As per the 2007 census of India, there are about 7.4 million speakers who speak Konkani as a native language. Many might not know though the language finally made a late entry on Wikipedia in 2014 with the release of the Goan Konkani Wikipedia. Since the beginning of the project as an Incubator project, it has faced several issues; complications because of the multiple scripts used to write Konkani, building a community from scratch to contribute to the Wikipedia project, and finding encyclopedic resources to grow content. The Konkani community that contributes on Wikipedia is predominantly present in Goa with a few contributors living elsewhere. The statistical analysis of the last six months shows several trends of the project and community growth. There is an overall state of both the content and community seem to be stable with a total of 124 editors and 2400 articles. However, the growth trends are little worrying as there is hardly any new editors that has joined the community in last six months. The active editors (with more than 5 edits a month) have also slowed down over time with a few them becoming inactive as the average of the number of active editors for the previous six months (January-June 2015) was 18 that has come down alarming to 5. Same is the case of very active editors (with more than 100 edits a month) and number of new articles being created every month. These downtrends are more of a result of the on-wiki, online and offline activities slowing down. There is a great need for more leadership and community-led activities that could be catalyzed by organizational support.
Currently CIS-A2K is working with five Indian-language Wikimedia communities (Kannada, Konkani, Marathi, Odia and Telugu). While working with the mentioned Indic Wikimedia communities, we observed a number of issues affecting them and we also noticed that there are many similarities between the issues and difficulties faced by these communities. So, we decided to start working a help document "Indic Wikipedia Policies and Guidelines Handbook".
At first, we created a short handbook discussing a number of topics, such as how to create new policies, or modify the existing ones, using village pump, enforcing policies etc. Then we talked to Indic Wikipedians to know more about the policies and guidelines-related issues and problems they are facing. We also asked to give their feedback on the first draft of this handbook.
The handbook is now released now and may be seen here.
Maharashtra Granthottejak Sanstha, a Pune based non-profit that was founded in Justice Mahadev Govind Ranade and colleagues in 1894, has recently announced to digitise their 1000 volumes of books centred around Peshwa culture. A discussion about digitising these books and making them available online on Marathi Wikisource was organised on 1 December at the Energy Resources Institute (TERI), Bengaluru. Avinash Chaphekar, Joint Secretary of MGS addressed this talk.
Indian language Wikipedias in the classroom: Wikipedia workshop at SVERI, Pandharpur: On 15 and 16 December a Wikipedia workshop was conducted at SVERI, Pandharpur, Maharashtra. The aim of this workshop was to nurture these skills in faculty and students of the institution: a) Creating encyclopaedic content in Indian languages, b) Encyclopaedic content writing skills, c) Digital information literacy skills, d) Ability to critically engage with a concept/theme etc.
Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest: The event was organized during 15-17 December in New Delhi. 11 Indic-language Wikipedians—including two representatives from the Wikimedia India; Sanket Oswal and Nikhil Kawale—participated in this event. Rahmanuddin Shaik and Subhashish Panigrahi from CIS-A2K team attended this conference and coordinated several discussions on copyright and intellectual property (IP) in the context of Wikipedia. The participating Wikimedians, over the three days engaged with each other and the coordinators and discussed about the kind of copyright and IP-related problems they are facing in their home communities.
English and Telugu Wikipedia edit-a-thon in Hyderabad: a collaborative Telugu and English Wikipedia edit-a-thon was organised in Hyderabad on 20 December. The event was aimed at translating many English Wikipedia articles related to Telugu language and culture to Telugu and vice versa.
Odia Wikipedia Workshop in Puri: An Odia Wikipedia workshop was organised in Puri on 20 December. The workshop aimed at helping the participants learn about creating and improving the Odia Wikipedia articles about the local places, people, and culture of the historical town Puri and the district.
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Research Director at email@example.com.
CIS is grateful to its primary donor, Kusuma Trust founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin for its core funding and support for most of its projects. CIS is also grateful to its other donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and IDRC for funding its various projects.