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Adoption of ICTS in Urban Slumns
Adoption of ICTS in Urban Slumns

We discuss the adoption of information and communication technologies in the context of urban slums in Mumbai. We are conducting ethnographic research amongst ICT-based business like mobile phone stores and services, cyber cafes, PC assembling units and computer training institutes.

Through in-depth understanding of informal business networks we are mapping;

  • the demand for and usage of the internet/mobile internet, mobile phones and PCs in low-income settings
  • the business ecology of mobile phone repair and servicing and PC assembling
  • the dissemination of ICT skills and adption

We are presently working in two suburban Mumbai slums in Dharavi and Behram Baugh.

Research interns: Srikanth Yamsani,Sumitra Nair,Ashwini Shelke,Raj Kumar Rath


Rangaswamy, N. & Sambasivan, N (2011), Cutting chai, Jugaad, and Here Pheri: Towards a UbiComp for a Global community, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 15(6) PP 553-564

Rangaswamy, N. & Nair, Sumitra (2010) The Mobile Phone Store Ecology in a Mumbai Slum Community: Hybrid Networks for Enterprise, Information technology and International Development 16(2) PP 51-65

Rangaswamy N and Nair Sumitra (2010) ‘The PC- aided Enterprise and Re-cycling ICT: An ICT for D Story?’, ICTs and Development : An International Workshop for Theory, Practice, Policy, 11-12 March 2010, New Delhi

Rangaswamy N, Nair, S, (2009)The Mobile Phone Store Ecology in a Mumbai Slum Community: Hybrid Networks for Enterprise, AiOR09Mobile Phones and the Developing World Pre-Conference Workshop, 7 October 2009, Milwaukee

Sambasivan N, Rangaswamy N, Cutrell E, Nardi B, (2009) Ubicomp4D: Infrastructure and Interaction for International Development—the Case of Urban Indian Slums, 11th International conference on Ubiquitous Computing, 30 September 2009 Orlando

Sambasivan N, Rangaswamy N, Toyama K, Nardi B, Encountering Development Ethnographically, forthcoming, ACM Interactions, November/December 2009

Rangaswamy, N (2009) The non-formal business of cyber cafes: a case-study from India, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 7(2/3)

Rangaswamy, N (2009) Keywords in Communication: Mesh-economy and business channels in an Indian urban slum, ICA 2009, pre-conference on India and Communication Studies, May 21 2009, Chicago

Rangaswamy, N (2009) ICT for Mesh-economy: Case study of an urban slum, IFIP 2009, May 26-28, Dubai

Rangaswamy, N (2008) Telecentres and Cyber cafes: The case for ICTs in small business, Asian Journal of Communication, 18(4) pp 365-378