Access to Knowledge Bulletin — January 2013
In the first issue of our newsletter for 2013, we are glad to introduce you to our new programme director, Vishnu Vardhan, provide you an update of the Access to Knowledge (September to December 2012) Report, the Indic Languages Wikipedia Statistical Report 2012 and reports of the events organised in Goa in the month of December 2012.
Wikimedia Foundation, beginning from September 1, 2012, awarded the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) a two-year grant of INR 26,000,000 to support and develop free knowledge in India. Consequently, Wikimedia Foundation’s India Program became the Access to Knowledge (A2K) program of CIS.
Wikipedians from various communities can request for outreach programs, technical bugs, logistics-merchandize and media, public relations and communications at http://bit.ly/TOcXId.
CIS Office in Delhi
- The A2K team consists of four members: T. Vishnu Vardhan, Nitika Tandon, Subhashish Panigrahi and Noopur Raval.
New Project Director for Wikipedia Project
- T. Vishnu Vardhan is the new Programme Director-Access to Knowledge at CIS. Vishnu has over the last 11 years worked in various capacities as researcher, grant manager, teacher, project consultant, information architect and translator. Vishnu managed the Art, Crafts and Culture portfolio of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and also worked as Research Coordinator at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society in Bangalore.
- Tejaswini Niranjana, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore, and Visiting Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai is joining our team as an Adviser to the 'Access to Knowledge' programme. She will guide the A2K team in expanding the Indian language Wikipedias and in increasing the number of active editors through strategic partnerships with Higher Education institutions across India.
Events Organised by CIS:
Note: The events in Goa were organized in the month of December 2012. However, reports were published the following month.
- Two-day Wiki Workshop in Goa University: An Introduction (by Nitika Tandon, January 15, 2013).
- Wikipedia in St. Xavier's College, Mapusa, Goa (by Nitika Tandon, January 19, 2013).
- Promoting GLAM in Goa (by Nitika Tandon, January 24, 2013).
- Konkani in Wikipedia Incubator — Taking it to the Next Level (by Nitika Tandon, January 25, 2013).
- A Wiki Workshop at Raj Kumar Goel Institute of Technology, Ghaziabad (RKGIT, Ghaziabad, January 17, 2013).
- Odia Education Program (Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dhenkanal, Orissa, January 26, 2013).
- Odia Wikipedia 9th Anniversary Celebration (Academy of Media Learning, Samantha Vihar, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, January 29, 2013).
- Bringing Konkani Encyclopedia in Public Domain (by Nitika Tandon, January 22, 2013).
- Celebrating the success of Wikipedia in Wikipedia Summit Pune 2013 (organized by Wikipedia Club, Pune, January 12 – 13, 2013).
- First Odia Wikipedia Education Program concludes at IIMC, Dhenkanal (Odisha Diary Bureau, Dhenkanal, January 27, 2013).
- Odia Wikipedia's 9th Anniversary and Workshop on Application of Odia in Media (Sambad, January 30, 2013).
CIS was registered as a society in Bangalore in 2008. As an independent, non-profit research organisation, it runs different policy research programmes such as Accessibility, Access to Knowledge, Openness, Internet Governance, and Telecom. The policy research programmes have resulted in outputs such as the e-Accessibility Policy Handbook for Persons with Disabilities with ITU and G3ict, and Digital Alternatives with a Cause?, Thinkathon Position Papers and the Digital Natives with a Cause? Report with Hivos, etc. We have conducted policy research for the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, etc., on WIPO Treaties, Copyright Bill, NIA Bill, etc.
CIS is accredited as an observer at WIPO. CIS staff participates in the Standing Committee for Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) meetings regularly held in Geneva, and participate in the discussions and comments on them from a public interest perspective. Our Policy Director, Nirmita Narasimhan won the National Award for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities from the Government of India and also received the NIVH Excellence Award.
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Request for Collaboration
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at email@example.com or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at firstname.lastname@example.org
CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the Kusuma Trust which was founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.