As far as radio waves go, South Asia could perhaps call itself the dark continent. This part of the planet has an almost-uniformly unenlightened policy when it comes to opening up its airwaves. Voices from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal….
Remember the old joke that the doctor’s operation was a success, but the patient died? Free/Libre and Open Source Software (or FOSS) is a great idea. But sometimes it just doesn’t work out right. This was the cautionary message emerging from an ‘open space’ at the APC Regional Consultation on ICT Policy in South Asia (April 19-21, 2006, Dhaka).
Should people who illegally copy software onto their computer (probably because it’s so outlandishly priced) be called ‘pirates’? Is it fair to liken people who attack ships at high seas to those who make copies of digital products, though it’s against the law? Or is illegal copying of software "infringement of illegal property and unethical, crimal and
Does civil society understand ICT policies at all? Take your pick….
APC is currently holding an ambitious programme in South Asia, and is drawing a wide range of participation. Here’s looking forward to more activity in the most populous region of the planet. Where ICTs, if effectively used, could make a big difference…
While a lot of the sharing of ideas from across a complex continent still largely depended on on the traditional ten-minute, LCD projector-based presentations there was some space with a difference too. "Open spaces" is a way of volunteered sharing of information and ideas. Whoever feel strongly about a subject, presents it to others who volunteer to tune in.
In the Himalayan country of Nepal, a large section of the population is deprived of the usage of computers because of the language barrier i.e. English which is the communicating language of the computers, One of the institutions there, an archive-and-library there was facing challenges in cataloging its books, and ran into hurdles with ‘sort’ and ‘find and replace’ requirements. It undertook a font stardisation project, whicih grew far beyond expected. An interesting story by Bal Krishna Bal.
Community television bridges difference, taking grassroots stories and issues to a wide audience and ensuring that our diverse communities are visible and accessible.
Digital free-to-air television will do more. It will deliver niche programming, educational resources, local information and access to cultural heritage. For these services to emerge, a full digital channel must be made available for community use.
As my preparations are underway for reaching Dhaka for the APC ICT Policy Meeting, alot of FOSS activity is going around within Pakistan as well as around the globe. Its a very busy year for all of us FOSS Advocates, Journalists and Researchers. Its good to see APC’s involvement in the South Asian region and it would be great to contribute and co-ordinate APC activities in the region.
Hi everyone, I know I have been conspicious by my absence from any discussions or comments. Apart from my chaotic schedule, I guess I am slightly overawed at being included in a group of people who have accomplished so much in the area of ICT4D. Yes, that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it.