Nikhil Pahwa (Class of 2019)
Nikhil Pahwa is the Founder and Editor of MediaNama, a leading publication chronicling the evolution of digital policy in India. An expert on the topics of Internet governance, privacy, data localisation, censorship, online content regulation, Aadhaar and net neutrality, Nikhil’s columns have appeared in Foreign Policy, Rest of the World, Quartz, Wired (UK), the Times of India, Bloomberg Quint, The Indian Express, The Quint, Scroll.in, The Wire, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Economic Times, Mint and TED Ideas blog among others.
Nikhil led the #Savetheinternet campaign for Net Neutrality in India, which was the largest grassroots campaign in the history of India, with over a million people participating, which led to the shut-down of Facebook’s Free Basics. He also co-founded the Internet Freedom Foundation which focuses on advocacy for digital rights in India. He has been a part of initiatives for free speech, privacy and protection of safe harbor in India, as well as the push-back against Aadhaar, the largest biometric identity project in the world.
Nikhil has earned several accolades for his work including the TED Fellowship, the Asia21 Fellowship and he was also named one of India Today Magazine’s “Indians of Tomorrow”. He has been profiled in Forbes, Wired and GQ, and is on the advisory board of the CyberBRICS project. His publication MediaNama was also awarded as an Ecosystem Builder by Fortune Magazine in 2016.