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Wikimedia India Chapter restructures its director board

15 September 2014

Following the abrupt resignations by three Executive Committee members, the Wikimedia India chapter has reconstituted the board by co-opting three of their chapter members. It has also re-assigned the posts of office bearers as detailed below.

  1. Jayata Nath, President (Kolkata)
  2. Radhakrishna Arvapally, Secretary (Bangalore)
  3. Viswanathan Prabhakaran, Treasurer (Thrissur, Kerala)
  4. Kartik Nadar, Board Member (Mumbai)
  5. Nikita Belavate, Board Member (Mumbai)
  6. Dr. B. Ekbal, Board Member (Kottayam, Kerala)
  7. Nikhil Kawale, Board Member ( Bangalore)

While pursuing to select and co-opt the new EC members, the existing EC has spared all their efforts to choose the best among the potential candidates. They have considered the following factors to this effect:

  1. Former members of EC
  2. Historical as well as recent activity in Wikimedia projects, outreach and like-minded parallel missions.
  3. Ability to spare enough time and dedication to accomplish the important and impending tasks and goals.
  4. General acceptability and reputation within the Wikimedia communities and other social circles they belong to.
  5. Active membership in the chapter

In its humble attempt to find the most eligible individuals to fill in the newly emerged vacancies, the EC had contacted most of the prospective senior chapter members prior to taking any final decision. They also consulted some of the founding and senior members of the chapter and several long-term active volunteers among the communities for their valuable advice. However, many of such potential persons gracefully refused to be co-opted due to their busy engagements with family or office affairs.

Through an emergency resolution within the board Wiki and three emergency telecon board meetings on 31st August, 2nd September and 10th September (with more than the required quorum at each instance), the new EC members were co-opted and invited to be part of the Board decision processes. All of them were selected unanimously by the members who were present in the meeting at the time of voting.

This entire exercise has taken a few weeks to have concluded systematically while ensuring absolute compliance with the rules and regulations set by the Chapter and the Government. Hence the delay in this announcement.

New Office bearers


Jayanta was elected unanimously to be the new President.


The EC passed a non-trust motion on Karthik Nadar being continued as the Secretary, as they were not satisfied with his performance as a responsible office bearer. Despite his wish to continue as the secretary, he was removed from the post by a majority voting on the motion. Nevertheless, Karthik continues to be a member of the executive Committee.

Subsequently, Radhakrishna was elected unanimously as the new Secretary with immediate effect.


The existing treasurer Srikanth Ramakrishnan offered to relinquish his position as the treasurer. Viswanathan was elected as the new treasurer unanimously.

A brief about the newly co-opted directors

Radhakrishna Arvapally is a senior Telecom professional currently residing at Bangalore. He is also one of the premier Telugu Wikimedia contributors. He is a senior member of the chapter. He has been the head (Chair) of Bangalore SIG until recently. Considering the two major factors (his exhaustive management experience and being a resident of Bangalore) he was elected as the new Secretary of the Chapter.

Dr. Ekbal Bappukkunju is an eminent figure from Kerala. Emerged from a long medical and academic career as an acclaimed neurosurgeon, he has been the Vice Chancellor of Kerala University, a member of the State Planning Board, various offices of Kerala Sastra Sahithya Parishath and several other distinguished positions at various points of time. He is currently the chairman of Kerala State Pollution Control Board. He is also the convener of Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (Public Health Movement - India). He has been one of the spearheading activists particularly in Kerala and in India at large, in pursuit of free software, open knowledge and Internet freedom. His page on the Wikipedia will shed more light on his personal profile.

Nikhil Kawale is a young and aspiring student. At present, he is pursuing his higher studies in Bangalore. A prominent representative of the student Wikimedia community from Pune, he was one of the candidates to the EC elections held in last year.

Future outlook

The prime responsibility of the newly restructured EC is to ensure continuity and smooth transition of the governance and business until a new set of directors are elected by the upcoming AGM and general elections. At the moment of a new EC takes over, except for Jayanta Nath, all other members will relinquish their positions automatically as per the terms set by chapter's bye-laws. Jayanta Nath will continue to be an EC member as his term has one more year to expire.

Due to various administrative reasons, the chapter was not able to complete its financial auditing report for the year 2013-2014 in time. This report is one among the mandatory instruments to be presented during an AGM. Though belated, We have sought permission from the registrar of societies to extend the date of AGM by a few weeks. As of now, this procedure and the result thereof are underway. We hope to be able to successfully accomplish these steps very shortly.

The current EC has several short term objectives. Its immediate goals are to make its business and activities more open and transparent. The EC would like to publish all resolutions and Minutes of Meetings on its wiki, except such points that may require confidential non-disclosure. To the maximum extend possible, it will try to engage the members and community through open discussions, preferably through its wiki. The EC also intends to formulate fresh policy documents on Conflicts of Interest, staff recruitment and management, membership application and retainment and any necessary amendments to the bye-law itself. While a few of this may be immediately implemented due to their urgent nature, the more significant decisions will be worked upon, prepared and formatted, finally to be presented to the General Body or the new EC that will emerge after the Elections.

The new board of directors for Wikimedia India Chapter has full trust, confidence, determination and dedication among themselves to work as a single focused team for the betterment of the chapter. Its priorities are concretely based upon the best interests of the chapter as an independent and self-driven organization that stems its strength from various Wikimedia communities in India at large.

WMF's Community consultation on future of Wikimedia movement in India

10 september 2014

Please refer to WMF's recent proposal to conduct a Community Consultation with the stake holders of Wikimedia projects in India.

The Board meeting conducted via telecon on 10th September night has decided to present their intention to participate in this discussion and nominate the following in their own personal capacity as well as representatives of the Wikimedia India Chapter.


  1. Jayata Nath, President (Kolkata)
  2. Viswanathan Prabhakaran, Treasurer (Thrissur, Kerala)
  3. Sowmyan Tirumurti, Executive Manager (Bangalore)
  4. Kartik Nadar, Board Member (Mumbai)
  5. Nikita Belavate, Board Member (Mumbai)
  6. Dr. B. Ekbal, Board Member (Kottayam, Kerala)
  7. Nikhil Kawale, Board Member ( Bangalore)

(It is expected that Radhakrishna Arvapally, Secretary, may not be able to take part in this meeting as he continues to be on an official trip abroad during these dates.)


The EC has further affirmed its preference to conduct the consultancy meeting at Bangalore,considering various logistic and infrastructural merits.

Thank you.