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Reports/Jul-Sept 2017

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Induction of Wikimedia India Executive Committee

Wikimedia India (WMIN) in April had its election for all its 7 Executive Committee (EC) positions. At IIT Bombay, WMIN had an Induction meeting with the newly elected Executive committee members. This session was conducted from 30th June - 1st July 2017 in the IIT Bombay campus. On the last day of the Induction meeting, the EC members elected office bearers amongst themselves. Col. Ashwin Baindur (retd.) also gave a session on the working of Community dynamics along with the expectations by the community from the new EC. Following are the office bearers:

  - Mr Rahul Deshmukh : President
  - Mr Yohann Thomas : Secretary
  - Mr Sanket Oswal : Treasurer
  - Mr Viswa Prabha : Member
  - Mr Krishan Chaitanya Velaga : Member
  - Mr Suyash Dwivedi : Member
  - Mr Santosh Shingare : Member

Wikipedia Mini Hackathon Chennai

Indian Linux Users Group, Chennai, conducted a mini hackathon on Wikipedia in Chennai on July 23, 2017. Seven people participated in this event. The ideas collected may be referred here.

MOC/BVRIT 2017 Edit-a-thon

MOC 2017 Edit-a-thon

This edit-a-thon has been basically conducted to strengthen bonds with the Toastmasters community, students of BVRIT, College of Engineering for Women, Hyderbad, and also spread essence of Wikimedia movement to them. The event has been conducted two phases, Phase 1 titled as "MOC 2017 Edit-a-thon", on the day of Semi-finale of Master Orator Championship by D98 of Toastmasters International i.e. 29 July 2017, and a follow-up titled BVRIT 2017 Edit-a-thon 19 August 2017. Over the two phases, around 100 students have been trained. The session(s) were mentored by Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, Yohann Thomas and Pavan Santosh.

VIVA-VVIT 2017 Edit-a-thon

VIVA-VVIT Edit a thon

This edit-a-thon was primarily conducted to recruit editors from the two educational institutions under Social Education Trust i.e. Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology and VIVA (The School), located in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. The edit-a-thon has been conducted for Telugu and English Wikipedias along with introduction to Wikimedia Commons. The edit-a-thon was conducted in two phases i.e. on 23 August 2017 and 1 September 2017. Around 75 editors have trained over the two phases. The session(s) were mentored by Krishna Chaitanya Velaga, Suyash Dwivedi, Rahamanuddin and Pavan Santosh.

Hindi Wikipedia Meetup

Hindi Wikimedians meetup in Bhopal

On 28 September, Hindi Wikimedians residing in and around Bhopal formally gathered at Total Project Solutions office. During the meetup, further plans regarding various activities by Hindi Wikimedians User Group and Hindi Wikipedia in general were discussed. 2–3 new editors have been recruited.

Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy Meets

Chapter led


Strategy meet at IIT Bombay

On 1 July 2017, Wikimedia India conducted a movement strategy salon at IIT Bombay titled "Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy Salon". The participants include representatives from IIT Bombay, Teach for India, L & T, and several other NGOs. The salon was hosted Yohann Thomas, former President and present Secretary of Wikimedia India, and co-hosted by Tanveer Hasan, Program Manager of CIS-A2K.


In August 2017, Wikimedia India conducted a movement strategy salon in Cochin. The meet included representatives from NGOs, industries, educational institutions etc. The salon was hosted by Viswanathan Prabhakaran, former Treasurer and currently Executive Committee Member of Wikimedia India.


On 27 August 2017, Wikimedia India conducted a movement strategy salon in Vijayawada titled "Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy Salon" from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm including a tea break and lunch. The participants include representatives from Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology, Make a Difference, District 98 of Toastmasters International, Efftronics Systems Pvt. Ltd., TEDxKLU, Google Developers Club, Swecha (NGO), and Indian Institute of Information Technology for Design & Manufacturing. The salon was hosted by the Chapter's Executive Committee Member, Krishna Chaitanya Velaga. The report may be seen here.


On 27 August 2017, Wikimedia India conducted a movement strategy salon in Gurugram titled "Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy Salon". The participants include representatives from Tractebel Engineering, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Board of India, IIT Delhi, Sustainability & Climate Change, New Delhi Telivision Limited, ICICI Bank, Municipal Corportaion of Nellore, Management Development Institute, Boston Consultancy Group, UPSC, and The Energy and Resources Institute. The salon was hosted by the Chapter's former Executive Committee Member, Abhinav Srivastava. The report may be seen here.


Bhopal Strategy Meet

On 9 September 2017, Wikimedia India conducted a movement strategy salon in Bhopal titled "Hindi Community Strategy Salon". The participants include representatives from Advanced Materials and Processes Research Institute, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Regional Museum of Natural History, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Regional Science Centre, Chitransh Amulya Dutta Post Graduate College, Extol Education Group, SynQues Consultancy Pvt. Ltd., ITSC Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Pixel Photography, Tooryanaad, Zee News, along with photographers, freelances, social media analysts. The salon was hosted the Chapter's Executive Committee Member, Suyash Dwivedi. Report may be seen here.


Patiala Strategy Meet Group Photograph

Apart from the Chapter led movement strategy, various user groups, communities, and individual Wikimedians hosted strategy meets all over the country. These include strategy meets in Chandigarh, Delhi and Patiala, by Punjabi Wikimedians User Group, in Kolkata by West Bengal Wikimedians User Group, in Bengaluru by CIS-A2K etc.

Wikidata Tour by Asaf Bartov

Group photograph of participants at Wikidata Workshop, Kolkata

In August and September, Asaf Bartov, Senior Program Officer from Wikimedia Foundation, conducted a Wikidata tour all over India, covering 7 different locations—Cochin, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Pune. The tour is intended to train the editors from Indian Wikimedia community not only on Wikidata, but also various advanced tools and gadgets, developed by WMF and as well as Wikimedia volunteers.

The first workshop of this tour, at Cochin, has been hosted by Viswanathan Prabhakaran, former Treasurer and currently Executive Committee Member of Wikimedia India. The workshop was conducted on 30–31 August 2017 at Regional Research Centre, Ernakulam, Kerala. The workshop was attended by 20 editors.

Featured Wikimedians


Agastya Chandrakant from Surat, Gujarat is an editor on English Wikinews under alias of Acagastya, currently studying in The National Institute of Engineering, Mysore. He is 19-years-old and has been editing Wikimedia Projects since 2014, from his days in high school. He has more than 8,000 global edits and also holds the review rights on Wikinews. On Wikinews, every article has to pass the review before it is published. Agastya has written more than 200 news articles on Wikinews. He is amongst the very few Indian editors on Wikinews. Calligraphy, reading, and photography are some of his hobbies, however, after academic commitments whatever time he gets for himself now, he devotes it to Wikinews. Agastya believes there are lot of things happening around us in various fields -- from crime and law to science and technology. Some events affect a certain group of people. Some affects other groups. As a news reporter his tries to cover news for everyone, ranging from different subjects. Agastya hopes more Indian community members to contribute quality photos from the events around the country on Wikimedia projects, and hopes they, as an Indian, make decisions and act so that secularism, freedom, and humanity can co-exist.


K. Venkata Ramana is one the most active editors from Telugu Wikipedia, under the alias Kvr.lohith. Venkata Ramana hails from the Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh, and by profession, is a Physical Science Assistant in a government school. Venkata Ramana joined Wikipedia in May 2012, and initially started off editing English Wikipedia. But soon he found his place in Telugu Wikipedia, and has regularly contributing since then. As of August 2017, his global edits count to 77,000. He is also an Administrator on Telugu Wikipedia. Venkata Ramana loves to create biographies and science related articles on Wikipedia. He advocates that it is the duty of every Wikipedian to get familiar with the policies to Wikipedia and give good references to the articles. Apart from his work on articles, Venkata has created many templates that are helpful to many on Telugu Wikipedia. As said by his fellow editor, Pavan Santosh, Venkata Ramana is one of the few editors on Telugu Wikipedia striving hard develop the quality rather than the quantity. Apart from Wikipedia, Venkata Ramana's penchant to spread knowledge made him start a blog titled Physical Science Forever for school children, which was visited by more than 3,00,000 times till date.


Swapnil Karambelkar is one of the most active Wikimedians from the Hindi community, under the alias Swapnil.Karambelkar. Swapnil hails from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, and by profession a Mechanical Engineering, who runs his own firm based on factory automation and education. Swapnil joined Wikipedia in August 2016, through "Wiki Loves Monuments". He initially started off with uploading images to Commons and then moved onto Hindi Wikipedia, contributing to culture and military topics. He also contributes to Hindi Wikibooks and Wikiversity. Soon after, he got extensively involved in various outreach activities. He co-organized "Hindi Wiki Conference" in January 2017, at Bhopal. He delivered various lectures on Wikimedia movement in various institutions like Atal Bihari Hindi University, Sanskrit Sansthanam and NIT Bhopal. Along with Suyash Dwivedi, Swapnil co-organized the first ever regular GLAM project in India at National Museum of Natural Heritage, Bhopal. Swapnil is an account creator on Hindi Wikipedia and is an admin on the beta version on Wikiversity. Swapnil has been instrumental in establishing the first Indic language version of Wikiversity, the Hindi Wikiversity. As asked regarding his motivation to contribute to the Wikimedia movement, Swapnil says, "It is the realization that though there is abundance of knowledge around us, but it is yet untapped and not documented".

Other news

Recognition of User Groups

In March, the Affiliations Committee has recognized two user groups from as Wikimedia User Groups

Odia Wikimedians User Group

The aims to bringing together all those contributors that contribute to the three current Odia-language Wikimedia projects but not limited to—Odia Wikipedia, Odia Wikisource and Odia Wiktionary, existing Incubator projects in Odia, other Wikimedia projects that are related to the Odia Wikimedia projects like Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons and Mediawiki, and also to Wikimedia projects on topics related to Odia language, the Odia people, the Indian state of Odisha.

Hindi Wikimedians User Group

Group of Wikimedians who work on various wiki projects related to Hindi language. Hindi Wikimedians are dedicated to work for the Wikimedia (Free Knowledge) movement in Hindi language. This group seeks to form a central place to take forward the activities which have hitherto been undertaken by various members mostly in the form of individual intitiatives. This forum also seeks to organise at one place, all reports etc., of all such initiatives done in past for the benefit of future members.

WikiProject India on Wikidata

As a result of Asaf's Wikidata Tour in India, WikiProject India has been created on Wikidata. This WikiProject is to coordinate the efforts to create, enhance and populate the coverage of topics related to India including her history, geography, culture, society, people, infrastructure, education, demographics and anything related between India and other fields such as science, technology, arts, entertainment etc. on Wikidata.

Release of content by Odisha Government's Social media accounts under CC-BY 4.0

As a result of the efforts by Odia Wikimedia Community, eight social media accounts of Government of Odisha are now under CC-BY 4.0. The content is now free for everyone to use, share, and build upon their work.