Wikimedia Fellowships/Proposals/WikiConference India 2
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The WikiConference India proposal for a Wikimedia Fellowship, where the fellow would:
- Act as a point of contact and and conduct the groundwork related to WikiConference India 2011
- Liaise with multiple community members and ensure deadlines are met
Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit and so much more, is the fourth most popular website in India, is available in English and a further 20 Indic languages and is over 20 times the size of Encyclopedia Britannica! The Wikimedia Foundation, which is the global organisation that stewards Wikipedia and allied projects, sees India as as a big growth area for their projects and India now has the distinction of being the only country with a Chapter (a local body of volunteers who functions as evangelists and more) and the Wikimedia Foundation’s its first overseas office in the Delhi-NCR region.
The Indian Wikipedian community has grown exponentially - so much so that Wikipedia’s X anniversary was celebrated in close to 100 cities and towns across India on the 15th January 2011. At this juncture the community has identified a need to coordinate and plan the path ahead for Wikipedia growth in India. What with India being a massive country in terms of both length and breath with varied cultures and traditions there are bound to be differences in opinion but what binds the community at the national level is a shared vision for free and open knowledge. At a time when India’s rich are pledging their billions to charity, ordinary Indians are donating their time to help improve and spread the wealth of knowledge through Wikipedia.
First thought up by the Mumbai Community in March this year things started to crystalise during a Mumbai Community Meetup on 21 April 2011. The community resolved to take the lead and invite communities across India to Mumbai for the First Annual WikiConference India (WCI 2011). A separate invitation was sent to the Pune Community requesting them to co-host the event which they accepted with great zeal. The Mumbai and Pune Communities are co-hosting the event in partnership with Wikimedia Chapter (India).
The event itself will be held at the historic Fort Campus of University of Mumbai with three concurrent tracks being planned over a three day period from 18th to 20th November 2011. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia will attend the event.
Organisers expect 300-400 people to attend from all over India, with a limited number of scholarships offered to cover travel and accommodation costs for those who really want to attend but cannot afford to. Organisers hope to drive greater awareness within India to encourage greater participation and attendance at the conference and, hopefully, to induct them as Wikipedia editors and into the Community.
Product, goals, and metrics 
The fellowship would be responsible for preparations related to WCI 2011. Dealing with a variety of aspects and leading from the front, there are 11 sub-heads with approximately 40 volunteers working under all the sub-heads. However, there is a need for someone to coordinate with all these people and do the groundwork for which a full time person is required.
- The Fellow would have continuous dialogue with each Team (While the team will take responsibility for that head, the Fellow will spur them on to achieve their goals through regular communications, chipping in where required etc)
- The fellow would need to invite persons to attend the event. (Special invitees, persons from the foundation, foreign chapters etc and follow up with them)
- Various teams have been set up and a many of the teams do not have members from Mumbai. The Fellow would negotiate with service providers on behalf of the conference and different teams where required.
- Overall project management: coordination and supporting role to various volunteer based teams, namely Finance, Sponsorship and Advertisement, Scholarship Coordination, Speaker Coordination, Conference Planning, Technical and IT, Venues and Logistics, Parties and Fun, Press and Media and Communications and Announcements. A lot of the teams are short staffed and the fellow is already handling a lot of the work on ground.
- In addition to this, the fellow will specifically help in tracking and managing finances and accounting.
- Along with other team members has visited possible venues, negotiated and finalised the venue and accommodations for Scholars, worked on the budget and grants proposal to WMF (for the conference itself), found possible party venues, gone looking for caterers and had tasting sessions, helped write the first press release, finalise Scholarship Terms and Conditions, contacted possible sponsors, get the site notices up, maintain the meta page(s) and helped shortlist possible external speakers among other things. The fellow has already been working on this event on a full time basis for the last couple of months and intends to continue doing so until the end of December 2011.
- Ensure all preparations with regards to WCI 2011 are completed smoothly.
The success of the Fellowship can be measured through:
- The success of WikiConference India 2011
- Weekly teleconversation with India Office representative giving an update on work done in the past week. A written report will be submitted upon completion
- Given the nature of the requirements, the Fellow will be working full-time.
- The Fellow is located in Mumbai.
- The Fellow will need to deal with local logistics.
Fellow(s) responsible for this proposal 
Pradeep Mohandas: Pradeep is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and a Wikipedian editing in the English Wikipedia since 2007. I have worked on articles related to my geographical neighbourhood in Mumbai and articles related to astronomical observatories in India. I have been involved in organising meet ups in Mumbai after September 2010, when the first meetup was held in Mumbai. I was also involved in the team organising the Wikipedia X celebrations in Mumbai, did a Creative Commons licenses workshop for the GLAM institutions and am involved as Treasurer with the WikiConference India 2011, India's first national Wikimedia conference. I am a Wikimedia India chapter member and Chair of City Special Interest Group for Mumbai.
As an undergraduate mechanical engineer at PIIT, New Panvel , I co-founded the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space's India chapter(SEDS-India). Here, I helped organise an international students conference as well as two national level conferences. I also was part of an international collaboration student satellite project called SEDSAT-II. I have helped by advising school level competitions for organisations like Planetary Society, India. I was the National Point of Contact, India for the Space Generation Advisory Council, in support of the United Nations Program on Space Applications. I believe this experience will help me with approaching cultural institutions and opening dialogue, working with other Wikimedia volunteers from India interested in GLAM and implementing collaborative projects.
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