CAGS

OUR TEAM

Manohar Swaminathan

Principal Researcher, Microsoft & Co-Convener, CAGS

Manohar Swaminathan (Swami Manohar)   is a Principal researcher at Microsoft Research India, where he is part of the Technologies for Emerging Markets group. Manohar is an academic-turned technology entrepreneur-turned researcher with a driving passion to build and deploy technology for positive social impact. He has a PhD in CS from Brown University, was a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, and has co-founded, managed, advised, and angel-funded several technology startups in India.

He has guided over 40 graduate students and has more than 50 refereed publications. His research and development focus over the past two decades has been to create technology solutions for the global south, with the Simputer being a significant example.   His current research is in applying to diverse areas of disability,  Ludic design for accessibility, a new methodology which puts play and playfulness central to all technology solutions for accessibility: Computational thinking for children with vision impairments, multi-modal interfaces for digital skilling of children with disabilities, and the use of spatial audio to enable people with vision impairments to enjoy AR/VR systems are some examples.

Amit Prakash

Associate Professor and Convener, CAGS, IIIT Bangalore

Amit Prakash is an Associate Professor at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore. He has been involved in setting up the Institute’s Centre for IT and Public Policy (CITAPP), Centre for Accessibility in the Global South (CAGS) and E-Health Research Centre (EHRC). His interests lie in Information Systems, Governance and Public Policy, particularly as they intersect in development sectors such as public health & nutrition, education & skill development, and food & livelihood security. The focus of his recent research and consulting efforts has been equity and inclusion in matters related to technology designs and policy choices.

Prior to joining academia, Amit worked for over 15 years on advisory assignments, at Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), involving IT in Governance policies and digital technology designs. He has a doctoral degree in Information Systems from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore and a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee.

 

O. Aishwarya

PhD Student, CAGS, IIIT Bangalore

O. Aishwarya is currently pursuing Doctoral studies at IIIT Bangalore in the area of IT and Society. She has worked for a year at Vision Empower, a non-profit organization that aims to make science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects accessible to blind and visually impaired children studying in special schools in Karnataka. She also has a Masters Degree in Development from Azim Premji University. Having recently discovered ways of producing visual art as a blind person, she is now exploring the use of art as a medium for breaking stereotypes and confronting ableism. Researching, and creating more knowledge on disability studies and accessibility, is her passion as well as profession

Arathi Varghese

Design Researcher, CAGS, IIIT Bangalore

Arathi is a researcher and designer focused on bringing user-centered solutions by translating research into actionable insights. With a passion for research, she strives to explore design and user experience in different fields, thus nurture her skills and lend knowledge to build useful products. Currently, she is working in the field of accessibility, which involves co-creating solutions for accessible education. Previously she has worked with Accenture, startups, and Xerox Research Labs. She holds a Master’s degree in Human-Centered Design from Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, and one can read about her work on Medium and other publications on ACM.