CIS-A2K/Requests/Swatantra 2014/Report

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"Free Software for a Free World"
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18 December[edit]

The conference started on 18 December 2014 at Hotel Hycinth, Trivandrum. The inaugural speech was delivered by Richard Stallman, founder of the free software movement who was of the view that this software should enable access without compromising the security of one's identity.

19 December[edit]

19 December's program was divided into three sessions.

In the first sesion, Rahul De, a professor of IIM Bangalore, gave a speech on "FOSS in State Government Departments: Some Preliminary Findings". Smári McCarthy talked on "Email and Privacy".

Wikimedia and access to knowledge in India[edit]

Med-GLAM project, presentation (file size: 1.53 MB, MIME type: application/pdf, 22 pages)

Session title: "Wikimedia and access to knowledge in India"
Session chair: T. Vishnu Vardhan (Programme director, Access to Knowledge, The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS-A2K))

  1. Med-GLAM: Dr. K.P. Aravindan (Head, Department of Pathology, Calicut Medical College) [TBC] & Dr. Netha Hussain (Wikipedian-in-Residence, Calicut Medical College)
  2. Wiki-track: Mr. Hari Prasad Nadig (Wikimedian, Director of Saaranga) [remote/recorded]
  3. Making DLI Accessible: Mr. Pavan Santosh (Wikimedian, Data Analyst) & Mr. Rahimanuddin Shaik (Programme Officer, CIS)
  4. Conserving Linguistic Heritage the FOSS way: Omshivaprakash HL (Wikimedian, Vice-President Technology of Carmatech, FOSS Kannada contributor) [remote/recorded]
  5. Weaving Wikipedia: Pavithra H (Wikimedian, Development Manager at Trend Micro) [remote/recorded]

Session summary[edit]

Digitization of Indian cultural heritage, available in Galleries, Libraries, Museums and Archives (GLAM) and making it seamlessly accessible to the next generation continues to be a challenge. The problem is even more severe when it comes to heritage in print in Indian languages. This track stressed the great urgency to protect our cultural and knowledge diversity and to make it accessible to the entire world in the digital medium. The prime questions that got posed were: how can FOSS help? And how can the free and open knowledge movement, like FOSS and Wikimedia communities, contribute to making Indian literary heritage accessible? The presentations by the Wikimedia volunteers addressed these questions, by showcasing the various projects they have taken up on Indian Language Wikipedias and Wikisource. Wikimedians form Kannada and Telugu demonstrated how they have used Wikimedia projects to make literary heritage accessible (e.g. the DLI Telugu books catalogue project has made thousands of Telugu books visible on the Internet). A session showed how FOSS played a catalytic role in conserving rich Kannada linguistic heritage of Vachanas. The Medical GLAM project being done at Department of Pathology, Calicut Medical College showed how high quality pathology specimen images are made freely available on Wikimedia Commons, which gave a unique perspective of imagining the possibilities of working with GLAM in India. Last but not least, the use of FOSS in creating the Wiki-track App that would be beneficial to seasoned Wikimedians globally was presented.

20 December[edit]

On 20 Decemver, Nina Paley, a film-maker and social-activist from the United States talked on "Beyond Licenses: Evolution of a Free Culture Practice".
In parallel track, Dr.Kannan Moudgalya, IIT Bombay chaired "Education & Spoken Tutorials" session. In which Dr.Kannan shared his experience on "Spreading FOSS through Spoken Tutorials and FOSSEE". Dr. Kannan Moudgalya also demonstrated notebook with in-built spoken tutorials and information related to FOSS. Dr. Kannan Moudgalya said "'Spoken Tutorial' is created for self learning. The real advantage of Spoken Tutorials is - workshops can be conducted without domain experts and can support many workshops in parallel". The best thing about spoken tutorials is that they are available in different Indian Languages with subtitles.

Wikipedia help desk[edit]

Wikipedians in front of Wikipedia help desk

On 19—20 December, Wikipedia volunteers set up a Wikipedia help desk, where people could ask questions related to Wikipedia or Wikimedia.

In the help desk, we answered more than 20 questions and kept a record of those questions. Few questions such as "Wikipedia notability", "Citation and verification process" were asked more than once.

We were asked—

  1. Is there any Wikipedia chapter in Kerala?
  2. Can I write an article on myself?
  3. Do you accept original research?
  4. Help to understand Wikipedia verifiability/citation procedure?
  5. What is Wikipedia "notability" and how does it work?
  6. How to contact Wikipedians in Tamil Nadu?
  7. Where and how should I register to edit Wikipedia?
  8. How can Wikipedia benefit farmers?
  9. How can you/from CIS-A2K help us in training and making our material available on Wikipedia?
  10. Are Wikipedians paid?
  11. What type of reference we can use on Wikipedia?
  12. Does Wikipedia accept offline sources?
  13. Is Wikipedia written only by experts?

A couple of demonstrations were given to people on how to edit Wikipedia and make general formatting.

External links[edit]