Marathi Wikipedia - Vishwakosh Workshop for Science writers in IUCAA, Pune
An age of knowledge has dawned upon us all. This new horizon of information is reachable to all. The sharing and obtaining the knowledge has also seen a far-reaching change in means and mediums. The digital formats on different gadgets are the most preferred by new generation. With information outburst, there is confusion regarding verified sources, authenticity of data and qualitative references. There is a revolution in free, open source software and copyright domains as well. If the knowledge prompted wisdom is seen as a goal then we as humans have evolved into a co-existing and co-operative society advancing with good faith by collaborating for free, open knowledge. Wikipedia movement is a flagship of this forward march. This free Encyclopeadia has grown in 299 languages across the globe. The goal - Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given a free access to the sum of all human knowledge – is coming true.
Another initiative is taken by Mahrashtra Rajya Marathi Vishwakosh Nirmiti Mandal by coming up with 20 volumes and now it has pioneered a decentralized form of Knowledge generation by establishing 60 Dnyanamandals for different knowledge streams. Foundation of this Knowledge base can be achieved through structured as well as amorphous or non-structured way. Vishwakosh presents the earlier approach while Marathi Wikipedia presents the later. For the genesis of Marathi Vishwakosh, Government back-up and adept scholarship acted as a custodians of right path while Wkipedia developed out of the participation and partaking of the interested and enthusiastic people. Both of these ways lead to the same goal of Knowledge creation in Marathi. Thus both Vishwakosh and Wikipedia are joining forces for conducting this workshop for authors.
In Marathi, there is dearth of scientific articles. Quality articles’ count goes in few hundreds. With the advancement of Smartphone technology and Internet, people are searching for scientific information in their own language on large scale. The search engines have given priority to Wikipedia content in top 3 searches. Therefore it is important to contribute to Wikipedia Projects. Taking into consideration above noble cause, Prof. Madhav Gadgil, Marathi Vishwakosh Mandal, The Centre for Internet & Society and Rawat’s Nature Academy and Saptahik Vivek Shilpakar Charitrakosh Prakalp have taken initiative to organize ‘Wikipedia-Vishwakosh Workshop for Science Writers’ in Pune. Major organizations working for scientific knowledge propagation and diffusion like, Marathi Vigyan Parishad, Vijnana Bharati, Srushti Dnyan and Sakal Trust are also coming forward for technical facilitation and coordination. The workshop participants include science writers from various faculties.
- To introduce Wikipedia & Vishwakosh as free encyclopedias for research and a concept to new editors.
- To Promote Marathi Wikipedia Community & scientific writing in Wikipedia & Vishwakosh .
- To have an open interaction within the editors, existing as well as new.
- To spread the awareness of Wikipedia as a powerful tool.
The workshop was planned in three sessions. Presentations and discussions were conducted in first session, while second session was focused on actual editing demonstrations on Wikipedia. In the same session the new websites based on different subjects developed by Marathi Vishwakosh were presented. The process of content contribution in text, images, audio and video forms was explained in this session. The third session was to explore networking with Dnyanmandals formed by Marathi Vishwakosh Nirmiti Mandal. Insisting the expertise of invited authors to contribute the articles in their own chosen fields in a well-structured format, this session will not only train the authors in content generation but also make them understand the expectations of laymen and common readers.
- Mahrashtra Rajya Marathi Vishwakosh Nirmiti Mandal
- Rawat’s Nature Academy
- Saptahik Vivek Shilpakar Charitrakosh Prakalp
- Vijnana Bharati
- The Centre for Internet & Society-Access to Knowledge Program
Date : 7th October 2017
Time : 10AM to 5PM
Place : Pune,Maharashtra,India
Venue : IUCAA, Pune University
Participants : 350
The workshop inspired science related institutions to take initiative for content generation. Series of workshops of science writers, maths writers, astronomy enthusiasts are planned in next 2 months. Also content donation to Wikisource and Commons has started. Science magazines have also announced to re-licence their previous issues. Noted scientists Jayant & Mangala Narlikar, Madhav Gadgil have donated their books for Wikisource. Management Guru M.G. Ranganekar also donated his 2 popular books. In the workshop, many librarians also shown interest in taking free knowledge movement forward by taking up Wikipedia Library project. Mass awareness was generated through the press and electronic media. All the leading newspapers covered the event extensively. Two editors wrote special features in Sunday issues. Student community expressed interest in working for technical issues by taking up internship projects.
- About 350 people involved in scientific writing across Maharashtra state actively participated