We are pleased to announce that the Wikimedia Foundation has approved a grant to the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bangalore to expand their Access to Knowledge program in India. The grant enables CIS, an established institution with valuable relationships and capabilities, to work with the Wikimedia community of volunteers in India to expand upon Wikimedia’s Indic language free knowledge projects, including Wikipedia in Indic languages. In addition, the grant aims to generate improvements in India-relevant free knowledge in Wikimedia’s English projects and wider distribution of Wikimedia’s free knowledge within India.
CIS is a leading research organization in India working on Internet policy and has undertaken policy research for the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. We are delighted that, in CIS, Wikimedia Foundation has not only found an independent, non-profit grantee but also an organisation that knows our community well and shares the same values as Wikimedia and the free and open source software community.
The grant will be for two years. The first year’s grant will be for a total of INR 11,000,000 ($200,000 USD) subject to final budget review. The second year will be for a similar amount plus inflation, subject to a budget review in May 2013. The CIS Access to Knowledge program team will be based in Delhi and will have five staff. CIS has indicated an interest in hiring Indian program consultants who have been advising the Wikimedia Foundation and will conduct a search for a program director.
CIS will build upon the existing projects in India. There are a number of positive initiatives including community growth partnerships in several Indic languages, support for a new Malayalam education program, a GLAM ( Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) partnership at the Crafts Museum – New Delhi, new Wikiclubs at the British Council, ongoing efforts to leverage social media, and a dramatic increase in blog coverage of the Indian community’s work. There are also exciting developments on mobile that will be announced soon.
The Wikimedia Foundation looks forward to collaborating with CIS as they move forward to expand their Access to Knowledge program to incorporate work on one of the world’s leading free knowledge resources.
(Read more about the grant on the FAQ page on Meta)
Barry Newstead, Chief Global Development Officer