Towards Digital Inclusion

CCDS builds knowledge resources for social change. This website presents our research on digital inequality in India.
Explore Our Research

Catching up: Children in the margins of Digital India

CCDS’s 2019 research investigates the ICT access and competency of students from low-income and socially-marginalised backgrounds, revealing wide gaps in the ICT readiness of children already held back by poverty and social exclusion. The digital divide is one more barrier for disadvantaged children as they struggle to catch up in education, livelihoods, and social and democratic participation.

The research also explores the difference that ICT skills education at school can make, and the enablers and barriers faced by schools in providing training in ICTs.

Towards Digital Inclusion

With the internet becoming essential for education, communication, livelihoods and government services and entitlements, access to the internet is no longer a privilege or luxury. Those who do not have access to the internet (or have rudimentary or limited access) will fall further and further behind in the digital age.

The CCDS study examines the extent of digital inequality in a rapidly-expanding Indian metropolis and explores the barriers to internet access for the poor and marginalised.

Teacher Learning Centres for continuous professional development

In the backward Shorapur block of Karnataka, Teacher Learning Centres constitute a vibrant space for continuous professional development, where teachers decide for themselves the conceptual, technical, and human relations skills they want to enhance. This article describes how teachers learned to make their own video teaching-learning materials, and documents the lessons learnt from the 15-year process of personal and professional growth for teachers.

How to make a computer-aided learning programme sustainable

The Azim Premji Foundation introduced computer-aided learning centres in government-run schools in Karnataka in 2001. This article recounts the stages of the programme, the challenges faced, and ways to make computer-aided learning programmes community-driven and sustainable.

Content, pedagogy and technology: The perfect fit

A study of 15 teachers who had undergone training in integrating new technologies in education found that technology remained an add-on in their classrooms. The ICT tools provided were not being used to integrate content, pedagogy and technology. The only hurdle between teachers and the establishment of a transformative classroom experience appeared to be teacher training following the TPACK model, which could help them bring technological, pedagogical and content knowledge together.

Technology for technology’s sake?

Despite the emphasis on technology in education in India, a Mumbai study reveals that technology remains separate from the curriculum, not an integral part of the learning process. Teachers use technology as little more than a visual prop in the classroom, with students remaining in the passive role of receivers.

Increasing teacher agency in the use of digital technology: Are societal platforms a solution?

EkStep, Diksha and ShikshaLokam are three emerging societal platforms in education that work on a single digital infrastructure, addressing the needs of children in K-12, teachers in schools, and school administrators and leaders. These platforms have the potential to reduce digital inequalities and increase teacher agency and autonomy of technology use.

How teachers integrate technology in education: A study of one model school

Integration of technology in education has been a major focus of in-service teacher training. What, however, is the quality of these trainings, and how relevant are they to teachers’ needs? This study of one model school in Uttarahalli, Bengaluru, presents an encouraging picture of integration of technology in education by teachers.

Digital literacy: The role of teachers

In India, teachers have traditionally pushed textbook knowledge at students. Digital technologies, in contrast, require teachers and students to pull and process information themselves, limiting pedagogical use of ICTs. Should ICTs in schools then be introduced when there is a demand from teachers, and not be pushed in by the creators of technology? This article explores the possible consequences of a less-than-thoughtful introduction of ICT into our public schools in the name of digital inclusion.

Digital inclusion: Addressing the digital capability divide

An introduction to media and information literacy for children
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News and information literacy for children

News and information literacy is an important part of digital equality, enabling children to make informed and responsible use of digital media. This series of videos explains the basics of news and the importance of independent and accurate media in a democracy. It helps children view the news media critically, sifting verified facts from rumour, misinformation and propaganda.

मीडिया मतलब क्या? | What does media mean?

As the title suggests, this video introduces children to the term “media”. It explains the meaning of the term, the purpose of media messages, and briefly touches upon how we should look at the media.

न्यूज़ मतलब क्या? | What is news?

This video attempts to draw children’s attention towards the news media. It explains what counts as news, the significance of news, and the difference between news stories and other stories. It highlights the essential characteristic of news – true, verifiable information – and the role of news media in society: to inform, help us form opinions, and participate in a democracy.

नागरिक से पत्रकार | From citizen to reporter

The primary purpose of this video is to convey to students that they are not very different from news reporters or journalists. Journalism is about telling stories and we are all storytellers. Just as we run back home to tell our parents what happened at school, a journalist takes his story to a newspaper or news channel to tell the public. The only difference is that a journalist cannot tell a story without checking its facts, and representing all sides. She cannot include her own opinions or biases in it.

Computer masti at Azam Campus

Conscious that the digital divide is accentuating social, economic and gender inequalities,  MCE Society at Azam Campus emphasizes free or subsidized digital learning from class 1 onwards. Roughly 80% of the students on this wifi campus with state-of-the-art computer labs come from poor Muslim families “I teach whatever I learn in computer class, to my younger brother and my sister,” says a grinning 12-year-old Nazia*. “This way, even if we are studying in different schools, our knowledge of...

12 pm Ladies Special

At Zensar’s Digital Learning Centre in Yamuna Nagar, semi-literate women are encountering computers and the internet for the very first time. The initiative, in partnership with the PMC and Nasscom Foundation, aims to bring digital literacy to every household in the low-income settlement. “I now have my own email account,” says an excited UshaGalphade as she explains why she likes coming to the community ‘computer class’ everyday. “I joined because I wanted...

PCMC kiosks bring e-governance closer to citizens

After the success of the SARATHI e-governance initiative and helpline, the PCMC's touchscreen kiosks provide information about public services and allow citizens to register their grievances. This service is designed to reach out to those who do not have their own internet or phone connection The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s main objective in setting up e-governance kiosks in the city was to enable citizens, particularly those who do not have access to technology like computers or...

Digital inclusion: Definitions and status in India

India had 254.40 million internet subscribers by September 2014. That’s an internet penetration of 20.39 per 100. But the picture changes when you consider that 70.23% of them are narrowband subscribers and only 29.77% access a useful connection. Less than 6% of total...

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Bottom of the BRICS heap

How does India, third largest economy in the world, compare with other BRICS nations on digital inclusion? There’s not one indicator – subscribers, penetration, affordability or speed – where India ranks anywhere close to the top. Digital India has some serious work...

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Zopadpatti re!

CCDS conducts media literacy workshops that not only help socially-excluded urban communities understand and use the internet, but also represent their voice online by creating their own content.

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Phule Nagar: Connected

In a pilot project aimed at addressing digital inequality in urban India, 1200 low-income and socially-excluded households in Phule Nagar, Pune, have free WiFi internet access. To overcome barriers of age, gender, education and ICT skills, a computer and internet...

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Learning to connect

At one of CCDS's research locations, Mahatma Phule Nagar in Bhosari, Pimpri-Chinchwad, a pilot project managed by Telxess and supported by Ford Foundation, provides free wifi to all residents for an 18-month period. Computer literacy classes are conducted throughout...

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