Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

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Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Pradeep Mohandas-4

Hi,

Forgot to hit reply all.

Pradeep

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android



From: Pradeep Mohandas <[hidden email]>;
To: noopur <[hidden email]>;
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 8:05:53 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the update, Noopur.

Could you or someone elaborate on the hiring of Tejaswini Niranjana, please?

Warm regards,
Pradeep

Sent from Yahoo! Mail on Android



From: noopur <[hidden email]>;
To: Wikimediaindia l <[hidden email]>;
Subject: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 6:53:20 AM

Dear all,

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 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. Archives of our newsletters are here.

Wikipedians from various communities can reqDeuest for outreach programs, technical bugs, logistics-merchandize and media, public relations and communications at http://bit.ly/TOcXId.

# CIS Office in Delhi

# New Project Director for Wikipedia Project

# Distinguished Fellow

  • 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.

# Meeting

# Event Participated

# Media Coverage

*About CIS*
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.

*Follow us elsewhere*

*Support Us*
Please help us defend consumer / citizen rights on the Internet! Write a cheque in favour of ‘The Centre for Internet and Society’ and mail it to us at No. 194, 2nd ‘C’ Cross, Domlur, 2nd Stage, Bengaluru – 5600 71.

*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 [hidden email] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [hidden email]

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.

 
 

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vishnu t
Dear Pradeep,

If I may come-in on this.

From: Pradeep Mohandas <[hidden email]>;
To: noopur <[hidden email]>;
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 8:05:53 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the update, Noopur.

Could you or someone elaborate on the hiring of Tejaswini Niranjana, please?

I assume you are asking about the rational behind hiring Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana as a Consultant Adviser to the A2K team. As many of you on the list may not know, Tejaswini was one of the potential applicants for the position the Programme Director, Access to Knowledge. She had even made it to the short-list of candidates who were interviewed. In fact her interview happened the same day as mine at CIS. However, the interview panel felt that she is too senior and over qualified for the position, but wanted to keep her associated with the Wiki-movement in India. Then the interview panel suggested that we look at taking her as an Consultant Adviser. CIS (i.e. Sunil) went back to the WMF about this recommendation by the interview panel and the WMF accepted it, as uniformly it was felt that she would add tremendous value to the Wiki-movement in India.

I personally think that Tejaswini brings with her wealth of experience and professional expertise of working in the sector of Indian Languages in Higher Education. In addition to this she has multiple research institutional contacts and networks, which will potentially add value to the Indian Language Wikipedias and contribute to the expansion of editors and content. I was told that she has already played an instrumental role in facilitating two outreach workshops to researchers and college students in Mumbai and Ahmadnagar, to which some of our Wikipedians friends have gone. I think we should all concur with the strategic decision taken by the interview panel, which I am quite sure will benefit us and the movement. You can find her brief profile here.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Best regards,
Vishnu


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vickram Crishna-2
I have also copied her, to keep her in the loop (until she is included in the list). I had the privilege of attending a workshop session she conducted in Mumbai a couple of months back, and it was absolutely mind-blowing. Great to know that a way has been found to bring her expertise and viewpoint on board.   


On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM, Vishnu t <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Pradeep,

If I may come-in on this.

From: Pradeep Mohandas <[hidden email]>;
To: noopur <[hidden email]>;
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 8:05:53 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the update, Noopur.

Could you or someone elaborate on the hiring of Tejaswini Niranjana, please?

I assume you are asking about the rational behind hiring Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana as a Consultant Adviser to the A2K team. As many of you on the list may not know, Tejaswini was one of the potential applicants for the position the Programme Director, Access to Knowledge. She had even made it to the short-list of candidates who were interviewed. In fact her interview happened the same day as mine at CIS. However, the interview panel felt that she is too senior and over qualified for the position, but wanted to keep her associated with the Wiki-movement in India. Then the interview panel suggested that we look at taking her as an Consultant Adviser. CIS (i.e. Sunil) went back to the WMF about this recommendation by the interview panel and the WMF accepted it, as uniformly it was felt that she would add tremendous value to the Wiki-movement in India.

I personally think that Tejaswini brings with her wealth of experience and professional expertise of working in the sector of Indian Languages in Higher Education. In addition to this she has multiple research institutional contacts and networks, which will potentially add value to the Indian Language Wikipedias and contribute to the expansion of editors and content. I was told that she has already played an instrumental role in facilitating two outreach workshops to researchers and college students in Mumbai and Ahmadnagar, to which some of our Wikipedians friends have gone. I think we should all concur with the strategic decision taken by the interview panel, which I am quite sure will benefit us and the movement. You can find her brief profile here.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Best regards,
Vishnu


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--
Vickram
Fool On The Hill
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play. 
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.) 
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you.
"
Jethro Tull: A Passion Play (1973)

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Gautam John
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
On 8 February 2013 17:44, Vishnu t <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement
> in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Read Dr. Niranjana's profile. Wow! Welcome to the movement!

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Srikanth Ramakrishnan-2
Vishnu, thanks for responding.  Would you or someone from CIS help me
understand the rationale for selecting two individuals affiliated with
CSCS which is also affiliated with CIS?  I don't mean to question the
credentials of either you or Ms Tejaswini, however, was there a need
felt for the inclusion of an additional consultant whilst there are
already four other members in the CIS Delhi Office (previously WMF
India Programs)?  Do you feel that the current workload on the rest of
the team justifies the hiring of an additional consultant?

Furthermore, based on my discussions with other members oft he
community there appears to be some confusion on the amount of WMF
grant quoted in your email above, that is, INR 2.6 crores [~USD 488,000].  If I recall correctly, the grant
amount sanctioned by the WMF for CIS's A2k programme stands at INR 1.1
crores [~USD 206,000] with the possibility of further support from the FDC through a
separate grant request.  As far as my understanding goes, this support
is provisional and dependent on the FDC's willingness to extend the
grant amount on the basis of CIS's track record with spending and
execution of programmes since the A2k programme was announced in the
middle of 2012.

From Barry's mail: 
The grant will be for two years in duration to complete the original first
stage of the catalyst strategy. The first year’s grant will be for a total
of INR 11,000,000 subject to final budget approvals. The second year will
be for a similar amount plus inflation subject to a budget review in May
2013. The grant will be renewable via the Wikimedia Grants program (or the
FDC, if CIS were to become an affiliated organization and meet eligibility)

Thanks,
Srikanth


On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM, Gautam John <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 8 February 2013 17:44, Vishnu t <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement
> in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Read Dr. Niranjana's profile. Wow! Welcome to the movement!

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--
Regards,
Srikanth Ramakrishnan.

Sign this petition to introduce Volvo buses in Coimbatore city:

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vishnu t
Dear Srikanth,

On 8 February 2013 18:56, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Vishnu, thanks for responding.  Would you or someone from CIS help me
understand the rationale for selecting two individuals affiliated with
CSCS which is also affiliated with CIS?  

First about my affiliation: I am not sure what you mean by affiliation. Technically I am no more affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years. But intellectually I have friends and associates, because of my stint there from 2002-07. I am unable to see if this is in any way problematic. If it is, I am quite perplexed because I have intellectual connections with faculty/departments in nearly 20 Universities to where I would like to Wiki-movement. Or are you suggesting that there is some deep conspiracy to select ONLY because I was affiliated to CSCS? I personally believe not. But it would be nice to hear the interview panel (especially those representing the Community and Chapter) come in on this. On the other hand I am quite happy to showcase my work at CSCS which gave me an exposure to the debates and challenges of Indian Languages in Higher Education and Research. Similarly my role at SRTT over the past 5 years equipped me other intellectual capacities. Not sure, if I was able to address your concern, but I would encourage you further clarify, so that we have a closure on this.

Second about Tejaswini's affiliation: She is the founding director and will continue to be with CSCS. But what I think we should note is that she and other faculty because of their work brought whatever image CSCS has not that CSCS as an organization (which is impossible to think without the 5 people, esp. Dr. Niranjana) has given her credibility. It is her intellectual capacities that  I personally see adding value to our movement and plans than just her 'affiliation' to CSCS. By the way she is also affiliated to half a dozen other institutions. Even in her case I am not able to see why 'affiliation' becomes a problem. Again, I think someone from the interview panel should come in on this and clarify whether it is her affiliation to CSCS or intellectual and professional expertise and experience that weighed on their recommendation.

About CIS having affiliation to CSCS. Yes they did, I think, currently they don't and in future they may or whatever. So what? I am afraid I do not see the need to explain/see this as THE RATIONALE which drove either CIS or rather the interview panel in recommending the candidates. It looks to me, Srikanth, that you are trying to connect dots to see something, which at least I personally believe is not the case in the first place.
 
 
I don't mean to question the
credentials of either you or Ms Tejaswini,

Thanks Srikanth, but I feel you have already done the contrary above and I will not be honest if I say I am not hurt, especially when you trivialize a senior academician like Dr. Niranjana's getting associated to the Wiki-movement in India. If I were part of the interview panel, at least I would take severe exception to your mail. 

however, was there a need
felt for the inclusion of an additional consultant whilst there are
already four other members in the CIS Delhi Office (previously WMF
India Programs)?  

I think, I see your point about A2K teams' workload and I am sure my colleagues will be reading this. However, if I were you, I would see Adviser as part of the solution than as problem itself. Mainly because the Adviser will not do the job of any of the A2K team member (who by the way is 3 after Shiju left us). If I understand the logic (from my experience in the not for profit and academic sectors) Advisers generally increase a team's work exponentially, because they throw ideas, opportunities, plans at the team to make them achieve the Goals and also check, criticize, mentor, etc. them. Not sure why you get an impression that she will do the teams' job. But probably the interview panel could throw more light on their 'rationale' for recommending her as an Adviser. At my level I can tell you that in the last 7 days of her coming in, she has given the team a lot to think and do.

Do you feel that the current workload on the rest of
the team justifies the hiring of an additional consultant?

Same as above para. 
Furthermore, based on my discussions with other members oft he
community there appears to be some confusion on the amount of WMF
grant quoted in your email above, that is, INR 2.6 crores [~USD 488,000].  If I recall correctly, the grant
amount sanctioned by the WMF for CIS's A2k programme stands at INR 1.1
crores [~USD 206,000] with the possibility of further support from the FDC through a
separate grant request.  
Srikanth, here again we are getting misled by the way we are interpreting the terms. Sanctioning a Grant does not mean releasing/disbursing a grant. I have in my earlier capacity sanctioned many grants and there are instances where you do not end up releasing/disbursing the entire amount and typically you set various milestones for the release of installments. But the Grant letter says you are sanctioned a grant of X amount of which X-y will be sanctioned initially and after review, etc the balance amount of X-z will be released. Thus CIS has been sanctioned INR 2.6 crores of which INR 1.1 is released. Trust this clarifies.

As far as my understanding goes, this support
is provisional 

 No it is not provisional. As far as I know no agency releases grant provisionally.

Though I was upset reading your mail initially, I should thank you for being forthright Srikanth, which gave an opportunity to be clear and open about what is happening with the A2K team. Anything further do get back. I can also be reached on my mobile +91-9845207308 if in case any one of you is comfortable talking one on one.

Best regards,
Vishnu

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Pradeep Mohandas-4
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
hi Vishnu,

Thank you for clarifying this. Noopur's email slightly confused me to believe that Dr. Niranjana was becoming part of the A2K team under you. That is why I sought the clarification.

I think mentioning such additions in a stand alone email would be more worthy of additions such as Dr. Niranjana to the movement. Perhaps, you can still do so, despite your introduction of her on this thread?

Welcome to the movement, Dr. Niranjana.

warm regards,
Pradeep
 
Pradeep Mohandas
How Pradeep uses email? - http://goo.gl/6v1I9

From: Vishnu t <[hidden email]>
To: Wikimedia India Community list <[hidden email]>; [hidden email]
Sent: Friday, 8 February 2013 5:44 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Dear Pradeep,

If I may come-in on this.

From: Pradeep Mohandas <[hidden email]>;
To: noopur <[hidden email]>;
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 8:05:53 AM

Hi,
Thank you for the update, Noopur.
Could you or someone elaborate on the hiring of Tejaswini Niranjana, please?
I assume you are asking about the rational behind hiring Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana as a Consultant Adviser to the A2K team. As many of you on the list may not know, Tejaswini was one of the potential applicants for the position the Programme Director, Access to Knowledge. She had even made it to the short-list of candidates who were interviewed. In fact her interview happened the same day as mine at CIS. However, the interview panel felt that she is too senior and over qualified for the position, but wanted to keep her associated with the Wiki-movement in India. Then the interview panel suggested that we look at taking her as an Consultant Adviser. CIS (i.e. Sunil) went back to the WMF about this recommendation by the interview panel and the WMF accepted it, as uniformly it was felt that she would add tremendous value to the Wiki-movement in India.

I personally think that Tejaswini brings with her wealth of experience and professional expertise of working in the sector of Indian Languages in Higher Education. In addition to this she has multiple research institutional contacts and networks, which will potentially add value to the Indian Language Wikipedias and contribute to the expansion of editors and content. I was told that she has already played an instrumental role in facilitating two outreach workshops to researchers and college students in Mumbai and Ahmadnagar, to which some of our Wikipedians friends have gone. I think we should all concur with the strategic decision taken by the interview panel, which I am quite sure will benefit us and the movement. You can find her brief profile here.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Best regards,
Vishnu


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Ashwin Baindur
Welcome Tejaswini. 

Its great that a person of your wide interests, experience and accomplishments is associated with the Indian language Wikipedian movement. Indian Language Wikipedias need all the help they can get and it is a great asset to have some one like you to present a different viewpoint which will help us chalk up new achievements.

Ashwin Baindur


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Ashwin Baindur
In reply to this post by Vickram Crishna-2
On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM, Vickram Crishna <[hidden email]> wrote:
. I had the privilege of attending a workshop session she conducted in Mumbai a couple of months back, and it was absolutely mind-blowing.

Vishnu,

I would request that the next such outreach may please be recorded and placed on Commons/Youtube for all to access. We are missing opportunities here.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur
------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vickram Crishna-2

Uh, uh. It wasn't an outreach as such, it was an internal (closed) university academic event.

--
Vickram
Fool On The Hill
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play. 
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.) 
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you."
Jethro Tull: A Passion Play (1973)

On Feb 8, 2013 9:54 PM, "Ashwin Baindur" <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM, Vickram Crishna <[hidden email]> wrote:
. I had the privilege of attending a workshop session she conducted in Mumbai a couple of months back, and it was absolutely mind-blowing.

Vishnu,

I would request that the next such outreach may please be recorded and placed on Commons/Youtube for all to access. We are missing opportunities here.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur
------------------------------------------------------
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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

theo10011
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
Hello Vishnu

You seem to be getting awfully defensive in the beginning.

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Vishnu t <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Srikanth,

On 8 February 2013 18:56, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Vishnu, thanks for responding.  Would you or someone from CIS help me
understand the rationale for selecting two individuals affiliated with
CSCS which is also affiliated with CIS?  

First about my affiliation: I am not sure what you mean by affiliation. Technically I am no more affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years. But intellectually I have friends and associates, because of my stint there from 2002-07. I am unable to see if this is in any way problematic. If it is, I am quite perplexed because I have intellectual connections with faculty/departments in nearly 20 Universities to where I would like to Wiki-movement. Or are you suggesting that there is some deep conspiracy to select ONLY because I was affiliated to CSCS? I personally believe not. But it would be nice to hear the interview panel (especially those representing the Community and Chapter) come in on this. On the other hand I am quite happy to showcase my work at CSCS which gave me an exposure to the debates and challenges of Indian Languages in Higher Education and Research. Similarly my role at SRTT over the past 5 years equipped me other intellectual capacities. Not sure, if I was able to address your concern, but I would encourage you further clarify, so that we have a closure on this.

Allow me to help. First, here's what Affiliation means[1]. If it helps let's call it association.

You mention in the second line, that you haven't been affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years, implying that you were before then. BTW what is CSCS? I don't know what you mean by "where I would like to Wiki-movement" it sounds oddly coprophilic. :P 

I believe Srikanth might indeed be suggesting the latter - a conspiracy! (with dramatic music even) 
 

Second about Tejaswini's affiliation: She is the founding director and will continue to be with CSCS. But what I think we should note is that she and other faculty because of their work brought whatever image CSCS has not that CSCS as an organization (which is impossible to think without the 5 people, esp. Dr. Niranjana) has given her credibility. It is her intellectual capacities that  I personally see adding value to our movement and plans than just her 'affiliation' to CSCS. By the way she is also affiliated to half a dozen other institutions. Even in her case I am not able to see why 'affiliation' becomes a problem. Again, I think someone from the interview panel should come in on this and clarify whether it is her affiliation to CSCS or intellectual and professional expertise and experience that weighed on their recommendation.

I don't know about any of these individuals, I barely know CIS to begin with. I however know Wikimedia and the world that you might be associating with. Both Ms. Tejaswini and you, are prior colleague and your organization had long term association with the one that just hired you. I think the line of questioning is fair, even though these associations are becoming more and more common these days in the same circle.
 

About CIS having affiliation to CSCS. Yes they did, I think, currently they don't and in future they may or whatever. So what? I am afraid I do not see the need to explain/see this as THE RATIONALE which drove either CIS or rather the interview panel in recommending the candidates. It looks to me, Srikanth, that you are trying to connect dots to see something, which at least I personally believe is not the case in the first place.


So basically, you just admitted that there is affiliation between the organization that hired you and the one you worked for? to go further, your colleague will be joining you as an advisor. I don't see why you denied it or questioned Srikanth's assumption in the first place - most of them hold true by your own admissions. 

About the need to explain, I think you did a good job above. In fact, that explanation is quite lengthy if you meant to imply, you don't see a need for it, it might not have worked.


 
 
I don't mean to question the
credentials of either you or Ms Tejaswini,

Thanks Srikanth, but I feel you have already done the contrary above and I will not be honest if I say I am not hurt, especially when you trivialize a senior academician like Dr. Niranjana's getting associated to the Wiki-movement in India. If I were part of the interview panel, at least I would take severe exception to your mail. 

hmm....double negative, so I'm guessing you meant you are hurt? You could have just stated that. I don't realize why you would take exception to a fair and apparently a viable assumption. I don't know you and I don't know Dr. Niranjana, try and understand "Wiki-movement in India" doesn't have any relation with you, in fact, it barely knows you. I barely know CIS, the organization that hired you. If there is an older link that might have conflict of interest in this hiring, I believe it should have been disclosed.

If you have any problem with srikanth asking this question, please assume they are coming from me now on. This might be how CIS works, but we care for COI and something like this should have been disclosed first.
 

however, was there a need
felt for the inclusion of an additional consultant whilst there are
already four other members in the CIS Delhi Office (previously WMF
India Programs)?  

I think, I see your point about A2K teams' workload and I am sure my colleagues will be reading this. However, if I were you, I would see Adviser as part of the solution than as problem itself. Mainly because the Adviser will not do the job of any of the A2K team member (who by the way is 3 after Shiju left us). If I understand the logic (from my experience in the not for profit and academic sectors) Advisers generally increase a team's work exponentially, because they throw ideas, opportunities, plans at the team to make them achieve the Goals and also check, criticize, mentor, etc. them. Not sure why you get an impression that she will do the teams' job. But probably the interview panel could throw more light on their 'rationale' for recommending her as an Adviser. At my level I can tell you that in the last 7 days of her coming in, she has given the team a lot to think and do.

You are probably missing an year and a half of context. The problem with your predecessor and the previous direction has been criticized, not just by some people on the list, but several Wikipedians abroad, even in an official report, for not having enough experienced Wikimedians on hand. Add to that your hiring, and your advisor, it is odd how 2 people who barely know about Wikipedia will be leading a team that has been criticized for not having enough experience and exposure in the first place. 

Either way, I would love to know what some of the "ideas, opportunities and plans" that have been "thrown" in the last few days, because I don't know if either of you have a Wiki account yet or what it is, or how much exposure you've had to this world before you lead it.
 

Do you feel that the current workload on the rest of
the team justifies the hiring of an additional consultant?

Same as above para. 
Furthermore, based on my discussions with other members oft he
community there appears to be some confusion on the amount of WMF
grant quoted in your email above, that is, INR 2.6 crores [~USD 488,000].  If I recall correctly, the grant
amount sanctioned by the WMF for CIS's A2k programme stands at INR 1.1
crores [~USD 206,000] with the possibility of further support from the FDC through a
separate grant request.  
Srikanth, here again we are getting misled by the way we are interpreting the terms. Sanctioning a Grant does not mean releasing/disbursing a grant. I have in my earlier capacity sanctioned many grants and there are instances where you do not end up releasing/disbursing the entire amount and typically you set various milestones for the release of installments. But the Grant letter says you are sanctioned a grant of X amount of which X-y will be sanctioned initially and after review, etc the balance amount of X-z will be released. Thus CIS has been sanctioned INR 2.6 crores of which INR 1.1 is released. Trust this clarifies.

Oh thank you for explaining the grants system. Again, perhaps people here might be just a bit more familiar with Wikimedia grant system and basing their questions on that rather than the one you might have followed. 
 

As far as my understanding goes, this support
is provisional 

 No it is not provisional. As far as I know no agency releases grant provisionally.

Actually, you might be wrong, by your own explanation it means it is provisional, as in conditional, and contingent upon further review, or crossing of a milestone. 
 

Though I was upset reading your mail initially, I should thank you for being forthright Srikanth, which gave an opportunity to be clear and open about what is happening with the A2K team. Anything further do get back. I can also be reached on my mobile +91-9845207308 if in case any one of you is comfortable talking one on one.
 
Yes, the Y2K team has a lot of work ahead. 

Regards
Theo 


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vickram Crishna-2

I don't know Vishnu, and I have only followed the recruitment process by email windowshopping, no direct participation. I have also enjoyed and admired the hard work being done by other enthusiastic Wikimedians, now in this debate, over the years.

But the questions being asked came across to me as perilously close to trolling, seemingly calculated to raise hackles rather than engage in open discourse. Not that the questions themselves were out of place, just that they could have been expressed better, imho.

As far as the fact that suddenly a decent amount of money seems to have entered the Indian wikipedia scenario, I hope that is going to result in things that are hugely positive. The Wikimedia phenomenon is an enormous lesson to the world, especially the money-obsessed world that some politicians seem to think is a good thing, that there are choices on working together where achievements are exponentially superior. This is imho a huge thing, in a world where the ravagers of entire countries end up being rewarded with even higher paid jobs in their chosen sphere of junk bonds and predatory banking.

How can we take advantage of the fact that, for the first time, some money might be visible to accomplish things that were just dreams till now?

A few days back, at one of our Mumbai meets, we had a visiting Wikimedian. He was telling us about some good stuff happening in glam in the USA. We were grousing about the fact that glam stuff is hard to do here, not per se because of resistance from the archive managers, but because those folks neither have money nor expertise to make their archives available digitally. And he pointed out that it is relatively straightforward to identify a project, give students specific work to do in that connection – scanning, uploading etc – something they can report back to their colleges as internships contributing to their degrees, and get grants from wmf to make sure it is done. I have seen that it is hard for young Wikipedia persons to justify the time and work they put in, especially to their parents. Well, this is one way to show that good work can be done, much more rewarding than say, writing empty code for some banker's CSR initiative for a summer internship. There must be many others. It was news to me, and judging from the expressions of the others at the meeting, news to them as well.

There must be zillions of other ways in which we can run such projects to make Indian content available to the world of knowledge, before even more is stolen and expropriated by hoarders. And I think we should celebrate that some money is available to leverage, not complain when some of that money goes to pay wages.

--
Vickram
Fool On The Hill
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play. 
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.) 
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you."
Jethro Tull: A Passion Play (1973)

On Feb 9, 2013 12:27 AM, "Theo10011" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello Vishnu

You seem to be getting awfully defensive in the beginning.

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Vishnu t <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear Srikanth,

On 8 February 2013 18:56, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <[hidden email]> wrote:
Vishnu, thanks for responding.  Would you or someone from CIS help me
understand the rationale for selecting two individuals affiliated with
CSCS which is also affiliated with CIS?  

First about my affiliation: I am not sure what you mean by affiliation. Technically I am no more affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years. But intellectually I have friends and associates, because of my stint there from 2002-07. I am unable to see if this is in any way problematic. If it is, I am quite perplexed because I have intellectual connections with faculty/departments in nearly 20 Universities to where I would like to Wiki-movement. Or are you suggesting that there is some deep conspiracy to select ONLY because I was affiliated to CSCS? I personally believe not. But it would be nice to hear the interview panel (especially those representing the Community and Chapter) come in on this. On the other hand I am quite happy to showcase my work at CSCS which gave me an exposure to the debates and challenges of Indian Languages in Higher Education and Research. Similarly my role at SRTT over the past 5 years equipped me other intellectual capacities. Not sure, if I was able to address your concern, but I would encourage you further clarify, so that we have a closure on this.

Allow me to help. First, here's what Affiliation means[1]. If it helps let's call it association.

You mention in the second line, that you haven't been affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years, implying that you were before then. BTW what is CSCS? I don't know what you mean by "where I would like to Wiki-movement" it sounds oddly coprophilic. :P 

I believe Srikanth might indeed be suggesting the latter - a conspiracy! (with dramatic music even) 
 

Second about Tejaswini's affiliation: She is the founding director and will continue to be with CSCS. But what I think we should note is that she and other faculty because of their work brought whatever image CSCS has not that CSCS as an organization (which is impossible to think without the 5 people, esp. Dr. Niranjana) has given her credibility. It is her intellectual capacities that  I personally see adding value to our movement and plans than just her 'affiliation' to CSCS. By the way she is also affiliated to half a dozen other institutions. Even in her case I am not able to see why 'affiliation' becomes a problem. Again, I think someone from the interview panel should come in on this and clarify whether it is her affiliation to CSCS or intellectual and professional expertise and experience that weighed on their recommendation.

I don't know about any of these individuals, I barely know CIS to begin with. I however know Wikimedia and the world that you might be associating with. Both Ms. Tejaswini and you, are prior colleague and your organization had long term association with the one that just hired you. I think the line of questioning is fair, even though these associations are becoming more and more common these days in the same circle.
 

About CIS having affiliation to CSCS. Yes they did, I think, currently they don't and in future they may or whatever. So what? I am afraid I do not see the need to explain/see this as THE RATIONALE which drove either CIS or rather the interview panel in recommending the candidates. It looks to me, Srikanth, that you are trying to connect dots to see something, which at least I personally believe is not the case in the first place.


So basically, you just admitted that there is affiliation between the organization that hired you and the one you worked for? to go further, your colleague will be joining you as an advisor. I don't see why you denied it or questioned Srikanth's assumption in the first place - most of them hold true by your own admissions. 

About the need to explain, I think you did a good job above. In fact, that explanation is quite lengthy if you meant to imply, you don't see a need for it, it might not have worked.


 
 
I don't mean to question the
credentials of either you or Ms Tejaswini,

Thanks Srikanth, but I feel you have already done the contrary above and I will not be honest if I say I am not hurt, especially when you trivialize a senior academician like Dr. Niranjana's getting associated to the Wiki-movement in India. If I were part of the interview panel, at least I would take severe exception to your mail. 

hmm....double negative, so I'm guessing you meant you are hurt? You could have just stated that. I don't realize why you would take exception to a fair and apparently a viable assumption. I don't know you and I don't know Dr. Niranjana, try and understand "Wiki-movement in India" doesn't have any relation with you, in fact, it barely knows you. I barely know CIS, the organization that hired you. If there is an older link that might have conflict of interest in this hiring, I believe it should have been disclosed.

If you have any problem with srikanth asking this question, please assume they are coming from me now on. This might be how CIS works, but we care for COI and something like this should have been disclosed first.
 

however, was there a need
felt for the inclusion of an additional consultant whilst there are
already four other members in the CIS Delhi Office (previously WMF
India Programs)?  

I think, I see your point about A2K teams' workload and I am sure my colleagues will be reading this. However, if I were you, I would see Adviser as part of the solution than as problem itself. Mainly because the Adviser will not do the job of any of the A2K team member (who by the way is 3 after Shiju left us). If I understand the logic (from my experience in the not for profit and academic sectors) Advisers generally increase a team's work exponentially, because they throw ideas, opportunities, plans at the team to make them achieve the Goals and also check, criticize, mentor, etc. them. Not sure why you get an impression that she will do the teams' job. But probably the interview panel could throw more light on their 'rationale' for recommending her as an Adviser. At my level I can tell you that in the last 7 days of her coming in, she has given the team a lot to think and do.

You are probably missing an year and a half of context. The problem with your predecessor and the previous direction has been criticized, not just by some people on the list, but several Wikipedians abroad, even in an official report, for not having enough experienced Wikimedians on hand. Add to that your hiring, and your advisor, it is odd how 2 people who barely know about Wikipedia will be leading a team that has been criticized for not having enough experience and exposure in the first place. 

Either way, I would love to know what some of the "ideas, opportunities and plans" that have been "thrown" in the last few days, because I don't know if either of you have a Wiki account yet or what it is, or how much exposure you've had to this world before you lead it.
 

Do you feel that the current workload on the rest of
the team justifies the hiring of an additional consultant?

Same as above para. 
Furthermore, based on my discussions with other members oft he
community there appears to be some confusion on the amount of WMF
grant quoted in your email above, that is, INR 2.6 crores [~USD 488,000].  If I recall correctly, the grant
amount sanctioned by the WMF for CIS's A2k programme stands at INR 1.1
crores [~USD 206,000] with the possibility of further support from the FDC through a
separate grant request.  
Srikanth, here again we are getting misled by the way we are interpreting the terms. Sanctioning a Grant does not mean releasing/disbursing a grant. I have in my earlier capacity sanctioned many grants and there are instances where you do not end up releasing/disbursing the entire amount and typically you set various milestones for the release of installments. But the Grant letter says you are sanctioned a grant of X amount of which X-y will be sanctioned initially and after review, etc the balance amount of X-z will be released. Thus CIS has been sanctioned INR 2.6 crores of which INR 1.1 is released. Trust this clarifies.

Oh thank you for explaining the grants system. Again, perhaps people here might be just a bit more familiar with Wikimedia grant system and basing their questions on that rather than the one you might have followed. 
 

As far as my understanding goes, this support
is provisional 

 No it is not provisional. As far as I know no agency releases grant provisionally.

Actually, you might be wrong, by your own explanation it means it is provisional, as in conditional, and contingent upon further review, or crossing of a milestone. 
 

Though I was upset reading your mail initially, I should thank you for being forthright Srikanth, which gave an opportunity to be clear and open about what is happening with the A2K team. Anything further do get back. I can also be reached on my mobile +91-9845207308 if in case any one of you is comfortable talking one on one.
 
Yes, the Y2K team has a lot of work ahead. 

Regards
Theo 


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Ravishankar-3
Hi all,

My best wishes for the new A2K team.

A sincere request to all Indian Wikimedians:

CIS has been given a grant by WMF. Let CIS do their job in peace and let them be answerable to the grant review committee.

Just because they are located in India and working on Indian Wikimedia projects, I don't think they need to answer every question from the community. Especially, hiring related questions and when they are yet to start work.

The former Indian Wikimedia office was burnt out precisely because of this negative approach from the community.

If the community needs to strengthen the movement, either work on your own language Wikimedia projects or join the India Wikimedia chapter and take it forward.

Ravi

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Anivar Aravind
On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM, Ravishankar <[hidden email]> wrote:

> The former Indian Wikimedia office was burnt out precisely because of this
> negative approach from the community.

Can you  explain this ? I found this is a baseless  allegation

In my observation following 2 major  factors  resulted in the  failure
India program and restructuring/ handing over project to CIS .

1. Failure of Pune Pilot  (There was no role for community in this
process . It was gigantic , There was not enough Wikipedia exposure
for consultants.  Program  plan failed in addressing copyvios , windup
/stopping plan of pune pilot was not well planned and communicated
like "do not edit wikipedia anymore")

2. Unwanted time and efforts on building a third entity "Wikimedia
India Program Trust" on a legal safe distance  from Wikimedia
foundation and wikimedia chapter . Now this is dumped.

Please substantiate your allegations on community else withdraw it .

~ regards
Anivar

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Vickram Crishna-2
In reply to this post by Ravishankar-3

While broadly concurring with Ravi, I have been informed by several Wikimedians that the office also had to deal with a plethora of well-meant queries and initiatives from external sources, ie outside India. I don't think any of us should be afraid to raise doubts, but equally, I don't think any of us should do so in a fashion that implies doubt about anyone's intentions or abilities, unless the questioner has a serious issue with that itself, based on actual experience.

My earlier post on this issue needs some more clarity, I think. For Wikimedians, design projects and initiatives to bring our native storehouse of knowledge to the benefit of the whole world (in every form, be it text, visual, aural, graphic, or whatever). For the Chapter (and CIS, together) build processes to ensure that funds can be smoothly funnelled where needed to make those projects and initiatives fructify in a timely fashion. CIS has the necessary certification from the government to allow international Wikimedia funding to be used in India. The Chapter doesn't, afaik. Let us build from our known strengths, together.

--
Vickram
Fool On The Hill
"The cameras were all around. We've got you taped; you're in the play. 
Here's your I.D. (Ideal for identifying one and all.) 
Invest your life in the memory bank; ours the interest and we thank you."
Jethro Tull: A Passion Play (1973)

On Feb 9, 2013 10:17 AM, "Ravishankar" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

My best wishes for the new A2K team.

A sincere request to all Indian Wikimedians:

CIS has been given a grant by WMF. Let CIS do their job in peace and let them be answerable to the grant review committee.

Just because they are located in India and working on Indian Wikimedia projects, I don't think they need to answer every question from the community. Especially, hiring related questions and when they are yet to start work.

The former Indian Wikimedia office was burnt out precisely because of this negative approach from the community.

If the community needs to strengthen the movement, either work on your own language Wikimedia projects or join the India Wikimedia chapter and take it forward.

Ravi

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Dhaval S. Vyas
In reply to this post by Ravishankar-3

Hi Ravi, I was silently watching this debate and didn't want to join it for many reasons, but some of your "assumptions" force me to jump in,

On 9 Feb 2013 04:48, "Ravishankar" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Hi all,
>
> My best wishes for the new A2K team.
>
> A sincere request to all Indian Wikimedians:
>
> CIS has been given a grant by WMF. Let CIS do their job in peace and let them be answerable to the grant review committee.
>
> Just because they are located in India and working on Indian Wikimedia projects, I don't think they need to answer every question from the community. Especially, hiring related questions and when they are yet to start work.

Can you please provide base for your this declaration? When it was Boforse scan or Lalu Prasad Yadav's "Chara Ghotala" and "Gobar Scam" did we say, "come on you Indians, keep your mouth shut, because the money involved is foreign currency"? I think we didn't. Then why now?

> The former Indian Wikimedia office was burnt out precisely because of this negative approach from the community.

Can you please shed some more light on this alligation? This is utter alligation on the wjoke Indian wiki community. I (only on my behalf) will need a clarification based on facts and evidences. Please remember that wikipedia also doesn't approve text/edits without refrrences. I hope you would be active on one of the wikis, so need not to explain what reference is.

> If the community needs to strengthen the movement, either work on your own language Wikimedia projects or join the India Wikimedia chapter and take it forward.

Why? Why only 2 options? How many of the IP or A2K team members are active on their respective language wilipedia?  Upto what extent? Are there others on those language wikipedia with more edits and more regular presence? These are the questions one should ask his/her self before making such statements. I don't need answers on these.

> Ravi

Thank you for nice baseless blame on me (as i m part of the community)

Dhaval


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Bishakha Datta
In reply to this post by Ravishankar-3
A big +100 to Ravishankar's message.

Welcome aboard, Vishnu and Dr Niranjana.

And to all on this list: can we please give the new A2K team the space, the good faith, and the openness so they can start to do what they need to do without feeling like people are nipping at their heels?

Can we please put the politics, suspicions, and judgements aside and give them a break? This atmosphere seems the very opposite of a welcome.

Can we please give them a level playing field?

Best
Bishakha

On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM, Ravishankar <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

My best wishes for the new A2K team.

A sincere request to all Indian Wikimedians:

CIS has been given a grant by WMF. Let CIS do their job in peace and let them be answerable to the grant review committee.

Just because they are located in India and working on Indian Wikimedia projects, I don't think they need to answer every question from the community. Especially, hiring related questions and when they are yet to start work.

The former Indian Wikimedia office was burnt out precisely because of this negative approach from the community.

If the community needs to strengthen the movement, either work on your own language Wikimedia projects or join the India Wikimedia chapter and take it forward.

Ravi

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Arjuna Rao Chavala-2
In reply to this post by Vishnu t
Congratulations  Vishnu and Tejaswini on your new roles.

All the best  for the A2K team in growing Wikimedia in India.

Arjuna

2013/2/8 Vishnu t <[hidden email]>
Dear Pradeep,

If I may come-in on this.

From: Pradeep Mohandas <[hidden email]>;
To: noopur <[hidden email]>;
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13
Sent: Thu, Feb 7, 2013 8:05:53 AM

Hi,

Thank you for the update, Noopur.

Could you or someone elaborate on the hiring of Tejaswini Niranjana, please?

I assume you are asking about the rational behind hiring Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana as a Consultant Adviser to the A2K team. As many of you on the list may not know, Tejaswini was one of the potential applicants for the position the Programme Director, Access to Knowledge. She had even made it to the short-list of candidates who were interviewed. In fact her interview happened the same day as mine at CIS. However, the interview panel felt that she is too senior and over qualified for the position, but wanted to keep her associated with the Wiki-movement in India. Then the interview panel suggested that we look at taking her as an Consultant Adviser. CIS (i.e. Sunil) went back to the WMF about this recommendation by the interview panel and the WMF accepted it, as uniformly it was felt that she would add tremendous value to the Wiki-movement in India.

I personally think that Tejaswini brings with her wealth of experience and professional expertise of working in the sector of Indian Languages in Higher Education. In addition to this she has multiple research institutional contacts and networks, which will potentially add value to the Indian Language Wikipedias and contribute to the expansion of editors and content. I was told that she has already played an instrumental role in facilitating two outreach workshops to researchers and college students in Mumbai and Ahmadnagar, to which some of our Wikipedians friends have gone. I think we should all concur with the strategic decision taken by the interview panel, which I am quite sure will benefit us and the movement. You can find her brief profile here.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana to the Wiki-movement in India. I have taken the liberty to coy her on this mail.

Best regards,
Vishnu


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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

Ashwin Baindur
In reply to this post by Dhaval S. Vyas
I fully agree with Vicram and others who feel its only fair that we give the new organisation a chance to do good and succeed.  

Dhaval & Aravind, you are both right & wrong. You are right that large parts of the India Program's strategic decisions went wrong and should bear the major blame for the organisation's failure, but it is equally true in the debate which followed, no matter how justifiable, a lot of negative energy entered the atmosphere, making things difficult and disheartening for anyone who wanted to work sincerely. I'm sure I must contributed some of that negative energy myself too. So without trying to blame anyone, what Ravi said was essentially true also.

But let us not allow the sad failure of India Program to deny us the new hope! Let us hope this program with new people heading it, lead to new opportunities, new challenges and new successes!

Lastly, I would request the new A2K Program people to ignore the tone of some of the messages and instead concentrate on the kernel of truth that some of these messages concern - 
  • that the community is suspicious of programs where not enough Wikimedians/people who are editors have been employed or made part of the process. The Wikimedian community is uber sensitive to non-Wikimedians  coming in with their initiatives and good intentions, no matter how genuine. Sometimes, we Wikimedians tend to throw the baby out with the bath-water. Cant help it, once burnt, twice shy.
  • that while a part of the Wikimedian community is right now in support of A2K just based on pure faith, the A2K can build up that support base of the remaining community enormously by engaging the community and its concerns and by a solid track record of work done and promises fulfilled. 
  • that many Wikimedians are protective of the Chapter and feel that it has been neglected or treated badly by the WMF. We need the A2K to build a healthy, complementary relationship with the Chapter - not a competitive one. We need the A2K to have a close fit with the Chapter, taking up initiatives where Chapter and its volunteers find it difficult to succeed, and avoiding the space meant for normal wikimedians.
  • Though the grant to A2K is from the WMF, the Wikimedian Community feels it is the judge and jury as to deciding whether the money has been spent well or frivolously. Lots of honest communication is required all the time. Remember that WMF grants are not the Foundation's money, but donations by tens of thousands of the supporters of the movement all over the world.
On my part, I pledge my cooperation to A2K, as I have done to the Chapter, and to India Program in the past.

Lastly, I request my fellow Wikimedians that any further queries to A2K may be started on a new thread and in neutrally phrased language so that the A2K gets a fair chance.

Happy editting all!

AshLin

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Re: Fw: Re: [A2K]: The Access to Knowledge - Bulletin - January '13

theo10011
In reply to this post by Bishakha Datta
Hi

Vickram, there seems to be a false assumption on your part that is underpinning most of your logic. Allow me to clarify. The funding is not new, it is not entering India now, in fact if I had to make an educated guess I would say the spending is an eighth or a sixth of what it was the last year and the year before. Money hasn't been diverted now, it was for the last 2-3 years, it has just been reduced to a fraction of what it was. Second, CIS has other benefactors and other priorities. There seems to be some link that was formed a while ago between them and the foundation. CIS might have the financial approvals in place to process the grant, but they are not being used to transfer to the organic entity in India but create an alternative to them. There is also no problem in getting those financial approvals for the chapter itself, it was a decision made a while ago to support CIS instead - I don't believe the chapter was a party to it. Working together would be CIS supporting the chapter, not continuing to employ and hire people on the other side of the country, for a community they know little about.

Ashwin, you're a mensch. I appreciate your attempts at levity here, but these questions haven't been asked for a while. Hisham left almost 7-8 months ago, the hiring has been delayed for a few months, then the entire game of charades with the new hire. I'm lead to deduce that CIS wasn't itself thrilled with the prospect of getting involved to this level, I believe they used an intern for the majority of correspondence to this list. All the while a team remained employed with no one to oversee them, no direction. I don't recall if any of them worked with any community members in the last year on anything substantial. If I'm wrong then please tell me you've been working with them in Pune or Mumbai, I heard things to the contrary and occasionally saw low impact, low visibility undertakings.
 
However, I see someone being accused of trolling for asking these questions, someone else of getting defensive. There isn't any clarification, no answer - just that these questions shouldn't be asked. These aren't necessarily questions directed at Dr. Niranjana or Vishnu, or even CIS alone, they might be more suited to inquiring how the whole situation came to be.

On Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 6:37 AM, Bishakha Datta <[hidden email]> wrote:

And to all on this list: can we please give the new A2K team the space, the good faith, and the openness so they can start to do what they need to do without feeling like people are nipping at their heels?

The team has been there for over an year now, I think hisham left 7-8 months. If anything I really don't know what half of them have been doing, or who is on the team these days. It sounded like any other gov. babu job.


Can we please put the politics, suspicions, and judgements aside and give them a break? This atmosphere seems the very opposite of a welcome.

I seem to recall you being adapt at politics yourself, ma'am. I've heard about a lot of things being said to the board. Perhaps, you can talk more about me or the Indian community to the board and staff on another occasion, and then ask to put aside politics on an open mailing list. 


Can we please give them a level playing field?

Does that mean turning a blind eye to nepotism, favoritism and undisclosed conflicts of interest? They are getting more and more common I see. But sure, a level playing field - for people in places of power and authority.

-Theo

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