About Us

Internet access study

The attention in India’s internet growth story has been focused around its dollar-earning IT exports, BPO boom, e-commerce, online retail, e-banking, media and entertainment. But the extent to which internet technologies are available, accessed and used in the resource-poor, digitally unstable and diversely-literate environments – including slums – of India’s globalising towns and cities has remained underexplored. The ways in which the urban poor access the internet have not been closely examined. Neither have the barriers to internet access and quality of access for the most-marginalised among the urban poor.

CCDS’s study on internet access takes a close look at the digital divide and digital inequality in one of India’s fastest-growing metropolises – Pune – and aims to understand the extent to which people in low-income, resource-poor and diversely-literate urban settlements are disadvantaged with regard to internet access. Within these settlements, are particular, socially-excluded communities including women, migrants, the unemployed, further disadvantaged? What makes them disadvantaged – is it the absence of internet infrastructure, unaffordability, lack of awareness of the benefits of internet, socio-cultural factors or lack of skills to use ICT services? Or is it a combination of many/all of these?

The study will be conducted over a two-year period concluding June 2015. The study is supported and guided by Ford Foundation.

Details and data emerging from the study will be reported on this project website.

CCDS is also building data and perspectives on internet inequality in India, creating campaign material aimed at the urban poor, and conducting internet literacy workshops for residents in some Pune slums.

The data, reportage and perspectives on internet inclusion in India, as well as the internet literacy/campaign tools may be used under Creative Commons licence (with attribution) for non-profit purposes of advocacy and public education.


The Centre for Communication and Development Studies (CCDS) was set up in 2002 to create and promote new spaces for research, communication and dialogue on social justice, sustainable development, pluralism and transparent governance. CCDS’s core competence is communications, and the institution aims to take information on social change out of the seminar rooms and to the people.

CCDS has built one of India’s largest and most competent networks of over 450 journalists, researchers, analysts and academics working on social justice and sustainable development. This network has collaborated to build www.infochangeindia.org, a free-access, multimedia resource base featuring thousands of pages of original content on development and social justice in India. Infochange content has informed scores of advocacy movements and campaigns, and is linked, cited and reprinted in mainstream media, textbooks, e-learning and social change portals and publications worldwide. We log over 3,000 visitors every day. Infochangeindia is one of India’s earliest knowledge-sharing free-access portals, conceptualised and launched 12 years ago.

We have published 27 volumes of Infochange Agenda, a print and online dossier that combines background, perspective and data with research and reportage on issues such as migration and displacement, malnutrition, gender and sexuality, urbanization and takeover of the commons. Our research is referenced and reprinted by mediapersons, CSOs, students and researchers, campaigners and policymakers and is also made available in over 100 university and institutional libraries.

CCDS has also established strong networks with CSOs, academic institutions, artists and cultural activists who have collaborated with us in the civil society and youth outreach process called Open Space, set up by CCDS in 2004 with Ford Foundation support. Open Space uses innovative communications and dialogue to encourage citizens – particularly youth -- to explore and engage with issues related to pluralism, human rights and sustainable/equitable development.

Our present areas of research include urban poverty, access of the urban poor to public services, and governance.

Research team

Anjula Srivastava, Research Associate: She has a doctoral degree in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai.  Prior to joining CCDS, she was working as a Research Specialist with Saksham, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Round-7, HIV/AIDS Counselling Programme at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. She was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University, USA. She has published in national and international journals, has co-edited a book Challenges of the Twenty First Century: A Transdisciplinary Perspective (2011) and a journal volume. Her areas of research include gender and labour market; social aspects of HIV/AIDS; and urban poverty and technology.

Hutokshi Doctor: Director, CCDS: A journalist with 30 years of experience in media and communications, she has worked in senior positions with several leading Indian publications. She edited the magazine section of The Times of India (all editions) and of The Independent, and was assistant editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India. She has trained and headed large teams of mediapersons. She quit mainstream media to work in social change communications, co-founding CCDS in 2002, building the institution, and heading it. She has conceptualised, launched and edited Infochangeindia.org and Infochange Agenda since inception, and has conceptualised and guided CCDS’s civil society outreach programmes. She has worked on several communications projects for international and national development organisations and institutions.

Radhika Murthy : A graduate of film direction from the Film and Television Institute of India,(FTII) Pune, Radhika has been involved in filmmaking (fiction and documentary) for the past eight years. Some of her films, including her diploma film MOTORBIKE, have been screened at a number of film festivals. She is presently involved in grassroots work on education, gender equality, rural and adivasi issues independently and as a communications person with NGOs. She also enjoys working with other media: photography, print design, illustration and the web

Shirish N Kavadi , Project Director: Shirish has degrees in history (PhD) and political s cience (MA) from the University of Bombay. His career, since 1980, has straddled both academia and the non-government sector. He has taught graduate and post-graduate classes while his research interests are: the history and politics of health and medicine with special focus on philanthropy and medicine, access to justice, law and judiciary, and tribal rights. He has authored a monograph ‘Rockefeller Foundation and Public Health in Colonial India: A Narrative History’ (1999); contributed chapters to edited books, articles and commentaries to journals and authored/edited several research reports/evaluation studies. He recently completed a study on experiences and perceptions of litigation in Maharashtra’s lower courts for the National Centre for Advocacy Studies, Pune. He is currently engaged in finalising a manuscript on Tata philanthropy and medical research in colonial India and simultaneously with an ongoing study on the Rockefeller Foundation and medical education and research in independent India. He has been a recipient of research grants and a Resident Fellowship in History of Medical Research from the Rockefeller Archive Center, New York, research grants from the Wellcome Trust, London and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai.

Swati Shinde, Senior Researcher: Swati has a Master’s degree in anthropology (medical) from University of Pune. She has been working as a researcher for the last nine years in areas such as HIV/AIDS, youth health, migrants and vulnerability, mental health and empowerment. She has worked on issues related to social exclusion with research experts from University College London. Her recent areas of research include urban poverty, governance and access to technology.

Research advisor

Abdul Shaban: Presently Professor and Deputy Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Tuljapur Campus), Shaban has been teaching ‘Social Justice and the City’ to MPhil and PhD students at TISS (Mumbai) and was the Course Coordinator for the MA in development studies. His areas of specialisation are social exclusion in the city, and Muslims and development. Shaban did his Master’s at JNU and his MPhil and PhD from IIT-Mumbai. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and a fellow at the London School of Economics. He is a member of the Maharashtra chief minister’s study group on Muslims. He has authored Mumbai: Political Economy of Crime and Space (Orient Blackswan, 2010) and edited Lives of Muslims in India: Politics, Exclusion and Violence (Routledge, 2012). He has produced several other reports for the Government of Maharashtra, Government of India, World Bank and national and international corporate groups.

Project advisors

John Samuel: has around 25 years of experience and expertise in strengthening democratic governance, public policy advocacy, human rights and sustainable development in India and internationally.His work combined policy research, advocacy capacity building, Institution building, strategic leadership and social mobilization across the world. He an International Consulting Advisor to the UNDP and other international development organisations. He served as the Head of Global Programme on Governance Assessments, and Global Democratic Governance Adviser at UNDP Headquarters, New York and UNDP Oslo Governance Centre, Oslo.He was the International Director of Actionaid, based in Bangkok, leading its global thematic work on just and democratic governance and heading the Asia-pacific region. He helped to establish the National Centre for Advocacy Studies and was formerly the the Executive Director of NCAS. Mr Samuel has a multi-disciplinary academic background, with Master degrees in Social Science, English Literature and Pre.Phd in Socio-Linguistics and a first degree in science. He was a visiting fellow at the Institute of development Studies, University of Sussex and at the Advocacy Institute, Washington DC and did the International Summer School in the area of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Oslo.He is also the President of the National Centre for Advocacy Studies, Institute for Sustainable Development and Governance (Trivandrum, India) and Bodhigram Community College in Kerala and serves on the boards of several national and international organisations. He has helped to initiate and establish several advocacy and research organizations and civil society alliances, including Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, Centre for Communication and Development Studies, Open-space network of young people, Asian Media forum, Social Watch India and GCAP( Global Call to Action against Poverty). He has published extensively on issues related people-centred advocacy, democratic governance and civil society.

Nagmani Rao: Associate Professor at the Karve Institute of Social Service, Pune, Rao is a specialist in gender issues and social movements. Rao has over 30 years of experience in community social work, research, mass mobilisation and advocacy.

Sandhya Srinivasan: A noted researcher and writer on public health and development issues, she has a Master’s in public health from Columbia University, and a Master’s in sociology. She is consulting editor to the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, and consulting editor, public health, to www.infochangeindia.org. She was a Panos Reproductive Health Media Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow.

Technical and admin team

K C Dwarkanath, Finance Manager: Retired manager of a nationalised bank, he has been in charge of finance and personnel at CCDS for almost ten years, building sound financial and organisational systems for the organisation.

Sachin Mankar, Administration Manager:

Vijay Narvekar, Webmaster: A web programmer, Narvekar has been with CCDS since inception, and has worked on the Infochangeindia.org portal for 14 years, taking it from launch as a mostly HTML site in 2001 to one operating with a state-of-the-art Open Source content management system today. He has also constructed all our other project websites.

Vishnu Walje, Office Assistant:Walje has been working with CCDS for six years.

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