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West Bengal Wikimedians/Bylaws

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West Bengal Wikimedians
User Group



BYLAWS

The Bylaws of the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group is the guiding document for the West Bengal Wikimedians User Group for its governance and activities.

Chapter 1 — General Provisions
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Article 1. West Bengal Wikimedians User Group is created by users of Wikimedia projects in and from West Bengal. The official English name of the association is West Bengal Wikimedians User Group, and the official Bangla name is পশ্চিমবঙ্গ উইকিমিডিয়া ব্যবহারকারী দল (literal translation: "Wikimedia User Group of West Bengal and hereinafter as "the User Group").

Article 2. The User Group shall be a non-profit, operated under the relevant laws and regulations of India, for promoting the Wikimedia projects maintained by Wikimedia Foundation Inc. (USA).

Article 3. The activities of the User Group shall be organised within the territory of the Republic of India.

Article 4. The missions of the User Group are:

  1. Popularising Wikimedia projects and helping the communities to plan and execute the projects.
  2. Popularising the ideas of Wikimedia projects such as free knowledge, open licences, knowledge sharing, collaboration, and etc.
  3. Cooperating with relevant organisations and projects which support the objectives of the Wikimedia movement.
  4. Holding various kinds of meetings, outreach, education and any other activities related to Wikimedia projects.

Chapter 2 — Membership
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Article 5. The membership of the User Group is categorised as four kinds and listed below alphabetically:

  1. Founder Members.
  2. General Members.
  3. Honorary Members.
  4. Representative Members.

Article 6. Membership is not necessary for participation in public activities or events of the User Group.

Article 7. Any citizen of the Republic of India or any foreigner who is legally residing in or outside the Republic of India can become the General Member of the User Group. To become a General Member, one should sign up on Meta Wiki.

Article 8. Any citizen of the Republic of India or any foreigner who is legally residing in or outside the Republic of India, who can provide valuable inputs regarding the activities, funding etc. can become a Honorary Member of the User Group. The Honorary Members will only be invited based on their publicly recognized contribution in the free and open knowledge ecosystem or expertise in different cultural and heritage projects of the region including projects run by the User Group or broad understanding of the Wikimedia movement and dynamics etc. While the Honorary Members will not represent the User Group but will advise the Representative Members on a regular interval.

Article 9. A Representative Member shall officially represent the User Group in different local, national, international and virtual events. They are expected to be the program and project leads of the User Group and mentors of General Members as potential future leaders.

Article 10. Any General Member, who is a current or previous permanent resident of West Bengal[1] and speaks any of the indigenous languages of West Bengal as mother tongue (native/first language)[2], is eligible to become a Representative Member of the User Group, if the member fulfils the following criteria:

  1. Plans, conducts and executes at least one User Group project in West Bengal within the last 12 months[3] and/or,
  2. Plans, conducts and executes  at least one Wikimedia offline community event like workshop, edit-a-thon, data-thon, label-a-thon, photo-walk etc.[4] in West Bengal or negotiates partnerships with GLAM institutes or larger open knowledge ecosystem within the last 12 months[3] and/or,
  3. Helps or takes initiatives actively in User Group administrative obligations and activities like creating project proposals, requesting grants, writing financial and annual activity reports etc.[3] or,
  4. Has at least 3000 edits[5] in the last 12 months on different Wikimedia projects of any indigenous languages of West Bengal[2] and on Wikimedia Commons combined[6][7][8][3] or,
  5. Has at least 10,000 page edits[5] on any one Wikimedia project of any of the indigenous languages of West Bengal[2] or on Wikimedia Commons[6][7] and has at least 20,000 global edits[5] in total on different Wikimedia projects excluding Wikidata and Meta Wiki[6][7][8][9] or,
  6. Has proven high quality edit contributions on different Wikimedia projects of any indigenous languages of West Bengal[2] or multilingual projects like Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata, which may or may not be objectively and statistically measured[10]  and,
  7. Is not blocked on any Wikimedia site.[11][12] and,
  8. Is at least 18 years old and agreed to reveal the real identity to the Representative Committee.[11]

Article 11(a). All persons who support the purpose of the User Group are eligible for General membership, as deemed fit, and no one can be denied General membership unless an absolute majority decision by the Representative Committee has determined that such exclusion is warranted. If the Representative Committee decides to exclude someone from having a general membership for any reason, an opportunity should be given to that person to explain his/her stand openly on Meta Wiki. If the person provides some unsatisfactory justification or fails to provide any explanation, the committee will decide to exclude the person from general membership of the User Group.

(b). Membership is free until any decision is taken by the Representative Committee.

Article 12. Honorary membership shall be decided by the Representative Committee. An Honorary Member shall not become a Representative Member unless he/she fulfils the criteria mentioned in Article 10.

Article 13. General Members shall apply or be proposed to become Representative Members and after careful objective judgement of the criteria mentioned in Article 10, the Representative Committee shall approve or disapprove the application. If a General Member does not fulfil the criteria under the said article, but still wants to become a Representative Member, he/she can enrol in a mentorship program under the guidance of the Representative Members to actively participate in User Group programs for a year. If not fit under the said criteria or disapproved, a General Member shall not represent the User Group as an official capacity.

Article 14. Representative membership shall be reviewed every year in December and declared publicly on Meta Wiki every year in the first week of January. The membership shall be terminated if the members cannot meet the criteria mentioned in Article 10. After termination of Representative Membership, the member can remain a General Member.

Article 15. If any hard evidence is found against any Representative Member to defame the User Group in any arena, to obstruct User Group activities in bad faith or to violate Friendly space policies, the Representative Committee shall analyse the seriousness of the situation and decide to continue or terminate the Representative Membership.

Article 16. General, Representative and Honorary memberships are completely volunteer based. Money shall not be paid as a salary or reimbursement or any other way to execute member activities. If any evidence is found against any Representative Member for any sort of non-disclosed paid online Wikimedia editing or accepting payment by any person or organisation in the capacity of representative of the User Group, the Representative Committee shall analyse the seriousness of the situation and decide to continue or terminate the Representative Membership.

Article 17. The Founder Members are the contact persons who signed the Wikimedia User Group agreement and code of conduct and were the active contributors needed for the User Group application. The Founder Members of the User Group shall not receive any special treatment and shall have the rights as General Members except in extraordinary situations mentioned in Article 30. The Founder Members of the User Group are:

Chapter 3 — Financing
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Article 18. The fiscal year of The User Group is set according to the calendar year Indian  fiscal year (1 April – 31 March).

Article 19. The following constitute the funding sources of the User Group:

  1. Wikimedia Foundation Grants.
  2. Donations from persons, enterprises and non-government organisations, if any.
  3. Interest of the bank account of the group, if any.

Article 20. The User Group is not allowed to have any debt, to lend or to invest the fund in any non-Wikimedia activities.

Article 21. The Representative Members shall decide and work on the annual project plan, the annual budget of income and expenditure two months prior to the beginning of each fiscal year. Within 15 March each year, the User Group shall have the annual project report and within two months after the end of the fiscal year, the year-end closure of balance sheet.

Article 22. If the User Group should be dissolved for any reason and if there has been no previous agreement, the residual assets shall be donated to non-governmental and no-profit entities designated by the decision of the Representative Committee.

Chapter 4 — Organisation
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Article 23. The Annual General Meeting of Representative Members shall be held in the first week of January every year to review and monitor past year's activity, to declare new Representative Members and Representative Committee Members and to plan for next year.

Article 24(a). The Representative Members shall be eligible to become Representative Committee member if they meet the following basic criteria:

  1. Takes initiatives actively in User Group administrative obligations and activities like creating project proposals, requesting grants, writing financial and annual activity reports etc in the last 12 months, and/or,
  2. Takes initiatives actively in planning for strategies and coordinating for offline User Group activities and projects in the last 12 months, or,
  3. Has at least 20,000 edits[5] on any one Wikimedia project of any of the indigenous languages of West Bengal[6][2] or on Wikimedia Commons.[7] and has at least 35,000 global edits[5] on different Wikimedia projects excluding Wikidata and Meta Wiki.[6][7][8]
  4. At least 3 out of the 5 members in the Representative Committee must have at least 20,000 edits[5] on Bangla language Wikimedia projects.[8][13]
(b). The term and replacement of a Representative Committee member shall be based on the following points:
  1. Every year, during the Annual General Meeting of the User Group, 1 out of 5 Representative Committee members will be replaced by a new eligible member based on criteria set in Article 24(c).
  2. The maximum continuous term to be served by a Representative Committee member shall be 5 years.
(c). One Representative Member shall be selected each year in Representative Committee replacing one existing Representative Committee member by taking into consideration of:
  1. recent on–wiki contribution for the last 1 year.
  2. recent offline community leadership, planning and execution of User Group activities and projects.
  3. absolute majority consensus of Representative Members as per Article 29. The eligible new Representative Members shall refrain from giving opinion about their selection process.

Article 25. The functions and the authority of the Representative Committee are as follows:

  1. To convoke the annual General Meeting and extraordinary General Meetings of Representative Members
  2. To decide the report, budget, and final audit of any User Group project, if any.
  3. To nominate, coordinate and provide support to the lead or manager of any User Group project.
  4. To ensure submission of annual activity reports and grant reports within scheduled time limits.
  5. To keep the communication with the Wikimedia Foundation for safeguarding the interest and priorities of the User Group.
  6. To safeguard the reputation and the lawful right of the User Group.
  7. To hear official complaints against any Representative Member of the User Group.
  8. To take decision on approval, continuance or termination of any Representative Member, following the criteria set above in Article 10.
  9. To make a decision on selection for the most appropriate candidate by majority vote, be it national or international event, where an User Group member is officially invited to represent.

Article 26. Any member from the Representative Committee shall be discharged from his/her responsibility in the event of one of the following:

  1. Losing the Representative Membership of the User Group and/or failing to fulfil criteria mentioned in Article 24(a) for 2 consecutive years.
  2. Resigning from the position.
  3. Being proven to be in clear conflict of interest, which can detrimentally affect the User Group.
  4. Being suspended for longer than 6 months.
  5. Blocked on any Wikimedia sites.
  6. Death during the Representative Membership.
  7. Remaining physically or virtually absent for two consecutive annual general meetings without serving prior notification.
  8. Replaced by another member during the Annual General Meeting as per Article 24(b)(1).

Article 27. The General Meeting of Representative Members shall be held in the following situation.

  1. Convoked by the Representative Committee.
  2. Formally asked and endorsed by at least 20% of Representative members on the User Group’s mailing list or the User Group's discussion page on Meta-Wiki.
  3. Convoked by the Founder Members in extraordinary situations mentioned in Article 30.

Article 28. The General Meeting of Representative Members shall be invalid if:

  1. At least 50% members of the Representative Committee fail to attend the meeting.
  2. More than 50% of Representative Members fail or reject to attend the meeting excluding those who announce their abstention before the meeting.

Article 29. Any decision taken by the Representative Committee shall require simple majority except the following which shall require two-third majority of the Representative Members.

  1. Amendment of Bylaws of the User Group as provided for in Article 33.
  2. Termination or suspension of membership.
  3. Organisation of any multi-year or national or international programme of high importance or financial value.
  4. Renting of office space or hiring of staff or contractors.
  5. Procurement of valuable assets.

Article 30. If the Representative Committee fails to carry out its function mentioned in Article 25 threatening the existence of the User Group, Founder Members shall have the right to convoke an Extraordinary General Meeting of Representative Members, dissolve the Representative Committee and take over User Group activity.

Article 31. Article 30 cannot be amended or changed by the Representative Committee.

Article 32. If a Representative Member, be in the Representative Committee or not, is a concerned party for any decision taken by the Committee, the member shall abstain from voting due to conflict of interest.

Chapter 5 — Appendix
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Article 33. Any change or amendment to these bylaws, except Article 30, requires two-third majority of the General Meeting of Representative Members, and approved by the Representative Committee with three-fifth majority.

Article 34. All matters not provided for in these Articles of the endowment shall be governed by the relevant laws and regulations.

Article 35. The Bylaws of West Bengal Wikimedians User Group was passed by the Meeting of General Members on 2 February 2019 and amended subsequently on 18 January 2021 and 07 January 2024.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. West Bengal Wikimedians User Group is not a national affiliate and intend to serve the state of West Bengal as a regional affiliate, hence the Representative Membership is secured for the people of West Bengal who have better understanding of the region.
  2. a b c d e Bangla, Kurukh, Santhali, Kurmali, Kamtapuri, Rajbanshi, Nepali.
  3. a b c d This criteria denotes recent activities in the last 12 months from a member. If a General Member is not active on offline or online and does not fulfil criteria 5, shall be removed from Representative Membership.
  4. Organising meetup shall not be a criterion to become a Representative Member.
  5. a b c d e f Edits from bot accounts will not be counted.
  6. a b c d e The threshold is decided through several engagements and consultations with the members of the User Group and by analysing existing user statistics tools.
  7. a b c d e Wikidata and Meta Wiki edits shall not be criteria to become a Representative Member. Edit counts do not matter much on Wikidata. Offline and project works, which are mostly documented on Meta Wiki are already included in the other criteria.
  8. a b c d Different available user statistics tools, like Xtools, CentralAuth etc. will be consulted.
  9. This criteria gives opportunity for any General Member to represent the User Group, who is not recently active for any reason, but has been a long term and dedicated contributor in the Wikimedia movement. Long term inactivity and absence over multiple years might lead to cancellation of Representative Membership following the process of decision making as mentioned in Article 29.
  10. The User Group understands that quantitative measures of edits do not serve justice to their quality, which may not be possible to measure by any tools. Quality contributions can include but are not limited to significant contributions to featured articles on Wikipedia, number of featured images on Wikimedia Commons, winning of international photo-competitions, difficult proofreading on Wikisource, series of data related work on Wikidata on a specific topic, development of a impactful tool requiring hours of coding, innovations at large changing quality of a project etc. As there may not be any objective way to determine, the Representative Members will seek and select these quality editors and discuss and decide on their Representative membership following the process mentioned in Article 29.
  11. a b This is a mandatory criteria.
  12. If unblocked, one shall be eligible as a Representative Member.
  13. This is to ensure representation of the most spoken language of West Bengal, i.e. Bangla