Centre for Internet & Society

Submission to DIPP at Meeting with IP Stakeholders

Posted by Anubha Sinha at Dec 12, 2017 09:10 PM |
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Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) made a submission to the Department of Industrial Planning and Promotion (DIPP) on 7 December 2017.

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Nichole Saad from the Wikimedia Foundation visits Christ University

Posted by Manasa Rao at Dec 12, 2017 12:00 AM |

Nichole Saad, Program Manager, Wikipedia Education Program, Wikimedia Foundation visited Christ University, Bengaluru to conduct a periodic review of the Wikipedia Education Program. The meeting was conducted along with CIS-A2K and Department of Language faculty: Dr. Mallika Krishnaswami, Dr. K.A. Sebastian, Dr. Rathi and Dr. Shivaprasad.

The review kicked off with an introduction to Ms. Saad regarding the work that has been going on at the University. Registrar, Dr. Anil Pinto addressed the gathering of faculty of the Department of Languages and CIS-A2K team members. Student representative Shamama was also present.

Upon giving an introduction to the University itself, Dr. Pinto spoke about the genesis of the Program which was, at its heart, a loss of interest in languages. He spoke of the various ways in which the program has engaged with language: promoting science in regional language, publishing Christ University books on Wikisource, digitising old/ rare books, in addition to editing of articles, creating articles and creating articles in their specialities. On the future of the program, he felt that moving ahead to asking "faculty member in other disciplines if they can accept assignments submitted in languages other than English(despite the fact that the medium of instruction is English)” would be a good way forward. Dr. Pinto continued, “Wikipedia is the best tool available to us to go digital. We are happy that Wikipedia builds in the process and our students also learn.” He said that there were also plans to get all PhD students to go through a Wikipedia workshop to create knowledge specific to their subject.

Speaking next, Tanveer, Program Manager, CIS-A2K, expressed his gratitude to Christ University for enabling CIS-A2K to conduct the Wikipedia Education program at the University. He pointed out that even before the WMF started thinking about the New Readers program, CIS-A2K had engaging students at Christ University who had not previously engaged with Wikipedia. This marked a shifting away from digital learning to critical thinking in knowledge production and creation.

Just as in other WEP programs, there has been an inclination towards a specific topic. For example, Pune University has been working on gender. When this all comes together, it gives a composite view of knowledge production in indian language. There is also the need to escalate the discussion to a core academic level- a fruitful engagement mode with different points of view.

CIS-A2K’s WEP interventions have also been offering certificate courses for students as well as internships in order to understand a) the work their peers have done and b) the value addition they can do. This is exciting because this results in a large outreach and lends to learn and thinking on our feet constantly. As with every intervention, there are challenges that astonish that we need to think about and integrate into our work. In conclusion, he pointed out that the WEP at Christ is a challenge that CIS-A2K relishes.

The attendees further discussed the need to not only keep the community abreast of WEP activities but to also acknowledge and understand the feeling of ownership that comes with working on Wikimedia projects. Another commendable feature of the WEP at Christ remains the fact that students take on the role of campus ambassadors. The outcomes of the program have been documented in the Kannada media with a paper presentation as well. The attendees discussed possible research outputs as well.

Finally, Ms. Saad spoke of the importance of sharing wisdom and experiences in review meetings like these. She said that the focus of the Wikimedia movement is to go to places where people don’t have access and go to marginalised communities and make education accessible to them. This has the potential to change people’s lives as they will get access to information and skills to navigate a digitally literate world. Ms. Saad also spoke about using Wikimedia projects in classrooms. She said, “it can’t happen overnight, can’t become familiar with it right away or comfortable with it. However with pioneers like Christ University in this space, who areopen minded to it, the impact is greater than just number and statistics."

During the later sessions, Ms. Saad conducted activities that enabled students to ponder the following questions:


  • how can technology enrich the learning of students in India?

  • what are WEP challenges in India

  • what are some of the improvements you would need to make WEP better?

Christ University Wikipedia Education Program Internship


The Centre for Internet and Society - Access to Knowledge program, in partnership with Christ University, is announcing its annual internship program for the 1200 students enrolled in the Wikipedia Education Program. The Wikipedia Education Program at Christ University, now in its fourth year, is an effort to bring together educators and students to use Wikipedia as an educational implement. CIS-A2K conducts the internship activity for passionate Christ University students to improve the quality of the articles created or edited by their fellow WEP peers. The internship will largely involve improving upon the articles created by their peers as well as gathering community consensus based on which these articles would be moved to the main namespace.

The students will be working on Wikipedia over the course of 21 days in developing upon the content created by Christ University Wikipedia Education Program participants. The fledgling articles currently housed in the individual “sandboxes” of the WEP participants will be improved upon by the interns through addition of detailed content, images and info-boxes.


The students are selected based on three main criteria: fluency of language(written and spoken), knowledge of Wikipedia and its processes, and their personal interest levels. The applications are open from 13 to 17 December, 2017. Interested students can apply here:


Wikipedia Orientation Program at Rotary Club of Salem

Posted by Manasa Rao at Dec 11, 2017 03:52 PM |

CIS-A2K in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Salem, Tamil Nadu conducted a two-day Wikipedia orientation workshop for student members of the club.

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Wikimedia Technical Workshop at Savitribai Phule Pune University

A Wikimedia Technical Workshop was conducted between 27- 28 November, 2017 at the Department of Mathematics, Savitribai Phule Pune University. The objective of the workshops was us to understand how Wikipedia works and what career opportunities there are related to Wikipedia and how one can contribute to and enrich the open source knowledge for the benefit of all.

On the first day, the students were given an introduction to Wikimedia projects as well as Marathi Wikipedia. They were also taught account creation and given a general introduction to Wikipedia , MediaWiki, and wikis in addition to Wikipedia structure, article structure, name spaces, common.css and common.js pages, and gagdets. In the post-lunch session the participants were given an introduction to gadgets, scripts, tool and bots.

On the second day, the participants continued where they left off by learning about advanced tools and bots like Archive Bot, Sign bot, Anti-vandalism bots as well as Phabricator. Finally, the session ended with talks about future projects and activities. 

22 participants attended the event.


Kannada Wikipedia Orientation Workshop at IISc, Bengaluru

Posted by Gopalakrishna A at Nov 27, 2017 12:00 AM |

A Kannada Wikipedia orientation workshop was held at the Entrepreneurship Centre, SID, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru on 26 November, 2017. The day long event was aimed at adding content to Kannada Wikimedia projects on topics such as ecology, environment, wildlife and sciences of Karnataka. The event was organised by Gubbi Labs in conjunction with CIS-A2K. Gubbi Labs is a research collective and social collective run by environmental scientists. The event was attended was attended by 8 participants of which one member was female.

The participants created six articles and expanded one article. The impact of this workshop was the fact that participants were made aware of the importance of open access data. It helped initiate another similar workshop in Mysuru. Upon sharing the idea for projects like Wiki Loves Butterfly Idea, a participant was interested in starting a project titled 'Wiki Loves Spiders'. We are hoping to take this project forward on Kannada Wikipedia.

35th SCCR: CIS' Question to Dr. Rostama on her Study on the Impact of the Digital Environment on Copyright Legislation

Posted by Anubha Sinha at Nov 19, 2017 07:50 AM |

Anubha Sinha, attending the 35th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (“SCCR”) at Geneva from 13 November, 2017 to 18 November, 2017, posed this question on the agenda 'Other Matters' on behalf of CIS on Day 5, 17 November, 2017.

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Marathi Wikipedia workshop for Sandarbh Science magazine writers

Posted by Manasa Rao at Nov 19, 2017 12:00 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia workshop was recently conducted for the writers at Sandarbh Science magazine.

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35th SCCR: CIS Statement on GRULAC Proposal for Analysis of Copyright in the Digital Environment

Posted by Anubha Sinha at Nov 17, 2017 10:03 AM |

Anubha Sinha, attending the 35th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (“SCCR”) at Geneva from 13 November, 2017 to 18 November, 2017, made this statement on the agenda 'Other Matters' on behalf of CIS on Day 5, 17 November, 2017.

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35th SCCR: CIS Statement on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives

Posted by Anubha Sinha at Nov 15, 2017 01:35 PM |

Anubha Sinha, attending the 35th Session of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (“SCCR”) at Geneva from 13 November, 2017 to 18 November, 2017, made this statement on the agenda for Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives on behalf of CIS on Day 3, 15 November, 2017.

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CIS-A2K signs MoU with Telangana Government

The Centre for Internet and Society recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Telangana Government’s IT, Electronics & Communications Department with an aim to catalyse the development of the Wikimedia movement in Telangana and improve the state of free-licensed digital content in Telugu and Urdu.  The Principal Secretary for IT Department Mr. Jayesh Ranjan and renowned Telugu Wikimedian and Theatre Scholar Pranay Raj were present for the occasion. Mr. Konatham Dileep, Director (Digital Media), IT Department and CIS-A2K Telugu Community Advocate Pavan Santhosh were signatories to the memorandum.

This MoU is the result of successive meetings between the Digital Media wing and Telugu Wikipedians, CIS-A2K members and the Wikimedia Foundation. These discussions enabled all stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive plan to develop the free knowledge movement in Telugu and Urdu.

Katta Srinivas, a historian, teach and long time Telugu Wikipedian, says, “As one of the participants in earlier discussions with the government, I am happy to see progress in this respect. Especially, [the planned] photo archives of museums, photos of historical places and other events can be free-licensed as part of these initiatives. This decision can lead other government organizations to take up similar initiatives in India."

Apart from these, some of the planned activities include releasing encyclopedic photos and media content from government archives, increasing awareness about free licenses and Wikipedia among government officials, etc.

Discussion on Creation of Social Media Guidelines & Strategy for Telugu Wikimedia

Posted by Manasa Rao at Oct 24, 2017 02:42 PM |

Between 1 to 16 September, an online discussion took place on the creation of social media guidelines and strategy for Telugu Wikimedia handles online.

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Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Solapur University

Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at Solapur University

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 02:09 PM |

15 September

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Orientation Program at Kannada University, Hampi

Posted by Gopalakrishna A. at Oct 24, 2017 01:01 PM |

A Kannada Wikipedia Orientation Program was conducted at Kannada University Hampi on 31 August and 1 September 2017.

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Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aurangabad

Marathi Wikipedia Workshop at MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Aurangabad

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:55 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia Workshop was recently held at the MGM Trust's College of Journalism and Mass Communication on 11 August 2017.

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Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, Satara

Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, Satara

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:52 AM |

A Marathi Wikipedia Edit-a-thon was conducted at the Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal in Satara on 4 August 2017. The organisation, working on issues of women's rights, gender, justice and violence against women, was given an introduction to editing on Wikipedia. Voluntary organisation Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal is eager to implement innovative projects for the students and field activists. It has decided to integrate Wikimedia Projects and training modules for capacity building of students and movement volunteers. To get the overall introduction of Wikimedia Projects and basic skills, this workshop was organised for faculty and selected students. The edit-a-thon was attended by 10 female and 5 male participants. 

Sana Patel, a participant emphasises, "I realised the need to contribute gender related content. It is very important to write about women's issues and laws'. The edit-a-thon resulted in 13 new editors discovering Wikipedia for the first time. 20 articles were improved and five images were uploaded. A follow-up workshop on building content on women-related issues has been planned with the Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal as well as other like-minded organisations in Satara. Onkar Tapase, a participant opines, "as a journalist, I see a great potential to contribute" 

The meta page of the event can be found here.

Wikimedia Workshop at Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara

Wikimedia Workshop at Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College, Satara

Posted by Subodh Kulkarni at Oct 24, 2017 11:52 AM |

A Wikimedia Workshop was on 4 August 2017 at the Ismailsaheb Mulla Law College in Satara to introduce the Wikipedia and its sister projects to the students.

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Odia Wikisource Turns 3


Odia Wikisource, the Odia language version of Wikisource,  an online digital library of free content textual sources run by the Wikimedia Foundation, celebrates three years of contributing to the free knowledge movement this October. Odia Wikisource is a sister project of Odia Wikipedia,  the oldest Indian language Wikipedia. The Odia Wikimedia community, a group of active contributors to Odia Wikimedia projects in India, has been working towards digitizing rare books that are no longer under copyright as well as encouraging authors and publishers to free-license their work under the Creative Commons ShareAlike License 4.0. This license allows anyone free use of the work with due attribution. The books are usually digitized into Unicode text by scanning them using Optical Character Recognition technique. This ensures their easy accessibility on the Internet so that people may easily copy, share and use these works for citations and references. If the books are damaged to a degree that they cannot be scanned, volunteers take the painstaking effort to manually type out whole books and manuscripts.


Odia Wikisource contributors/ CCBYSA4.0 User:Psubhashish


The Odia Wikisource project was realized on 20 October, 2014 after a two-year incubation period. Says Pankajmala Sarangi, long time Odia Wikimedian active on Wikisource, "since [2014] more than 300 old and rare books have been digitised and made available online. Before that, searching [for] a book in Odia was not possible even if it existed in pdf or some other format. Now it has become easy and all the books available on Wikisouce are easily searchable." In addition to digitization, the Odia Wikimedia community members conduct regular quality checks of the content from time to time by ensuring proper licensing, attributions and other errors that may be avoided by thorough proof-reading. While these quality checks follow global guidelines that have been localised to help volunteers prevent vandalism of any form, it has not been without its challenges. Ms. Pankajmala explains that the lack of Odia text on operating systems is problematic for access and availability. 

Despite the challenges, Odia Wikisource counts amongst its accomplishments the digitization of a twelve volume 14th century Odia classic as well as 16th century palm leaf manuscripts from the Dadhibaman Temple in Bargarh, Odisha. Taking the movement to classrooms, Odia Wikisource was introduced to students of the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to pique the interest of young minds in the preservation of Odia language texts online. The many advantages of Odia Wikisource has also been illustrated to institutions with the Utkal University library encouraging the digitization of their rare books and manuscripts by Odia Wikimedians.

Sangram Keshari Senapati, another active Odia Wikimedian explains that Odia Wikisource is important for the preservation of those books which run a high risk of being lost in the coming years. He says, "our future generation must get a chance to read them." Adding to this, Ms. Pankajmala says, "Sky is the limit for Odia wikisource. We will try to digitise more books, most probably triple the number of existing books. We'll even try to reach more libraries and authors and get more books and further digitize them. The number of wikimedians may also flourish till that time."


Marathi Wikipedia - Vishwakosh Workshop for Science writers in IUCAA, Pune

Posted by Manasa Rao at Oct 08, 2017 12:00 AM |

A day-long workshop was organised for science writers at [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inter-University_Centre_for_Astronomy_and_Astrophysics Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics], Pune on 7 October, 2017. Eminent astrophysicist-mathematician couple en:Jayant Narlikar|Jayant[+] and en:Mangala Narlikar|Mangala Narlikar[+] , and renowned ecologist en:Madhav Gadgil|Madhav Gadgil[+] were among the dignitaries present at the event.

The workshop was planned in three sessions. Presentations and discussions were conducted in first session, while second session was focused on actual editing demonstrations on Wikipedia. In the same session the new websites based on different subjects developed by Marathi Vishwakosh were presented. The process of content contribution in text, images, audio and video forms was explained in this session. The third session was to explore networking with Dyanmandals formed by :en:Marathi Vishwakosh|Marathi Vishwakosh Nirmiti Mandal[+] . Insisting the expertise of invited authors to contribute the articles in their own chosen fields in a well-structured format, this session will not only train the authors in content generation but also make them understand the expectations of laymen and common readers.

The mete page of the event is here.

RTI request to Indian Patents Office for Form 27 (Statement of Working of patents), March 2016

The Centre for Internet and Society filed this request under the Right to Information Act in March 2016 as part of research for the paper: Patent Working Requirements and Complex Products: An Empirical Assessment of India's Form 27 Practice and Compliance (July 2017). We sought forms pertaining to 61 of the patents found in our patent landscaping study. These forms were not available on the online public databases, InPASS and IPAIRS, at the time of the filing the RTI request. Research assistance was provided by intern Shreshth Wadhwa.

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