Updated on June 26, 2024


Created on July 6, 2017

CGNet Swara


CGNet Swara is a voice-based portal that allows anyone to report and listen to stories of local interest over a phone.

Developed By
  1. CGNet Swara
Tested By
  • Environics Trust
  • Gates Foundation
  • Hivos
  • International Center for Journalists
  • IPS Media Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Sitara
  • UN Democracy Fund
Content Partners


Product Description

CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest in Central Gondwana region in India. To use it, they call a phone number using any mobile (or fixed line) phone. Callers are prompted to press “1” to record a new message, and “2” to listen to messages that have already been recorded.

Once a message has been recorded from the field, professional, trained journalists, who access the system using a Web-based interface, review and verify the report. Approved reports are then made available for playback over the phone. The reports also can be accessed on the CGNet Swara website. CGNet Swara was launched as part of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships, a program of the International Center for Journalists.

Target SDGs

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Household, Community

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

CGNet Swara is the distributor/implementer for the solution. They stated they are willing to offer guidance to other organizations that are seeking to establish similar services around the world.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Rootio Radio Station and Pocket FM.

Manufacturing/Building Method


Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users willing to deploy the system can download software and view instructions on a Github online repository. Users can also contact Shubhranshu Choudhary at shu@cgnet.in for more information.

Distributions to Date Status

As of March 2016, CGNet Swara receives about 1,000 phone calls per day that would amount to over 2million calls so far. Most callers only listen to reports. In 2016, there was an average of 6 reports published per day and 11 impact reports per month. Since its inception in 2010, there have been a total of 8,832 published reports and 400 impact reports.

Radio frequency


Broadcasting source

Citizens with mobile or fixed phones.

Remote hardware management (Y/N)

Yes. Cloud based web page where content is managed.

Reception device type

Computer, mobile and fixed telephone terminals.

Broadcasting range

Information content is accessed through mobile and fixed telephone service or computer with Internet service.

Content management available? (Y/N)

Yes. Cloud based web page where content is managed.

Power Supply Type

End users access service through computer, fixed or mobile phones. Terminals must thus be energized to access content available on the platform.

Design Specifications

CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest. Users call a number where an automated systems prompts them to record a voice message or listen to messages that have been recorded by others. The recorded messages are moderated by journalists and become available for playback online as well as over the phone. CGNet Swara serves people who lack access to mainstream media outlets and works on a Linux server with an internet connection. Some of the libraries that need to be configured in server are: mysql, mysql-server, wget, gcc, gcc-c++, bison, libtermcap-devel, newt, newt-devel, ncurses, ncurses-devel, svn, zlib, zlib-devel, openssl, openssl-devel, kernel-devel, httpd, php-mysql, php and MySQL-python.

Product Schematics

Technical Support

There is a small technology section within the about section at CGNet Swara web page. The team offers guidance to deploy the software whenever needed. Inquiries can be addressed to Shubhranshu Choudhary at shu@cgnet.in.

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

CGNet Swara has the aim to empower marginalized people, including India's 80 million tribals, by giving them an outlet to communicate with each other and the national and global media. Because the system gives rural, low-literate communities a way to connect using their own words and voices, CGnet Swara also can play an important role in preserving some of India's ancient tribal languages. Their vision is to scale the service within India and eventually beyond, creating an ecosystem of local reports that is universally accessible via low-cost mobile phones.

Vetted Performance Status




Complementary Technical Systems

The system requirements in which the CGNet Swara server can be replicated are: - A desktop computer running Linux and Asterisk. - An Internet connection (for hosting the Web server). - A telephone interface. CGNet Swara recommends the Topex Mobilink IP to enable calls via a cellular SIM card.

Academic Research and References

Meghana M, et al., 2016, ICT-Enabled Grievance Redressal in Central India: A Comparative Analysis. Microsoft. June. Accessed May 21, 2020.

Mudliar P., Donner J., Thies W., 2012, Emergent Practices Around CGNet Swara: A Voice Forum for Citizen Journalism in Rural India. Information Technologies & International Development 65-79.

“Goal 9.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 25, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal9

“Goal 16.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 25, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal16

“Open source. Code is available at Github.” https://github.com/mojolab/swara/tarball/developers

Swara: Phone and Web Accessible Audio Portal Platform Based on Audiowiki and LoudBlog. n.d. Accessed June 26, 2024. https://github.com/mojolab/swara

Marathe, Megh, J. O’Neill, Paromita Pain, and W. Thies. 2016. ICT-Enabled Grievance Redressal in Central India: A Comparative Analysis. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/ict-enabled-grievance-redressal-in-central-india-a-comparative-analysis/

“About CGNet Swara.” n.d. Cgnetswara.Org. Accessed June 26, 2024. http://cgnetswara.org/about.html

Compliance with regulations

Compliance with in-country press and broadcasting regulatory framework is required to install a radio web portal.

Evaluation methods

Number of broadcasters, number of listeners reached.

Other Information


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