Session 1: Democracy in Digital India: What is at stake?

Description: This panel aimed at examining the impacts of Indian democracy’s transition to a digitalized, data-based governance paradigm, from the standpoint of democratic accountability and citizen rights.

Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
Usha Ramanathan, Legal Scholar
Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Centre for Internet and Society

Parminder Jeet Singh, IT for Change



Session 2: What is new about the new governance paradigm? What does this mean for the future of grassroots democracy?

The lecture demonstrates how the shift to digitalized governance is characterized by the emergence of new forms of intermediation in the state-citizen relationship, ‘rule by data’ and arrangements in which private actors are increasingly occupying core positions. It demistifies critical concepts in this area such as ‘algorithmic decision-making’, ‘big data analysis’ and so on.

Prabir Purkayastha, Society for Knowledge Commons

Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan



Session 3: Citizen engagement in technocratic times

The session focused on citizen participation in the digitalized governance paradigm, it focused on questions like:

-How has digitalization changed citizen experiences of access to public information, grievance redressal and consultative process? Under what conditions can digitalized citizen-engagement be transformative?

-What legal-institutional mechanisms are necessary to address emerging challenges to civil-political rights in online spaces? Do we need new laws?
ans so on…

Shankar, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
Rajendran Narayanan, Program for Liberation Technology
Amber Sinha, Centre for Internet and Society
Deepti Bharthur, IT for Change


Sejal Dand, ANANDI



Session 4: Governing the Smart City

Session 4 of Workshop on Democratic Accountability in the Digital Age- Governing the Smart City

This panel discussion focuses on exploring and evaluating the contours of the Smart City project, using it as an exemplar for highlighting some critical challenges for inclusive citizenship and democratic accountability posed by the new governance paradigm.

Kshithij Urs, ActionAid
Swapna Sundar, IP Dome

Anupam Saraph, Researcher (Complex Systems)

Sukarn Singh, Software Freedom Law Centre
Jeevika Shiv, ANANDI
Ananta Sharma, Access Now




Session 5: Back to basics- first principles for democratic accountability in the age of digitalized governance

This session focuses on thinking through new legal-institutional safeguards, policy frameworks, procedures and administrative guidelines, techno-design principles and data governance guidelines that can form the basis of democratic accountability in the digital age.

Anupam Saraph, Researcher (Complex Systems)
Rahul Sharma, Data Security Council of India
Osama Manzar, Digital Empowerment Foundation

Anjali Bhardwaj, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information

Jean Dreze, Ranchi University
Col. Mathew Thomas, Civic Activist and Retired Army Officer
Inayat Sabhiki, People’s Action for Employment Guarantee, Pension Parishad