Wikimedia India Chapter takes shape as Wikipedia turns 10

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Bangalore, Jan 14 (PTI) Wikimedia India Chapter, anindependent organisation that will support and promoteWikimedia, a collaborative project of Wikipedia, the world''sfree online encyclopedia, has been formally established here.

The setting up of the organisation, the first in theIndian subcontinent and the 29th Wikimedia chapter to beestablished the world over, coincides with the tenthanniversary of Wikipedia tomorrow.

The setting up of the Chapter follows an announcement inSeptember 2010 by the Wikimedia Foundation declaring India asits next focal point and its interest in setting up aWikimedia Chapter and an office in the country.

Wikipedia, Wikimedia''s parent organisation is a free,web-based, collaborative, multi-lingual encyclopedia projectsupported by the non-profit Wiki Foundation.

The India chapter has been approved by the WikimediaFoundation and the process of registering as an NGO wascompleted earlier this month, according to Tinu Cherian,Wikimedia administrator.

"The Wikimedia Chapter is driven by volunteers who arekeen in promoting the use of Wikipedia," he said, adding theheadquarters of the organisation would be based in Bangalore.

Like the Wikimedia Foundation, the Chapter aims to empowerand engage people around the world to collect and developeducational content under a free license or in the publicdomain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally, hesaid.

The Chapter, which has seven members, would aim to act asan umbrella oraganisation promoting wikipedia and organisingoutreach programmes to promote its uses, including events likewikimania, to get the community closer, Cherian said.

"The objective of the chapter is not to control ormonitor the editorial content", he said, but "to focus onpromoting Wikipedia in Indian languages.

"Currently, we have Wikipedia in 20 Indian languages andthere are 20 more in incubation, including Konkani, Mizo,Tulu", he said adding while language Wikipedias had around100-200 contributors, the Indian contributors for Englishcould run ito hundreds. .

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