education, rather than of just technology.  In November 2008, the MHRD minister cancelled the privatised policy making process (http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ministerial-panel-to-draft-hrds-ict-policy-for-schools/401222/). The policy itself had three more drafts over the next 3 years -  the second policy draft included many of our suggestions - education perspectives, focus on teacher education, support constructivist approaches to integrating ICTs in education, systemic integration rather than just hardware and software procurement, resource rich environment, FOSS etc, and was quite different from the first one. The fourth and final version, which further refines the second draft is available here.

The issue of 'vendor driven ICT policy/program' was also raised by Vinod Raina in the CABE. He was part of a CABE sub committee which looked into this and their report provides several ideas on the role ICTs should play in education. 

Both the final ICT policy in school education and the CABE committee report were unanimously adopted at the last CABE meeting on June 6 2012 and these documents can guide the design and implementation of ICT programs in school education, whose budgets will only increase exponentially over time... (UP budget presented this month earmarks 2200+crores for laptops/tablets for students. Hopefully this will support some of the ideas in the policy rather than just continue the failed PPP/BOOT models)

 

In 2008, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) published a policy draft on 'ICTs in  School Education'. IT for Change (ITfC) actively campaigned to challenge the draft policy, advocating for a greater participation of educationalists in the policy design promoting thereby a constructivist ICT at schools model for both teachers and students.