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Indian National Congress Skirts Political Twitter War By Launching Own Social Media Site

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 29 2013

Screenshot of Khidkee

India's grand old party, the Indian National Congress, is losing the political war taking place on the most popular social media platforms. With general elections for the lower house of India's parliament coming up in 2014, Congress leaders are revamping their social media strategy. Part of their out-of-left-field solution was to launch their own social media platform. A Facebook and Twitter hybrid, Khidkee went live July 23.

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Jhatkaa: Getting India to 'Shake Up'

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 12 2013

Deepa Gupta, founder of Jhatkaa, discusses her vision for the project in a campaign video. (Jhatkaa.org)

Urinating into an empty dam to fill it, using late-night television as a contraceptive and suggesting Valentine's Day causes rape are a few of the public comments made by Indian politicians, as voiced by frustrated Indian citizens in Jhatkaa’s campaign video. Jhatkaa, which means “to shake up,” is a new civic startup pioneered by Deepa Gupta, a young Indian campaigner. Read More

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How Technology Is and Isn't Helping Fight Corruption in India

BY David Eaves | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Sunil Abraham (photo: David Sasaki/Flickr)

Launched in 2010, I Paid a Bribe has become a staple example of a tool that uses the Internet to help regular citizens fight corruption. A platform that allows people in India to report where and when they were asked to bribe a public official, it quickly drew international acclaim. But technology isn't a cure-all. In an interview with David Eaves, Center for Internet & Society founder Sunil Abraham explains how I Paid a Bribe — and other Internet-driven efforts — help, and where they might hurt, anti-corruption initiatives. Read More

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Hi-Tech Pooper Scoopers: Sanitation Hackathon Winners Announced

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, April 29 2013

Not enough pit latrines to go around (Wikipedia)

The World Bank has announced the three winners of the Sanitation Hackathon and App Challenge, which techPresident covered last December when the Hackathon took place in cities across the globe. The sanitation crisis affects approximately 2.5 billion people who live without access to toilets. That statistic is all the more staggering when compared to the number of people who do not have access to a cell phone – only one billion. That statistic in part inspired the decision to leverage mobile technology towards helping alleviate the global sanitation crisis.

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Harnessing the Power of Cell Phones for Education in India

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 24 2013

Hyderabad, India (Wikipedia)

You might know by now the widely publicized fact that Indian’s are more likely to have access to a cell phone than to a toilet, a troubling fact previously explored on techPresident. India has surpassed the US and UK to become the world’s second largest cell phone market, and the fastest growing, boasting more than six million new subscribers every month. A recent study conducted in Hyderabad, India, turned up data specific to young students, which the researchers hope can be focused toward creating effective mobile learning platforms.

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Geeks Gather for India's First Government Sponsored Hackathon

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, April 8 2013

Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the India Planning Commission, opening the hackathon (image: Flickr/Mcenley)

The Indian government held its first ever official hackathon on April 6 and 7. The event, which took place at 10 educational institutions across the country, was organized to communicate the 12th five-year-plan, India's strategic and economic plan, to the public. More than 1,900 participants collaborated on apps and infographics, tackling problems such as healthcare opportunities and the difficulties faced by farmers. Read More

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Where in the World is Eric Schmidt? This Week, Myanmar and India

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, March 21 2013

Eric Schmidt at the G8 Summit in 2011 (Wikimedia Commons).

After breaking ground for American corporate executives in North Korea this January (and taking his highly observant daughter along for the ride), Eric Schmidt is continuing his world tour of digitally repressive regimes this week.  Google’s executive chairman will visit Myanmar tomorrow, in the wake of the country’s first hesitant steps to Internet freedom.   Schmidt began his Southeast Asian trip with a pit stop in India yesterday, where the government has been pushing a tech agenda over the past year.

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Live in Google Hangout, One Indian Official Says Government's Participatory Democracy Effort is Elitist

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, March 18 2013

The Indian Government Planning Commission Google Hangout.

India’s government has been embracing a high-tech strategy over the past year, with new online portals and open data initiatives aiming to democratize civic life.  Last Friday, a Google Hangout with members of the Government Planning Commission was emblematic of these efforts.  But some viewers expressed skepticism that undermined the impact of the conversation, alleging that some of the “spontaneous” citizen questioners in the hangout were government plans. One commission member denounced the event live on camera.

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In India More People Have Phones than Toilets, But Society is Not More Mobile

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, January 28 2013

Twenty years ago, making a telephone call from a rural village in India likely meant a trek down to the lone public phone in the town square. Today, although there’s still a 50,000-person-deep waiting list for landline installation in private homes, mobile phones have radically transformed the country, breaking down barriers in communication, commerce, and access to services. Yet in society that retains its deep class stratifications, how significantly has mobile communication improved life for the poorest Indians? Read More

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India's IT Ministry Sets a Tech Agenda for the 21st Century

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 24 2013

Indian IT Minister Kapil Sibal (Wikimedia Commons).

Indian IT Minister Kapil Sibal has made his plans clear to digitalize government, with online portals and e-governance measures meant to streamline bureaucracy and increase accessibility. Now Sibal has put forth an ambitious one-year agenda for the for the country’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (acronym: DEITY). Read More