COSMOS: a space for New Media

In the first two decades of its existence, Comet had kept production of media for education and social awareness at the forefront of its work. As the 21st century set in, it became clear that ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), or the New Media were going to be a significant part of exciting changes taking place in the world.

With the simplification of technologies, it was now possible for many non-specialised people to make media. With the Internet, they could find like-minded people, form self-organised communities and distribute their work, bypassing all the traditional barriers.

However, one of the significant outcomes of this rapid change, in countries like India, is the so-called digital divide. The COSMOS initiative is intended to address this tendency of those with less access to knowledge resources to get further disenfranchised, even as the already privileged sections of society move forward rapidly.

COSMOS is envisioned as a space for research, production, education, training and consulting-extension which would seek to integrate knowledge and practice in diverse fields such as science and technology, media and arts, history, ecology, governance and ethics.

The work of COSMOS started in 2006 with a series of workshops titled Webwala aimed at NGO professionals. It gave them a hands on experience a range of Free Software packages, notably Open Office. Some of them were able to introduce Free Software in their organisations as a result of this training. COSMOS also conducted Digital Bridge Camps in the summer of 2007 to bring together professionals from civil society groups and the ICT field on a common platform for exchanges of knowledge and ideas.
COSMOS has conceptualised a number of different courses:

  • The Digital Dukaandar, a microentrepreneur with a laptop who would provide various web based services to members of her/his community or a nominal fee.
  • Digital Bhandari: An NGO worker trained to implement FOSS in their organisation and also trai Digital Dukaandaars
  • Teacher Archivist in School and Community: A teacher trained to create a digital library in a school for the benefit of colleagues, students, parents, alumni and the larger community
  • ICT module for MSSW graduate and post-graduate students in Social Work colleges

Upcoming workshops
Recent workshops

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