The Constitution of India declares that Hindi shall be written in the Devanagari script and will be the official language of the Federal Government of India.[1] Hindi is also enumerated as one of the 22 languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which entitles it to representation on the Official Language Commission.[2] As per the 2001 census, 258 million people in India reported Hindi to be their native language;[3] 14.5 to 24.5% of the population are Hindi speakers in India, and if speakers of all the dialects related to Hindi are taken into account, the figure comes up to nearly 45 per cent of the country's population.

Hindi is the official language of ten states of the Indian Union: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. But the question remains as to whether this is the only language spoken in these states, since the dialectal variation across the Hindi region is striking.[4] There have been controversies about the formation of standard Hindi and about making Hindi the official language. A concise summary of these issues is given in the Annexure below. Our Hindi work plan is informed by the need to engage with these issues.

Needs Assessment edit

  • Limited Reach: English is seen as an aspirational language by many of the literate Hindi-speaking people. However, the preference does not always translate into knowledge and proficiency in English. A sizeable number of Hindi speakers do use Hindi even in higher education, and have the ability and willingness to read and write in the language. Social Sciences Teaching in Hindi. It is this ability which offers tremendous scope for the growth of Hindi Wikipedia and other related Wikimedia projects, and on which we should build.
  • Visibility for and public awareness about the Hindi Wikipedia is low. There is a need to increase awareness among Hindi speakers about the existence of the Hindi Wikipedia.
  • Quality a concern: Though the Hindi Wikipedia has the highest number of articles among Indic Wikipedias, the number of stubs or start class articles, especially regarding places and personalities, is very high, and requires sustained community involvement for content improvement.
  • Devanagari script inputting is a challenge for potential editors.
  • Lack of Open Source and Open Access culture: There is very little presence of open source and open access materials in Hindi across academia, media industry, public and private sector organizations. A lot of knowledge resources which are produced are not digitized, and are mostly individually copyrighted, resulting in limited distribution.

Fact Sheet edit

Below is the fact-sheet of the various Hindi Wikimedia projects that are active

Wikimedia Project No. of Editors/Contributors (Jan 2013) No. of Editors/Contributors (Jan 2014) No. of Active Editors /Contributors (Jan 2013) No. of Active Editors / Contributors (Jan 2014) No. of Articles/entries (Jan 2013) No. of Articles/entries (Jan 2014) No. of Page Views per Month
Wikipedia 886 1069 44 172 * 96,300 101,034 12,076,818
Wiktionary 28 33 0 1 DU ** 105,975 200,432
Wiki Quote 9 11 1 1 DU 72 35,458
Wiki Books 7 8 1 1 DU 133 41,484

Compiled from Wikimedia Statistics
* There is a sudden increase in the number of new editors and active editors on Hindi Wikipedia because of CIS-A2K's Wikipedia Education Program at Christ University, Bangalore. It is reasonable to assume that the active editors on Hindi have been in the range of 40-60.
** DU = Data unavailable.

Implementation Plan edit

Given the complexity of the Hindi language context and the vast geography across which Hindi is spoken, during this plan period CIS-A2K will limit its activities to bringing new editors on board and trying to support the existing Hindi Wikimedia community.

Cultivating new Editors edit

Institutional Partnerships (Higher Education) edit

Based on preliminary research, the A2K team has prepared a list of select higher education institutions in India. Out of this list the A2K team will explore partnerships for strengthening Hindi Wikipedia from the list of institutions below:

Name of the Institution Status
Department of Hindi, Delhi University Under exploration
Central University of Bihar, Patna Under exploration
Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala Under exploration
Christ University, Bangalore MOU Signed. Implemented one Hindi Wikipedia Education Program
Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi To be explored
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi Under exploration
Ambedkar University, Delhi Under exploration
Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha To be explored

To partner at least 2-3 higher education institutions in developing two thematic projects each, and creating a network of academicians who will actively use Hindi Wikipedia as part of their pedagogy. To reach out to at least 2 other higher education institutions from the above list and conduct Hindi Wikipedia Workshops mainly with an intention to spread awareness and to arrive at possibilities for long-term partnerships.

  1. Conduct initial meetings with faculty from the short-listed higher education institutions.
  2. Work with enthusiastic faculty in listing out the expectations, incentives, broad frame-work of project design, mutually beneficial outputs for the institution and the Hindi Wikipedia.
  3. Introduce and involve key Hindi Wikipedians in advanced conversations with the short-listed institutions.
  4. Arrive at a clear terms of reference (ToR) for the partnership between the institution and A2K.
  5. In collaboration with key Hindi Wikipedians, design and roll out workshops and training programs.
  6. Continuous mentoring, monitoring and evaluation of the new users created under the project with the help of Hindi Wikipedians.
  7. Create social media platforms for visibility of these projects and facilitate need-based technical and online support. For instance, motivate the faculty or student to maintain a blog on the project.
  8. Constant liaison with the anchor faculty/department.
  9. Periodic review of the project progress along with the Hindi Wikipedians mentoring the project.
  1. Expected to enlist about 200 - 250 new editors on Hindi Wikipedia. Of this an attempt will be made to convert 20-25 people into active editors.
  2. Will result in creation of 200 new quality thematic articles.
  3. Will result in the expansion and quality improvement of 100 existing stub class articles.

Christ University Wikipedia Education Program edit

During the last year CIS-A2K has implemented the largest ever Hindi Wikipedia Education Program in collaboration with Christ University, Bangalore. It introduced Hindi Wikipedia as a pedagogic tool in the undergraduate 'Hindi as a second language' classroom involving 525 students. This brought in new enthusiasm into the Hindi language classroom. Based on the positive outcome of the program, Christ University has expressed interest to roll out the program again during the next academic year starting June 2014.


To redesign and roll out the Hindi Wikipedia Education Program at Christ University, Bangalore.

  1. Review of the program design and understand "what has worked", "what has not worked" and "what else could be done" in consultation with the Hindi faculty and students of Christ University, Bangalore.
  2. Advanced training for Hindi Faculty on Wikipedia and sister projects.
  3. Recruitment of Campus Ambassadors and training.
  4. Creating and manning of the Hindi Wikipedia help desk in the campus (for about two-three months)
  5. Administering the specially designed video tutorials for the students on the University website Moodle Platform as well as on Wikimedia Commons.
  6. Providing online support to the students.
  7. Reaching out to the students over the phone to update them on: a) Commencement of the project b) Supportive information about registering on Wikipedia c) Providing links to the Students Online Project Registration Form d)Monitoring the student edits and d) Checking and apprising the student contributions.
  8. Engage the enthusiastic students from the previous batch.
  9. Help faculty with the evaluation of student involvement and performance.


  1. Expected to enlist and train about 300 new editors on Hindi Wikipedia
  2. Of these, an attempt will be made to convert 30-40 people into active editors.
  3. Will result in creation of new 300 above start class articles.
  4. Will result in the expansion and quality improvement of 100 existing stub class articles.
  5. Could become a model to attract the attention of bodies like UGC in actively considering the use of Wikipedia as a pedagogic tool in quality higher education using Indian languages.

Small City Outreach edit


Actively spread awareness about Hindi Wikipedia in smaller cities across the Hindi speaking belt where internet penetration is high. Some of the potential cities include Allahabad, Kanpur, Patna, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bhopal and Indore.

  1. Do preliminary research on all the small cities in the primary Hindi speaking belt and collect data on the various metrics including: a) No. of Local Cultural Organizations or groups with Knowledge in Niche Subjects, Hobbies and Independent Projects; b) Educational Institutions and libraries; c) Data on internet penetration, internet cafes (outlets), broadband connections, etc; d) Virtual communities (like Facebook communities, bloggers, websites); e) Journalists, College teachers, Writers and other members of the local intelligentsia.
  2. Shortlist for focussed outreach, in consultation with the Hindi Wikimedia Community, three cities with growth potential in relation to Wikipedia.
  3. Liaison and building linkages with local hosting institutions.
  4. Design and Roll-out of Wikipedia Training or Orientation programs in these cities.
  5. Focus on involving the new editors in quality improvement of articles on Hindi.
  6. Nurture local contact institution and community to plan and execute future programs.
  1. Expected to enlist about 60-80 new editors on Hindi Wikipedia. Of this an attempt will be made to convert 8-12 people into active editors.
  2. Will spread more awareness about Hindi Wikipedia beyond the metropolitan context.
  3. Will result in the creation of 50 new articles.
  4. Will result in improving the quality of existing 100 stub class articles on Hindi Wikipedia.

Strengthening Existing Community edit

Capacity Building Meet-ups edit


To facilitate more qualitative interactions amongst Community Members, with an aim to a) fostering linkages between new and existing users; b) creating learning and support space for new Wikimedians; c) fostering a culture of collective review of the expansion of the Hindi Wikipedia.

  1. Facilitate 2 offline meetings/events over the next one year and club these with a particular project or theme-based edit-a-thon events.
  2. Organise/facilitate Google hangouts/Skype calls. We will aim to organise/facilitate a minimum of two meetings in the next one year in addition to the above.
  3. Tie up with institutions/organizations in different locations that could provide the community with space and resources in terms of internet connection etc. where the community could periodically gather for meet-ups.
  4. Using Facebook for better community interaction and coordinated approach.

These Community Building efforts will further strengthen the community spirit among the Hindi Wikipedians. This could also lead to development of plans to cohesively build the community and will be a potential trigger for Wikimedia projects.

Hindi Wiki Sammelan edit


To support the Hindi Wikimedia community from across the globe to come together for हिन्दी दिवस (i.e. the Hindi Language Day).

  1. Create a platform for celebrating a congregation of wikipedians. Plan a 1-2 day event that would also benefit the venue city.
  2. Use this as an opportunity to train some of the active new Hindi Wikipedians.
  3. Use this as a platform to link new and old Hindi Wikimedians.
  4. Organize introspection sessions with the community on the growth and development of Hindi Wikipedia.
  5. Bring in other Indic Wikimedians to create strong inter-language networks and projects.
  1. Could help in bringing together at least 50% of all India-based Hindi active editors onto a common platform.
  2. Could help in the Hindi Wikimedia community building efforts, which could lead to increased collaboration.

Goals edit

Parameters As on January 31, 2014 Expected Target by June 30, 2015 Dream Target by June 30, 2015
No. of Editors 1069 1630 1700
No. of New Editors NA 560 630
No. of New Active Editors NA 58 72
No. of New Articles NA 550 550
No. of Articles Quality improved NA 300 300
No. of Outreach Events NA 13 17
No. of Institutional Partnerships NA 2 3

Budget edit

Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support (US$) Other Sources and in kind support (INR) Other Sources and in kind support (US$)
1 PO x 40% * 264,000/- 4,271.73407 - -
1 PD x 10% ** 240,000/- 3,883.39460 - -
Travel and Stay *** 200,000/- 3,236.16217 50,000/- 809.04054
Volunteer Support 50,000/- 809.04054 - -
Events/Meet-ups/Workshops 200,000/- 3,236.16217 50,000/- 809.04054
Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 50,000/- 809.04054 - -
Miscellaneous 20,000/- 323.61622 - -
Total 1,024,000/- 16,569.15031 100,000/- 1,618.08109

* 40% time of a Program Officer who will anchor this plan at CIS-A2K
** 10% of T. Vishnu Vardhan’s time as Program Director, CIS-A2K
*** Expenses incurred by the CIS-A2K program team towards executing the plan

Annexure edit

There have been many controversies about what can be regarded as Hindi and when it came into existence.[5][6][7] Speaking of the success of the Hindi movement in the 19th century in absorbing and assimilating minority languages and dialects, political scientist Paul Brass says that “the states called Hindi-speaking contain nearly two dozen regional and tribal dialects, some of which can and do lay claim to status as languages distinct and separate from Hindi”.[8] By the 20th century, languages with a written literary tradition, like Braj, Maithili, Awadhi, and Bhojpuri, became assimilated into Hindi.[9] This happened with a number of dialects also, such as Kannauji, Bundeli, Mewari, Magahi, Dundheri, and dozens of others. Even while a few lakh people return themselves in the Census of India as speakers of these dialects, with rising literacy more of them lay claim to Hindi-speaker status.[10]

Modern standard or official Hindi is also known as Khadi Boli.[11] Scholars think that this language developed between the 8th and 10th centuries around Delhi. One strand of it developed into Urdu, which borrowed from Persian and Arabic as it became a significant literary language, and came to be written in the Perso-Arabic script. Another strand borrowed from Sanskrit and by the 1860s began to promote the Devanagari script, becoming present-day Hindi.[12] While spoken Hindi and Urdu are very similar in grammar and structure to each other, their literary versions set them apart as distinct languages.[13] Nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi propagated the use of Hindustani, which he saw as “written and read both in the Nagari and Persian scripts”,[14] but his position was superseded when language policy was formulated after Independence in 1947. Standardization of Hindi spelling, transcription and usage was taken up by the Government of India, which also notified that the official script of Hindi was to be Devanagari.[13]

The government’s language policy ensured that Hindi took its place in the three-language formula in school education. But the strong opposition to what was seen as imposition of Hindi, especially in the southern states like Tamil Nadu, is one of the reasons why the use of Hindi is not as widespread as it could be although it is the official language of the country.[15][16]

However, inclusion of the language in school education across India as also the popularity of Bollywood or the Hindi film industry and the spiralling growth of television channels is making larger audiences familiar with Hindi.[17] Bollywood's contribution to the growing popularity of Hindi is not only restricted to the non-Hindi speaking regions of India, but also internationally as it has developed audiences throughout the world.[18] Similarly, Doordarshan has been immensely popular across the length and breadth of country for the memorable serials and dramas since the launch of the national telecasts in 1980s. Many of the serials/dramas telecast during this era are still remembered by people to this day and even the home videos of these serials are in demand.[19] Similarly, with the launch of satellite channels in India, Hindi serials are popular not just among the non-Hindi speaking youth in India, but also among the youth of the neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal.[20] Adding to the popularity of Hindi is the Indian diaspora across the world and its interest in a language that to many has become symbolic of things Indian.

In view of the widespread interest in Hindi and the need for an online encyclopedia in the language, Hindi Wikipedia was launched on 11 July 2003 and has completed 10 years of its existence. A special challenge that the Hindi Wikipedia confronts is that of attracting new and especially younger readers to its content. For this, we may have to make the text more lively by incorporating elements of the languages and dialects that have been assimilated into Hindi. For this non-standard usage, we would have to find ways of annotating and thereby legitimising the way words have been used. New editors could be encouraged to find examples of such language use in folk tales, songs, fiction, theatre, cinema, etc. and cite them appropriately.

Acknowledgement edit

Prof. Apoorvanand, Department of Hindi, Delhi University helped us with several useful suggestions.

References edit