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CIS-A2K/Work plan July 2014 - June 2015/Marathi

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Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language which is predominantly spoken in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It is also the official language of the state. It is estimated that there are approximately 72 million Marathi language speakers in India, which makes it the fourth most spoken language in the country. There are many Marathi speakers even in the neighboring states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Maharashtra has a literacy rate of 83 per cent. [1] In terms of higher education, the state has 45 universities and university-level higher education institutions and 4836 colleges.[2] It is also the wealthiest state in India, contributing about 15 per cent of the GDP.

Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote and Wikibooks are the Wikimedia projects that are live now in Marathi. The fact-sheet below provides a quick glimpse of the key data about the various Wikimedia projects in Marathi.

Fact Sheet[edit]

Wikimedia projects No. of Editors (January 2013) No. of Editors (June 2014) No. of Active Editors (January 2013) No. of Active editors (June 2014) No. of Articles/entries (January 2013) No. of Articles/entries (June 2014) No. of Page views per month (June 2014)
Wikipedia 479 575 45 29 38,900 41,130 3,175,976
Wiktionary 22 23 0 0 1,800 1,852 42,545
Wikisource 13 18 0 1 830 873 36,099
Wikiquote 5 5 0 0 43 43 24,554

Needs Assessment[edit]

During the last 8 months, the A2K team personnel has had informal discussions with Marathi Wikimedians based in Mumbai and Pune about the status of the Marathi Wikipedia and the associated community. In addition to these, discussion meetings were also held with some of the Marathi Wikipedia administrators. Based on these discussions, the A2K team has arrived at the following sets of needs.


Currently the majority of active Marathi Wikipedians are based out of Mumbai and Pune. A closer examination would show that the number of active editors has remained more or less unchanged almost since the beginning of 2009. The majority of the current active editors have been continuing their passion for the Marathi Wikipedia over the last 3-4 years. However, some of these senior active editors are slowly going silent. The Marathi community unanimously feels that there is an urgent need to diversify the community through sustained outreach programs. The community would see it as a major value add if the number of active editors is doubled in a year or so. Thus a well-designed and sustained outreach engagement would not only enthuse the existing community but also strengthen the qualitative and quantitative growth of the Marathi Wikipedia. Although the Marathi Wikipedia has had new editors coming-in periodically (on an average of 5-6 every month), not many have grown into active editors. There is thus a need to understand this scenario so that we can catalyze a better conversion rate of new editors to active editors. During the last year there is a significant decline in terms of active editors, edit count and new articles being created.


The Marathi Wikipedia is the fourth largest Indian language Wikipedia. It has more than 40,000 articles. However, the quality of these articles is a major concern. More than 65 per cent of the articles (i.e. 27,000 out of 40,000) are stubs. A list of all stub articles in Marathi Wikipedia can be found here.[3]

Implementation plan[edit]

Cultivating new editors[edit]

Institutional partnerships (Higher Education)[edit]

Based on a preliminary research the A2K team has prepared a list of higher education institutions in Maharashtra (see Annexure). Out of this long list the A2K team will explore partnerships:

Sl. No. Name of the Institution Status
1 Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai MoU signed with TISS.
2 SIES College of Arts, Science, and Commerce, Mumbai Exploratory visit done. Discussions under progress
3 University of Mumbai, Mumbai Under exploration
4 University of Pune, Pune Discussions with faculty under progress
5 FLAME School of Liberal Education, Pune Discussion with faculty under progress
6 Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar Under exploration
7 People's College, Nanded Discussion with faculty under progress


To partner at least 3-4 higher education institutions in developing thematic projects and creating a network of academicians who will actively use Marathi Wikipedia as part of their pedagogy. To reach out to at least 3 other higher education institutions from the above list and conduct Marathi Wikipedia Workshops mainly with an intention to spread awareness and to arrive at possibilities for long-term partnerships.

  1. Conduct initial meetings with faculty from the short-listed higher education institutions.
  2. Work with enthusiastic faculty in listing out the expectations, incentives, broad frame-work of project design, mutually beneficial outputs for the institution and the Marathi Wikipedia.
  3. Introduce and involve key Marathi Wikipedians in advanced conversations with the short-listed institutions.
  4. Arrive at a clear terms of reference (ToR) for the partnership between the institution and CIS-A2K.
  5. In collaboration with key Marathi Wikipedians, design and roll-out workshops and training programs.
  6. Continuous mentoring, monitoring and evaluation of the new users created under the project with the help of Marathi Wikipedians.
  7. Create social media platforms for visibility of these projects and facilitate need-based technical and online support. For instance, motivate the faculty or student to maintain a blog on the project.
  8. Constant liaison with the anchor faculty/department.
  9. Periodic review of the project progress with the Marathi Wikipedians mentoring the project.
  1. Expected to enlist about 150 - 250 new editors on Marathi Wikipedia. Of this an attempt will be made to convert 15-25 people into active editors.
  2. Will result in creation of new 300 quality thematic articles.
  3. Will result in the expansion and quality improvement of 200 existing stub class articles.

Small City Outreach[edit]


Actively spread awareness about Marathi Wikipedia in smaller cities across Maharashtra where internet penetration is high.

  1. Do preliminary research on all the small cities in Maharashtra and collect data on the various metrics including: a) Number of local cultural organizations or groups with knowledge in niche subjects, hobbies and independent projects; b) Educational institutions and libraries; c) Data on internet penetration, internet cafes (outlets), broadband connections, etc; d) Virtual communities (like Facebook communities, bloggers, websites); e) Journalists, college teachers, writers and other members of the local intelligentsia.
  2. Shortlist for focussed outreach, in consultation with the Marathi community, three cities with growth potential in relation to Wikipedia.
  3. Liaison and building linkages with local hosting institutions.
  4. Train a set of enthusiastic Marathi Wikipedians in executing successful outreach programs.
  5. Design and roll-out of Wikipedia training or orientation programs in these cities.
  6. Focus on involving the new editors in quality improvement of articles on Marathi.
  7. Nurture local contact institution and community to plan and execute future programs.
  1. Expected to enlist about 60-80 new editors on Marathi Wikipedia. Of this an attempt will be made to convert 8-12 people into active editors.
  2. Will spread more awareness about Marathi Wikipedia beyond the metropolitan context.
  3. Will result in the creation of 50 new articles.
  4. Will result in improving the quality of existing 100 stub class articles on Marathi Wikipedia.

Strengthening Existing Community[edit]

Capacity Building Meet-ups[edit]


To facilitate more qualitative interactions amongst community members, with an aim to a) foster linkages between new and existing users; b) creating learning and support space for new Wikimedians; c) foster a culture of collective review of the expansion of Marathi Wikipedia.

  1. Facilitate 4 offline meetings/events over the next one year. Other than community interactions the group will be encouraged to participate in a specific theme based edit-a-thon, fix a couple of pages, test some specific new tools, etc. This has been successfully done by CIS-A2K in Telugu Wikipedia during the last year, which proved beneficial.
  2. Organise/facilitate Google hangouts/Skype calls and IRCs. We will aim to organise/facilitate minimum of three meetings in the next one year in addition to the above.
  1. These community building efforts will further strengthen the community spirit among the Marathi Wikipedians and in ensuring that new editors get converted into active editors especially in the small cities and towns.
  2. Could result in the quality improvement and creation of 100 articles.

Wikipedia Marathi Bhasha Divas[edit]


To celebrate Marathi Official language day with Marathi Wikimedians from across the globe in February 2015.

  1. Create a platform for celebrating a congregation of wikipedians. Plan a 1-2 day event that would also benefit the venue city.
  2. Use this as an opportunity to train some of the new active Marathi Wikipedians.
  3. Use this as a platform to link the new and old Marathi Wikimedians.
  4. Organize introspection sessions with the community on the growth and development of Marathi Wikipedia.
  5. Bring in other Indic Wikimedians to create strong inter-language networks and projects.
  1. Could help in bringing together 50% of all India-based Marathi editors onto a common platform.
  2. Could help in the Marathi Wikimedia community building efforts, which could lead to increased collaboration.

Content Generation[edit]

Marathi Theatre Project[edit]

Lalit Kala Kendra of University of Pune is one of the leading theatre departments among Indian Universities. The department has also produced good research on Marathi theatre and has access to good quality resources on theatre. CIS-A2K will approach the Lalit Kala Kendra to create a thematic project on Marathi Theatre. The students of Lalit Kala Kendra will be encouraged to create quality articles on Marathi Theatre, including history, forms, artists, playwrights and theatre groups.


To design and roll out a program on Marathi Theatre in collaboration with Lalit Kala Kendra, University of Pune.

  1. Program design to be shared with the faculty of Lalit Kala Kendra.
  2. Involve Pune based Wikimedians to act as Wikipedia mentors.
  3. Conduct Wikipedia orientation workshops for the students of Lalit Kala Kendra.
  4. Organizing edit-a-thons.
  5. Publicize this project in Maharashtra through media, blogs and social media.
  6. Provide analytical and technical support for the project.
  1. Creation of at least 300 above start class articles on Marathi Theatre.
  2. Could result in upload of 150 images on Marathi Theatre forms and artists on Wikimedia Commons.
  3. Wikipedia outreach to 60 students, some of whom could continue as active editors.
Botany Project[edit]

To create articles on plant taxonomy, especially pertaining to agricultural sector in Maharashtra and India.


This is an ongoing project on Marathi Wikipedia as part of which plant related Wikipedia articles are being created. However, this project could benefit with more momentum and resource.

  1. CIS-A2K will get useful information and resources that could enrich these articles.
  2. Assess the need from the Marathi community's point of view in successfully executing this project and provide necessary support.
  3. Provide an evaluation framework for assessing the quality of the articles.
  4. Help organize article writing competition in select higher education institutions.
  1. About 100 above start class articles to be created.
Wikimed Project in Marathi[edit]

To support the ongoing efforts to create medicine related articles on Marathi Wikipedia.


This is an ongoing project on Marathi Wikipedia and a medical doctor Wikipedian is actively involved in it.

  1. CIS-A2K will help with organizing edit-a-thons and article translation sprints in collaboration with the Marathi Community.
  2. Take this project to some medical colleges and organize Wikipedia training workshops.
  3. Organize article writing/translation competition on this theme.
  1. Quality improvement and creation of about 100 articles on Marathi Wikipedia.

Content Donation/Release under CC-BY-SA 3.0[edit]

Plan: Channelize encyclopaedic content into public domain or license it under CC-BY-SA 3.0


  1. Identify data/material in public domain.
  2. Identify digitized content and public institutions, which are into digitization.
  3. Do a study of all the digitization efforts that have taken place so far.
  4. CC events to build perspective of institutions.


  1. To get about 50 books donated in Marathi that could enrich Marathi Wikisource.
  2. To add about 5,000 new pages to Marathi Wikisource.
  3. To build and rejuvenate community around Marathi Wikisource.


The A2K team would like to commit to setting the following goals based on: a) an examination of the expansion of Marathi Wikipedia; b) the growth of the Marathi Wiki Community over the last 2-3 years; and c) an initial needs assessment. These would be achieved in partnership with the Marathi Wiki Community and the Wikimedia India Chapter, wherever possible. However, based on specific needs, the A2K would also take lead in catalyzing these goals through specialist projects/interventions by keeping the process transparent to the Community. These goals are categorized as a) Expected, which the A2K team would aim to compulsorily achieve; and b) Dream, which would be an ambitious target on which the A2K team would set its eyes.

Parameters As on 30 June 2014 Expected Target by 30 June 2015 Dream Target by 30 June 2015
No. of Editors 575 800 900
No. of New editors 68 225 325
No. of Active editors 29 45 60
No. of Articles 41,130 44,000 45,000
% age of Articles above 2KB size 34% 40% 45%
No. of Outreach Events NA 13 13
No. of Books Donated NA 50 70
No. of Folios Digitized NA 5,000 7,000
No. of Institutional Partnerships NA 3 5

Activity-wise Break-up of Targets[edit]

Activity No. of New Articles No. of Existing Articles Quality Improved No. of New Editors No. of New Active Editors No. of Events No. of Partnerships built (Institutions/Groups)
Institutional Partnerships (Higher Education) 300 200 150-250 15-25 7 3-4
Small City Outreach 50 100 60-80 8-12 3
Capacity Building Meet-ups 50 50 12
Wikipedia Marathi Bhasha Divas 1
Marathi Theatre Project 300 (& 150 images) 60 6 2 1
Botany Project 100
Wikimed Marathi 100 1
Content Donation/Release under CC-BY-SA 3.0 50 book & 5,000 folios
Total 900 (& 150 images & 5,000 folios) 350 270-390 29-43 26 4-5


Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$) Other Sources and in kind support (INR) Other Sources and in kind support (US$)
1 PO x 50% * 192,500/- 3,114.81 - -
1 PD x 10% ** 144,000/- 2330.04 81,600/- 1320.35
Travel and Stay *** 200,000/- 3,236.16 50,000/- 809.04
Volunteer Support 100,000/- 1,618.08 50,000/- 809.04
Events/Meet-ups/Workshops 200,000/- 3,236.16 50,000/- 809.04
Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 50,000/- 809.04 - -
Miscellaneous 20,000/- 323.62 - -
Total 906,500/- 14,667.91 231,600/- 3,747.48

* 50% time of a Program Officer who will anchor this plan at CIS-A2K. Or this could be utilized to hire Programm Assistant level staff. Staff hiring will be done in discussion with the Marathi Community. This is for a duration of 7 months only.
** 10% of T. Vishnu Vardhan’s time as Program Director, CIS-A2K
*** Expenses incurred by the CIS-A2K program team towards executing the plan

Community Consultation[edit]

A link was posted on the Marathi Wikipedia Village Pump seeking community feedback on April 4, 2014. We have also reached out to as many Marathi Wikimedians as possible over e-mail and face to face. We also undertook community consultation about the plan and CIS-A2K's intentions of taking up Marathi as one of the five focus language areas with the below Wikimedians.

We thank Abhay Nathu for showing leadership in creating the plan page on Marathi Wikipedia.


Long list of Higher Education Institutions

Sl. No. Name of the Institution Details about Wikimedia activities previously undertaken
1 Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai Multilingual Wikipedia Workshops & participation in Indian Languages Mela
2 SIES College of Arts, Science, and Commerce, Mumbai NONE
3 Sir J.J. College of Architecture, Mumbai NONE
4 University of Mumbai, Mumbai NONE
5 University of Pune, Pune CIS-A2K organized one Marathi Wikipedia workshop
6 Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research, Pune Hosted numerous GNUnify events and Wiki Academies
7 Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune NONE
8 FLAME School of Liberal Education, Pune NONE
9 Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar CIS-A2K organized one Wiki-Academy
10 New Arts, Science and Commerce College, Ahmednagar NONE
11 People's College, Nanded NONE
12 D. Y. Patil Education Society, Kolhapur NONE
13 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad NONE


  1. Maharashtra 2011 census (Accessed on 10 March, 2014)
  2. Higher Education at a Glance 2013 by UGC
  3. A comparative analysis of the quality of the Marathi Wikipedia with other language Wikipedias will give a better perspective of the needs vis-à-vis Content on the Marathi Wikipedia. This is available at this link.