Pre-Summit Conference

Digital Technologies and their impact on the society, and governance

Concept Note

Communication, propaganda, knowledge, and scientific discoveries result from the wide access and spread of information. In the industrial era (post-medieval Europe), information was limited and available in selected places. In the 21st century, information has become abundant to such a level that an individual’s concentration levels are dwindling because of the hyper-consumption of information.

Access to abundant information, or internet access, allows the public to be informed about almost anything.[1] Unrestricted and easy access to information has enabled people to understand society better and make informed decisions. The public also created ways to fight social and political injustices using internet platforms. Some examples of this are the infamous Arab Spring of Egypt in 2011, and the #Metoo movement in 2017. In addition to these public movements, internet communications have developed a sceptical side. Internet, while advancing society’s knowledge consumption, deepens the existing societal divides. The negative impacts are observed in the political landscape.

The negative impact of the internet is evident in democracies, where elections are fought using social media propaganda and other means of internet communication. Ironically, most of the time, the internet will be used to manipulate public opinion. In addition, socio-economic activities are increasingly happening online. Ordering groceries, daily needs, medicines, doctor consultations, booking a taxi, social interactions, and education are some of the social activities that happen online.

This is just the usage of the internet, which has both positive and negative effects. There are many tools that are developed using the data, thereby changing the course of agriculture, healthcare, and governance. Some of the technologies to mention are AI-based seed sowing, drones for online delivery & warfare, blockchain platforms changing the financial exchanges, etc. The percolation of digital technology is in such a way that society has become digital. When society is undergoing internalisation and digitalisation, it is important for the state’s legislation, policy, judiciary, and executive departments to get digitalised and internalised. In India, a slow process is observed in this category, while European Union, China and the US are far ahead in this aspect.

Europe developed a Code of Principles (COP) and the Digital Securities Act (DSA) in the last quarter of 2022 to bring transparency and authenticity to internet information. With its GDPR, the EU becomes the pioneer among democracies in taking proactive actions to evolve alongside the internet. The US followed the queue with its flavour. It released the AI bill of rights that ensures AI development and usage to benefit society holistically. No other country or an international grouping among democracies has developed a robust plan to regulate or streamline the digital developments that mitigate the adverse impacts on society. Both the EU and the US focus on domestic stability with the adoption of AI. They emphasise individual rights, transparency, and accountability of internet communication and data analysis algorithms.

India released its data protection bill again in October 2022 after undergoing iterative changes by a parliamentary committee in 2019. It has also released two parts of AI policy, rolled out Data Protection and Empowerment Architecture (DEPA), and proposed AI stack for coherent database and its usage for developing AI algorithms. However, there is no data protection legislation hampering the actualisation of the AI stack and the DEPA framework.

In order to develop legislation protecting and providing rights to the citizens, anticipatory research and risk assessments are required. In addition, there are many advocates of having digital commons to protect and enhance democratic values and norms. To come up with decent legislations, and internet frameworks, a proper understanding of the impact of digital technologies in all the societies in India is mandatory. Taking cognisance of this requirement, this pre-summit conference is proposed. It aims to bring scholars and practitioners to propose scientific narratives on the impact of digital technology on society. Not only academic insights but this conference is aimed at bringing together the practitioners’ experiences to the table.


This conference will be a single-day, tightly packed session from morning to evening. The conference invites strong academic and empirical papers from academia and practitioners. The themes (not restricted to) for the conference would be:

  1. Digital technology and its impact on the education

Education is increasingly being provided in hybrid mode. Though the provision of education online to all age groups is debated, there is no proper understanding of the impact it creates on society. Papers are invited under this theme that would cover the impacts of online education on children, the benefits of online courses to university students and professionals, and the change it brings in the paradigm of education.

  1. Artificial Intelligence and its impact on the society

Despite Google’s DeepMind releasing its Alpha Go in 2016, there are still uncertainties about how AI will impact society. Papers under this theme are encouraged to explore scientific frameworks that measure the impact of certain AI systems on society, risk evaluation, ethics, and public awareness of AI.

  1. Data legislation and its importance

There is a catena of work now available on the topic of AI in the legal sphere, especially in the jurisprudential aspect. Applications that provide legal counsel to individuals, case summaries to the lawyers and probable legal codes to be used in a court argument, are developed. However, in India, there is no data regulation framework. Submissions are encouraged in this aspect.

  1. Social and behavioural changes induced by the digital technologies

Data is generated by society, and the data makes society. This is the equation in the internet era. Some of the observed behavioural changes are changed nature of social interactions (social media, Instagram reels etc), and interpersonal communications. Submissions are encouraged that critically analyse the social and behavioural changes caused by internet and allied technologies.

  1. Cognitive bias and internet

As the internet provides abundant information on almost anything, people tend to consume only that information, strengthening their pre-notions or bias. This strengthens the already existing societal disturbances. Submissions are encouraged to cover the latter aspects.

  1. Internet addiction

Gaming and internet information consumption has become children’s addictions, leading to behavioural changes. Worldwide, legislations are being brought to curtail screen time for children. Submissions are encouraged that provide critical analysis of internet’s usage by kids, school-going children. Wider aspects like necessary legal and philosophical paradigms to interpret the new digital society are also encouraged.

  1. Digital technologies in agriculture

The world’s first entirely machine-operated crop – a crop sown and tended without a human ever entering the field – was harvested in 2017, a milestone in digital agriculture, sometimes known as “smart farming”, or “e-agriculture.” These technological advances can support the goal of achieving more resilient, productive, and sustainable agriculture and food systems, which better meet consumer needs. These benefits come both directly—via the adoption of technologies by actors in the sector (including service providers), and indirectly—via the adoption of technology by governments in order to deliver better policies.

  1. Digital technologies in healthcare

Digital technologies that allow people to manage their health more effectively, to better ways of diagnosing disease, to monitoring the impact of policies on population health, digital technologies for health, or digital health, are profoundly affecting how health services are delivered and how health systems are run.

  1. Digital technologies in Education

These digital technologies have made a paradigm shift in the entire education system. It is not only a knowledge provider but also a co-creator of information, a mentor, and an assessor. Technological improvements in education have made life easier for students. Though it is a great aid to the society, it has its pitfalls. Submissions are encouraged to provide varied discussions on the intersection of digital technology, society and education.

  1. Digital technologies aiding MSME

Medium and small-scale industries can easily reach the entirety of the market using digital technologies. Not only marketing, research and development, organisational expertise, but recruitment can also be made easily using the internet and digital technologies. Submissions that focus on the usage, impact, and future prospects of MSME with the intersection of digital technologies are encouraged.

  1. Digital technologies revolutionising finance

Digital transformation is here for the long haul as all industries are gearing up for change. Leveraging artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning has found the financial sector to be welcoming. Even the DEPA framework that brought account aggregators is implemented only in the financial sector by the Reserve Bank of India. More research is encouraged in the potential changes that digital technologies are bringing in the finance.

Timeline for Paper Submission (except book reviews)

Date Action Detail
April 10 Release of call of Papers ·             Posting call for papers on all online platforms of CDPP and DEF

·             Mail to all contacts

·             Send an invitation to universities

·             Personal invites to select scholars, and practitioners

April 30 Deadline for the receipt of the synopsis 1000 word synopsis should be sent
May 5 Declaration of acceptance of the synopsis Proposals that are selected for the conference will be intimated via email of their selection
July 10 Final paper submission 5000 – 8000 words, including references
September 20 Closing of the Journal Issue Final manuscript with revisions in the manuscripts as per the reviews
October (1st week) Final Acceptance of the papers