CIS-A2K (Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge) is a campaign to promote the fundamental principles of justice, freedom, and economic development. It deals with issues like copyrights, patents and trademarks, which are an important part of the digital landscape.
If you have a general proposal/suggestion for Access to Knowledge team you can write on the discussion page. If you have appreciations or feedback on our work, please share it on feedback page.
Project: Access to Knowledge Program
Grantee: Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore, India
Grantor: Funds Dissemination Committee of Wikimedia Foundation
Grant Period: 12 months (July 2014 to June 2015)
Grant Sanctioned: 12,000,000/-
Grant Disbursed: 7,000,000/-
- Background to the Access to Knowledge Program
The Funds Dissemination Committee of the Wikimedia Foundation approved a grant to the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) of Rs. 1,200,000/-. The purpose of this grant is to continue the work of its Access to Knowledge program (A2K) in India. CIS-A2K has been working for the catalytic growth of the Indic Wikimedia projects and communities since September 2012. The current grant is for the period July 2014 to June 2015. Plans for this current grant period are here
This was a difficult quarter for the CIS-A2K program. Mainly because—
- There were a lot of uncertainties about the continuation of the program beyond the initial grant received from the WMF, for the period September 2012-June 2014;
- We were not sure if the FDC would approve the proposed grant; and
- Even if it approves whether it would be a part approval of the proposed grant or otherwise. Thus most of the activities and plans that gained momentum during March 2013 to April 2014, had come to a stand still by June 2014. We were also not sure of the internal composition of the team and were anticipating significant changes. Hence. the biggest challenge was to rebuild the lost momentum and to keep the A2K team intact and the team spirits high. In addition to this we spent considerable amount of time in internalising the feedback provided by the community and FDC on our past performance and the proposed program plans (these were shared with the communities during our FDC Grant application). In spite of all these uncertainties, we have done our best to work as a team with a focus on the mission of providing catalytic stimulus to the free and open knowledge movement in India and in Indic languages. During this quarter we predominantly managed to continue our work in the four language areas (Telugu, Odia, Kannada and Konkani)and by the end of this quarter we took steps to take on new stand alone plans. We have also managed to contribute to Hindi, Sanskrit and Tamil Wikisource which was not part of the original work plans. We have extended support to three community events during this quarter.
Language area work plans
During this quarter CIS-A2K collaborated with Andhra Loyola College (ALC), Vijayawada to create free and open knowledge on Telugu Wikipedia, digitize appropriate works for Telugu Wikisource, create a free and open software environment at campus and to modify their mandatory introductory course to include FOSS and Wikipedia. 60 faculty members and about 100 students were trained to contribute to Wikipedia and the sister projects. CIS-A2K was instrumental in getting Ten books of Syed Naseer Ahamed, historian, advocate, journalist and author under Creative Commons Share-Alike 4.0 (CC-by-SA 4.0) license. CIS-A2K has also got two poetry compilations relicensed under CC-by-SA 4.0 license. All of these books will eventually be digitized on Telugu Wikisource.
Please see here for the detailed report of all activities and events in Telugu language area during this quarter.
During this quarter CIS-A2K collaborated with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar to implement a campus project for Odia Wikisource. A group consisting of 9 faculty members and 43 students from the institute were trained in Odia typing and to contribute on Wikisource. This group was supported to digitize some books of Odia author Dr Jagannnath Mohanty, whose books have been re-licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 earlier. CIS-A2K was also instrumental in getting 5 books of noted author and educator Ramakrushna Nanda including an encyclopedia "Biswa Parichay" re-licensed under Creative Commons Share-Alike 4.0 (CC-by-SA 4.0). CIS-A2K has also got Odia poet Bharat Majhi's 5 books re-licensed under a CC-by-SA 4.0. All of these books will eventually be digitized on Odia Wikisource. Please see here for the detailed report of all activities and events in Odia language area during this quarter.
During this quarter the momentum of the activities in Konkani did not continue like in the past quarters as the CISA2K team member anchoring the Konkani language area left. However, CISA2K worked with the emerging Konkani Wikimedia community mostly remotely and offered support and advice. This resulted in the Konkani Wikimedians conducting 3 outreach events on their own in Goa. It is important to note that this was the first such attempt entirely led by the community towards organising outreach activities. The following are the Key activities during this quarter.
- 3 Konkani outreach events entirely led by the Konkani Wikimedians.
- CIS-A2K builds institutional partnership with Nirmala Institute of Education, Goa.
- T. Vishnu Vardhan of CIS-A2K took part in the Global Konkani conclave in Mangalore.
- T. Vishnu Vardhan of CIS-A2K invited to be part of the Steering Committee of the Konkani Language Planning efforts put in by Jogotik Konknni Songhotton (JKS) in association with Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy. Please see here for a detailed Konkani Langauge Plan
During this quarter most of the partnerships that CIS-A2K had signed continued smoothly. Partnership with University of Mysore for digitizing and re-releasing first 6 volumes of the Kannada Vishwakosha (encyclopaedia) resulted in about 1400 pages on Kannada Wikisource. Kannada Wikipedia community is actively populating articles on Kannada Wikipedia taking the input from these articles in Kannada Wikisource. An open knowledge day was celebrated at Mysore to commemorate this endeavor. Due to the efforts of CIS-A2K, Govt of Karnataka re-released 105 books it had published under Creative Commons license during this period. Partnership with Christ University resulted in digitisation of many pages of the Mysore University encyclopaedia on Kannada Wikisource. The partnership with Christ University also created many new editors during this period. Nine outreach sessions were conducted during this period to instill growth in Kannada Wikipedia. Please see here for the detailed report for all the activities and events in Kannada language area during this quarter.
Not much work could be done in the Marathi language area. We hope to recruit a language anchor by involving the community and take forward the activities during the next quarter. In September 2014, CIS-A2K conducted a Marathi Wikipedia workshop at the Kranti Jyoti Savitri Bai Phule women Studies Centre, University of Pune as an effort towards building an institutional partnership.
While CIS-A2K team worked mainly in the focus language areas during this quarter, the team also took part in activities of other languages as well. Christ University students, who are groomed as Wikimedians by CIS-A2K, have done typing on Wikisource in Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi, while Sanskrit Wikipedians requested for a training in the usage of bots, which was fulfilled as well.
About 201 pages of the book, १८५७ का भारतीय स्वातंत्र्य समर were typed by the students from Department of Hindi, Christ University. One of the students, Sharnya G Raj has added a list of all the short stories of Premchand, and the finished list can be accessed at प्रेमचंद की कहानियाँ. This has been discussed with the community.
About 20 pages from முல்லைப் பாட்டு were typed by the students from Department of Tamil, Christ University.
About 100 pages from the book कथासरित्सागरः - सोमदेवभट्टः were typed by the students of Department of Sanskrit, Christ University under the monitoring of CIS-A2K and Sanskrit Wikipedians. 3 Sanskrit Wikipedians were trained to use pywikipediabot framework.
Community strengthening initiatives
Several community specific initiatives were taken in the priority language areas and they are covered int the respective language area subsections. Similar initiatives for Stand-alone projects are explained in detailed in the next section.
Stand-alone Wikimedia projects
Activities for some of the Stand-alone Wikimedia projects that we had proposed in our work plan took off in this quarter. Out of the 8 proposed projects 2 have achieved significant progress:
- Odia Wikisource as OER (project page)
Odia Wikisource going live with a new active community emerging and relicensing books from 2 notable authors under CC-by-SA 4.0 license.
- Making the Tulu Wikipedia Live (project page)
Various outreach events and awareness sessions to bring more contributors for Tulu Wikipedia (currently in incubation).
Creating movement resources
Creating movement resources like manuals, audio-visual guides for new editors, etc have been CIS-A2K's priorities while implementing various projects that have engagement with new contributors. Several such resources both in print and in e format have been found to be very useful for both the community and CIS-A2K. See more...
Publicity, Research and Documentation
For the core language projects and all other Indian language projects CIS-A2K has helped in various ways to publicise the activities and community efforts. Details of the blogs published, print and digital media coverage and all work related documentations are listed here.
Highlights of this quarter:
- Number of Print and Electronic Media mentions: 21
- Number of blog posted: 11
- Number of newsletters published: 3
- Number of events participated: 8
General support and service to the movement
During this quarter CIS-A2K has received three community event support requests and one technical support request from the Indic Wikimedians. All of these requests were promptly fulfilled. See the list of all support requests made by the Indic Wikimedia communities here and here.