In Conversation with Carl Malamud: A Case for Universal Access to Knowledge

In Conversation with Carl Malamud: A Case for Universal Access to Knowledge

in Interview
Published on: 02 July 2019
Interview conducted on 3 May 2019 at Sahapedia, New Delhi


In the first half of this conversation with Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Carl Malamud talks about the beginnings of his career as an early Internet pioneer and a technologist and his experiences with American government bodies in making public data accessible. A skilled raconteur, Carl brings alive both the challenges of making data and knowledge public and the need for doing so through personal experiences, for instance that of setting up EDGAR for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The second half of the interview focuses on Carl’s experiences in India and his belief that India must lead the way in democratizing access to all kinds of knowledge—ranging from Government standards and public court records to scientific knowledge. Carl recounts the beginnings of the Servants of Knowledge program at JNU and IIT, New Delhi and why he feels Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of satyagraha continues to be relevant in the digital age.


Carl Malamud is the President and Founder of Public.Resource.Org ("Public Resource"), a US-based nonprofit. He created the first radio station on the Internet and was responsible for placing many large U.S. government databases on the Internet for the first time, and has assisted numerous governmental bodies in improving their Internet presence, including the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House, and the National Archives. For the past several years, Public Resource has also spent considerable effort in India and works with organizations such as the Indian Academy of Sciences, JNU, IIT Delhi, and numerous volunteers. Public Resource's work in India is supported by the Arcadia Fund, a UK-based foundation. Carl is the author of 9 books, most recently Code Swaraj, co-authored with Sam Pitroda.

Link to Code Swaraj
Link to Carl Malamud’s India-based collections

If you're looking for articles about Carl Malamud’s work in India, here's the listing.


Sudha Gopalakrishnan is the co-founder and Executive Director of Sahapedia. Sudha has over thirty years of experience in areas relating to policy, management, documentation and research pertaining to multiple aspects of Indian arts and heritage.