The ACT4D research group at IIT Delhi designs and builds information and communication technologies focused towards emerging, developing, bottom of the pyramid regions of the world.
Why are we doing this? Many reasons. First, these regions are poor and typically remain untouched with technology unless companies discover ways to monetise their investment made in the region. Governments usually intervene, but public works tend to be ridden with corruption, often because social and technological processes for accountability are broken in such places. Hence, the world needs a more pro-active approach to build technologies for developing regions. Second, working in these regions present technical challenges very different from those encountered in typical CS research problems. A careful understanding of the capabilities of people, social dynamics, and infrastructure problems such as poor electricity and broken roads require that solutions have to be designed keeping many unconventional constraints in mind. Third, it presents an avenue of working on very hands-on problems that involve field work and significant people interaction. This is much to the taste of outdoorsy people like us who love to see their hard work put to use in front of their eyes. Fourth, we feel good to bring smiles on the faces of people.