Access to Knowledge Bulletin — May 2013
In this issue of our newsletter for 2013, we are pleased to bring you updates about the open exhibition held at our office for celebrating five years of our existence, Access to Knowledge work plan (2013-14), and the revised budget (September 2012 - February 2013).
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. In this newsletter, we are pleased to bring you updates about the recently concluded exhibition organised in our offices in Bangalore and Delhi and share with you the feedback to the Access to Knowledge work plan from the wikipedia community.
The A2K team consists of three members based in Bangalore: T. Vishnu Vardhan, Dr. U.B. Pavanaja and Subhashish Panigrahi and one member Nitika Tandon in Delhi. Noopur Raval, Programme Officer left the organisation on April 24, 2013. Archives of our newsletters are here.
Wikipedians from various communities can request for outreach programs, technical bugs, logistics-merchandize and media, public relations and communications at http://bit.ly/TOcXId.
Celebrating 5 Years of CIS
CIS is now 5 years old and we recently celebrated this by holding an open exhibition in our offices in Bangalore and Delhi from May 20 to 23, showcasing our work and accomplishments over the five year period. We had about 170 visitors coming in to our office. Renowned artists like Tara Kelton, Kiran Subbaiah, Navin Thomas, Abhishek Hazra and Sharath Chandra Ram exhibited their work. The four-day event attracted press coverage: Bangalore Mirror (May 18, 2013), DNA (May 19, 2013), Hindu (May 22, 2013), Prajavani (May 23, 2013), Udayavani (May 25, 2013) and Bangalore Mirror (May 31, 2013). Download all the posters that were part of the exhibition here.
- Access to Knowledge Work Plan (April 2013 - June 2014): CIS has announced its detailed plan with projection of outcomes and expected impact of the A2K programme activities. The document has been made in consultation with various stakeholders and keeping in mind the objectives, opportunities and challenges faced by each of the Indian language Wikimedia projects. Feel free to share any feedback.
- WMF-A2K Revised Budget (draft) and Utilization (September 2012 - February 2013): In our effort to increase transparency with the working of CIS-A2K programme, we are sharing with you the A2K Programme Budget along with the utilization for the above period. The proposed revisions to the budget along with some notes are here.
- CIS Signs MOU with TISS: has signed a MoU with TISS as part of which we will collaboratively work towards building Digital Knowledge Partnerships with select higher education institutions.
- India Access to Knowledge IRC can be accessed here: May 13, 2013 (All Language Discussion) and May 26, 2013 (Odia Language Discussion).
- Odia Wikipedia: Needs Assessment (by Subhashish Panigrahi, May 11, 2013).
- Access to Knowledge Work Plan: Synopsis of Feedback by Wikipedians (by Nitika Tandon, May 20, 2013).
- Wikipedia Introductory Session organized for Data and India portal consultants (by Subhashish Panigrahi, May 30, 2013).
- My First Wikipedia Training Workshop – Theatre Outreach Unit, University of Hyderabad (by T. Vishnu Vardhan, June 19, 2013).
- Kannada Wikipedia Workshop (April 29, 2013, Govinda Pai Research Centre, MGM College Udupi). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja led the workshop and gave a talk on Kannada Wikipedia
- Kannada IRC Meet (organised by the Wikipedia Community, May 7, 2013). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja participated in this.
- Digital Humanities for Indian Higher Education (co-organised in collaboration with HEIRA-CSCS, Tumkur University, CILHE-TISS and CCS (IISc), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, July 13, 2013).
- Report on CIS 5 Years Celebration (Prajavani, May 23, 2013). Prajavani published a report of Dr. U.B. Pavanja’s talk “From Palm Leaf to Tablet – Journey of Kannada”.
- Report on CIS 5 Years Celebration (Udayavani, May 25, 2013). Udayavani published a report of the evening programme hosted as part of the Centre for Internet and Society's 5 year celebrations in its Bangalore edition.
- A Feature on Wikipedia and Telegu Wikipedians (HMTV, May 30 – 31, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan is quoted in this half an hour feature on Wikipedia and Telugu Wikipedians.
- Wikipedia Live Phone-in Programme (HMTV, June 1, 2013). T. Vishnu Vardhan speaks about Telegu Wikipedia in the discussion that was telecasted live.
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 protected] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]
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.