Introduction edit

Kannada is one of the major languages in India and is widely spoken in the state of Karnataka. CIS-A2K has taken up Kannada Wikipedia as one of the focus language areas as part of its work plan during April 2013 - June 2014. Based on the lessons and challenges in implementing the work plan, it has been decided to further deepen our work in growing the Kannada Wikipedia project and the associated community. The plan starts with a critical overview of CIS-A2K's work since April 2013 and presents the plan of activities for the year starting July 2014 to June 2015. We have also proposed to take on the development of Kannada Wikisource during this year, details of which are available in the implementation plan below.

Performance against Plans edit

During the consultations with the Kannada Wikimedia Community last year, outreach was identified as a major need. Thus CIS-A2K gave maximum priority to organising and conducting Kannada Wikipedia outreach programs. From April 2013 until now, 28 outreach workshops were conducted across Karnataka. Some of these were targeted at bringing in editors from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. For instance, special interest groups like Kannada science writers, bloggers, teachers, etc., were actively trained to contribute to Kannada Wikipedia. To increase public awareness, CIS-A2K ensured greater media visibility of the Kannada Wikipedia in the print and electronic media. There were about 70 mentions in various forms of media during 2013-14.

To address the need to grow diverse and high quality content on Kannada Wikipedia, edit-a-thons were organized during the tenth anniversary of Kannada Wikipedia at National College, Basavanagudi, Bangalore and at Sagara. A significant achievement of CIS-A2K towards content addition was through the Wikipedia Education Program at Christ University. Students added articles on topics of varied nature which included articles on achievers, folk arts of Karnataka and neighboring states, science, places of Karnataka, history of Karnataka and more.

Efforts were also made to address the need for Wikipedia editing training materials in Kannada like Tutorials and KN WP Cheatsheet. On the technical front, a need was expressed to have the most popular Kannada keyboard layout on Kannada Wikipedia, which has now been made available. CIS-A2K's feedback also helped resolve some critical font rendering issues on all Kannada Wikimedia projects. All these efforts have resulted in positive growth of the Kannada Wikipedia project and the community. See the latest quarterly reports here[1],[2]

The tenth anniversary of Kannada Wikipedia was celebrated on 17 November 2013 at National College, Basavanagudi, Bangalore. This was one of the major celebration meetups for the Kannada Wikipedia community in recent years. This ushered in renewed enthusiasm in the existing community and also created a lot of buzz in the media.

One of the significant challenges faced during the last year was in conducting Wikipedia training workshops in small cities and towns. Most of these locations still lack good internet connectivity, computer labs, and stable power supply. Although many people who attended the workshop were keen to learn editing on Wikipedia, the infrastructural challenges did not allow for it. Another important challenge was to engage with the active editors to retain them on Kannada Wikipedia. This consumed a significant amount of resource from the team in the form of time and energy that was not anticipated earlier.

An important learning for the team is not to focus on engineering colleges, while doing outreach. Workshops were conducted at engineering colleges like Sahyadri College of Engineering & Management (SCEM, Mangalore), Shri Madhwa Vadiraja Institute of Technology and Management (SMVIT, Udupi). It was found that although the engineering students were tech savvy and could learn Wiki mark-up very fast, they lacked the necessary motivation and writing skills to contribute significantly to the Kannada Wikipedia.

Though efforts were made to build various institutional partnerships, many of them are yet to come to fruition. CIS-A2K partnered with the Mysore University towards a major Encyclopaedic Content Donation (under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license) that will infuse quality content into Kannada Wikipedia. Some institutional partnerships were not successful and made us realize the risks involved and the newer strategies that we need to adopt henceforth. For example, one major institutional partnership which expected to bring in good content but could not be achieved so far is the partnership with Kannada University, Hampi.

Impact edit

In spite of the challenges we faced, CIS-A2K's efforts at reviving the growth of Kannada Wikipedia have showed positive impact. There is noticeable increase in the number of editors, active editors, and general awareness about Kannada Wikipedia. However, the number of edits and the growth of articles still need to improve considerably.

Tangible Impact edit

Among the goals set, some were partially met and some were exceeded. As pointed out earlier, the growth in the number of articles is still an area of concern. CIS-A2K has devised plans for the next year which will address this.

Parameters Expected target

(by June 30, 2014)

Dream target

(by June 30, 2014)

Actual figure

(As of Jun 2014)

No. of Editors 600 1000 617
No. of New editors 300 700 264
No. of Active editors 50 70 22
No. of Articles 25,000 30,000 17,878
No. of Outreach Events 12 20 34

The growth of Kannada Wikipedia in terms of numbers is evident from the fact sheet. Now there is a more active Kannada Wikipedia community compared to what existed a year ago. The total number of articles went up from 12,900 to 17,878 (June 2014), the number of editors went up from 335 to 617 (June 2014), the number of active editors went up from 18 to 226 (January 2014) and came down to 22 (June 2014), the average number of new articles per day was 3 in 2012 and it was 9 in 2013-14[3]. The Kannada Wikipedia community is also quite active now on social media.

The Wikipedia in UG program, which is nothing but the tailored Wikipedia in Education Program, conducted in collaboration with Christ University, Bangalore, resulted in a lot of articles and new editors on Kannada Wikipedia. Retaining these as active editors will be a difficult task. Writing article on Wikipedia was a compulsory activity for the students. Only a small percentage of these students have realised the importance of writing on Wikipedia and promised to continue editing Wikipedia. A spinoff of the Christ University project is the production of training videos for editing Kannada Wikipedia. This is a huge benefit for the Kannada Wikipedia community which wanted resources on learning editing Kannada Wikipedia.

The table below, which gives year-on-year statistics of the Kannada Wikimedia projects, presents a useful comparative picture that will help highlight the efforts put in by CIS-A2K in catalysing the growth of Kannada Wikipedia.

Wikimedia projects No. of Editors (Jun 2013) No. of Editors (Jun 2014) No. of Active Editors (Jun 2013) No. of Active editors (Jun 2014) No. of Articles/entries (Jun 2013) No. of Articles/entries (Jun 2014) No. of Page views per month (Jun 2014)
Wikipedia 371 617 38 22 14,667 17,878 1,797,467
Wiktionary 47 49 2 3 235,000 250,167 249,740
Wikisource 23 38 0 3 361 1,556 19,664
Wikiquote 9 10 0 1 23 106 15,996

Total number of editors, comparing Jul 2012 - Jun 2013 with Jul 2013 - Jun 2014

Number of new editors, comparing Jul 2012 - Jun 2013 with Jul 2013 - Jun 2014

Number of active editors, comparing Jul 2012 - Jun 2013 with Jul 2013 - Jun 2014

Number of articles, comparing Jul 2012 - Jun 2013 with Jul 2013 - Jun 2014

Note: the sudden increase in the number of editors in Jan 2014 is due to the Christ University partnership.

Intangible Impact edit

Awareness about the Kannada Wikipedia has significantly improved because of CIS-A2K's efforts. There were about 70 articles and reports in the print media about Wikipedia in general and Kannada Wikipedia in particular. There were two radio interviews and one television interview. All these helped in creating awareness about Kannada Wikipedia.

One notable instance is the effect of a panel discussion in Suvarna News TV channel, telecast on 13 June 2013, where a member from CIS-A2K participated. The process of becoming an editor in Kannada Wikipedia was demonstrated in the program. This resulted in about 250 persons registering as new editors in Kannada Wikipedia in the next 24 hours.

The efforts of CIS-A2K have resulted in rejuvenating the community spirit which had not been visible for some time. This has happened by bringing in new editors. Some old editors also have become a little more active again.

Another impact is the creation of a diverse set of editors. The Kannada Wikipedia community includes people from different backgrounds like retired teachers, retired government employees, students, home makers, science writers, bloggers, etc. The age group range of editors of Kannada Wikipedia varies from 13 to 78.

Revisiting the Needs Assessment edit

Detailed analysis of the Kannada Wikipedia, the community and their needs was taken up, and the needs were listed in the 2013-14 plan. Looking back after one year we can say that many of the needs have been fully met, and a few met partially. Some needs like regular follow-up and motivation are permanent in nature. Based on the experience and interactions with the community in the last one year, CIS-A2K has arrived at an understanding of the current needs of the Kannada Wikipedia and the community.

  • Retaining new editors and motivating them - Many first time editors were added to the Kannada Wikipedia during 2013-14. These editors need continued interactions to motivate them. At times they also need help in overcoming some bottlenecks. They have to be guided on using the many tools effectively.
  • Regular meetps - Many new editors were added in one year. Some existing editors who were dormant also became a little more active during last year. All these editors have to be followed up regularly to keep up the tempo. Organising meetups will help grow and sustain the Kannada Wikipedia community. The meetups can be organised at 2-3 important places where there are good number of active editors are present.
  • Continue to bring in new editors - Adding new editors to the Wikipedia is a never ending process. This should be continued year after year. Organising regular outreach programs is one way of achieving this.
  • Content Donation/Release under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license - The process of bringing Kannada content into the public domain was initiated and some success was achieved in this. University of Mysore released first six volumes of Kannada Vishwakosha (encyclopaedia) under CC-BY-SA. There is still a good deal of content available with Universities, Academies, NGOs, institutions which can be brought under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. Some examples are the various encyclopedias published by Kannada University, Hampi, the 25 volume series on Kannada folk-lore by Karnataka University, Dharwad, the monographs on Kannada authors by Karnataka Sahitya Academy, etc.
  • Quality improvement of existing articles - This was mentioned as one of the needs in last year's work plan and is yet to be met. This aspect cannot be ignored and some effort must be put in to achieve this. There are 2 kind of articles which need attention. There are about 7000 articles out of about 17000 total number of articles, which are less than 2kb in size. Then there are many articles which are poorly written. No survey has been done on the exact number of such articles.

Implementation plan edit

Cultivating New Editors edit

Institutional Partnerships (Ongoing) edit

It has been found that partnering with engineering colleges and institutions last year did not produce much result. This year the strategy will be to partner with colleges where they have journalism and communication as a course. These students will be better candidates to write on Wikipedia. SDM College, Ujire and Alvas College, Moodabidre are the colleges where this partnership has been already initiated and will be rolled out. These colleges have students who have come from rural Karnataka and have studied in Kannada medium till high school. Most of them aim to become a journalist in Kannada media. Hence they will be best suited candidate to edit Kannada Wikipedia. More such colleges and institutions will be targeted. The partnership with Christ University will be continued this year also.

Plan: To rope in 2 -3 institutions to make contributing to Wikisource and Wikipedia part of their curriculum. Create awareness about the importance of Wikipedia among the teaching community and involve some faculty in rolling out the Wikipedia in Education Program.

Execution: Carry out initial discussions with the key people from the institutions over phone and email. Visit the place and finalise the partnership. Design the partnership and roll-out.


  1. SDM College, Ujire - There are 29 students studying in the first year and 19 in the second year Master of Communication and Journalism course for the academic year 2013-2104. They will write a minimum of 3 articles in Kannada Wikipedia as part of their internal assessment. This is expected to create 48 new editors and generate about 140-150 articles on the Kannada Wikipedia. The same program is expected to be repeated in the next academic year 2014-2015 and is hoped to bring in about 30 new editors and another 150 articles.
  2. Alvas College, Moodabidre - There are 15 students in the first year Master of Communication and Journalism (MCJ) course. They will participate in hands-on training sessions for editing Wikipedia. The program will be conducted during the academic year 2014-2015. This will create 15 new editors and generate about 30 - 45 articles in Kannada Wikipedia. Based on the kind of feedback we get from the program, we can envisage rolling out a full-fledged Wikipedia Education Program during the next academic year.
  3. Christ University - There are about 500 undergraduate students in the first year and about 300 students in the second year who have opted for Kannada as one of the languages of study. They will be taken through the step by step process of adding content to Kannada Wikisource and Wikipedia. 1st semester students will add just one write-up (copyright free text) to Wikisource. Second semester students will add 4 such write-ups to Wikisource. Copyright free content can be added to Wikisource. These could be the some volumes of Mysore University Kannada Vishwakosha (encyclopaedia) released under CC-BY-SA, very old books, classics like Mahabharata, Vachana Sahitya, Dasa Sahitya, etc. 4th semester students will write one subject-specific article in Kannada Wikipedia. Thus totally it is expected to produce about 2500 write-ups in Kannada Wikisource and about 300 articles on the Kannada Wikipedia. The entire program is expected to bring in about 300 new editors to Kannada Wikisource and Wikipedia.
  4. Tumkur University - There are about 60 students in the MA (English) course here. They will be trained on editing Kannada Wikipedia. They are expected to add about 60 articles to Kannada Wikipedia. These will be mostly about English and western literature.

Institutional Partnerships (Under exploration) edit

Plan: To have partnerships with institutions who are willing to collaborate with CIS-A2K in improving access to and enhancing open knowledge in Kannada via Wikipedia and Wikisource.

Execution: Efforts will be continued to build new institutional partnerships. Many institutions were tried last year such as Karnataka Rajya Vijnana Parishat, Kannada Vaidya Sahithya Parishath, Kannada Iitihasa Academy and some universities. The efforts will be continued with institutions where more pushing is needed like Kannada University, Hampi and with institutes where the efforts to have partnership were not initiated. Some notable institutions are St Aloysius College Mangalore, National College Bangalore, Yuvaraja's College Mysore, Kuvempu University-Shimoga, Karnataka University-Dharward, Manipal University, Ninasam Heggodu, Rangayana Mysore, etc. Association with the Kalike team wherein the trainers of Kalike team were trained on editing Kannada Wikipedia which was initiated last year will be given a push this year to get some fruitful output.

Projection: If successful, these efforts will bring in some useful partners. The output cannot be predicted at this stage.

Teacher Outreach Program edit

Plan: To train teachers on editing Wikipedia.

Execution: CIS-A2K will partner with Education Department of the Karnataka Government and some NGOs like Agastya Foundation, ITforChange, Kalike, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), Puppet House etc. The task will be to identify tech savvy teachers who have access to computers and Internet and train them on editing Wikipedia. These teachers will not only add content to Wikipedia, but they will also train the students in schools where the connectivity and infrastructure is available. They can also bring in content to Wikisource with the help of the students whom they train. This project will be executed as a pilot project with about 25 teachers in the first phase which will be for one academic year in duration.

Projection: About 25 teachers will be trained in Wiki editing who are expected to bring in educational content into Kannada Wikipedia which will be useful to school children. Students trained by these teachers are expected to add copyright-free material to Kannada Wikisource.

Small City Outreach edit

Plan: Outreach programs at Sagar town in the Malnad region have yielded fruitful results. More such places need to be identified.

Execution: Do preliminary research on places which will be suitable for this kind of activity. The parameters to be considered are - good Internet connectivity, presence of Kannada literary groups and regular activities, presence of some good quality educational institutions and presence of at least a few good writers. Active presence of Kannadigas from these places on social media will be an added advantage. Shortlist 3-4 such small cities where such outreach programs can be conducted. Talk to local people, Wikipedians, enthusiastic individuals, and interested organisations. Fix up date, venue and other logistics. Conduct the program. Involve existing active Wikipedians to take part in the event. Do regular follow-up with the participants to make sure they continue to stay motivated.

Projection: Expected to bring in about 75 - 100 new editors to Kannada Wikipedia. An attempt will be made to convert 6-10 of these persons into active editors.

Strengthening Existing Community edit

Meetups for Capacity Building edit

Plan: To have regular interactions among the community members and strengthen the community spirit among the editors of Kannada Wikipedia.

Execution: Have initial discussions over mailing list, village pump and IRC. Decide on the date, time and venue for the events. Organise and facilitate the meetup. It is planned to have at least 3 meetups of members of existing community.

Projection: These efforts in community building will strengthen and enhance the community spirit among Kannada Wikipedians and help them be more active. The meet-ups may also yield some project ideas.

Visibility/Recognition edit

Plan: To have higher visibility for the activities of the Kannada Wikipedia community.

Execution: Information about the activities of the Kannada Wikipedia community will be sent to the media regularly. This will also be done by utilising the social media.

Projection: The benefits or impact are expected to be intangible. It would be difficult to calculate precisely the success of the efforts put in. This was done with noticeable success last year and may yield results this year also.

Content Generation edit

Thematic Projects edit

Plan: Project-based content addition to Kannada Wikipedia.

Execution: Some projects have just been initiated and some are ongoing on the Kannada Wikipedia, viz., Indian cow breeds, Kannada columnists, Kannada women columnists, Karnataka's women achievers. These projects will be given focus and some more project-based content generation will be planned. They will be executed to bring in topic-specific content. The community will be encouraged to contribute to these projects. The list of such projects is available at this page.


  1. About 300 new articles to be created.
  2. Quality improvement of about 50 articles under these themes.

Workshop to Generate Science Articles edit

Plan: Training people to write articles on science subjects on the Kannada Wikipedia.

Execution: A workshop will be organised where budding Kannada science writers will be trained in Kannada science writing for an encyclopaedia. The content generated at the end of the workshop will go into the Kannada Wikipedia. Discussions have been held with some people who have shown interested in volunteering to make this project happen. Sumangala Mummigatti from AIR Bangalore is regularly training enthusiastic young writers, especially college students, on science writing for radio. She has agreed to identify about 20 participants from these who have access to computer and Internet. Established Kannada science writers will train them on Kannada science writing for an encyclopaedia. Then they will be trained on editing Wikipedia. Finally they will write articles for the Kannada Wikipedia.

Projection: This project is expected to create about 20 new editors and about 20 to 40 good Kannada articles on science topics. It is expected that this new set of editors will regularly contribute articles on science topics to the Kannada Wikipedia.

Edit-a-thons edit

Plan: To organise and conduct topic centric or place-centric edit-a-thons. These could be an event of just one or two days or could also run for a longer period like a month or more.

Execution: Discuss with the community over village pump, mailing list and IRC. Arrive at a consensus on the topics and venues. Organise 2-3 such edit-a-thons in one year at regular intervals and at strategic places.

Projection: About 10 editors are expected to take part in each edit-a-thon. These edit-a-thons are expected to bring in about 20-30 new editors and about 40-60 articles. These edit-a-thons will also help in strengthening the existing community.

Policy Efforts edit

Efforts will be made by CIS-A2K to influence the policy making by Govt. of Karnataka. The efforts will be centered around-

  1. Work with other like minded organisations, NGOs and Wikimedia community to submit proposals to govt towards the growth and improvement of open knowledge in Kannada
  2. Requesting govt to release content created by them under CC
  3. Requesting education departments which are under the govt to release the textbooks published by them under CC
  4. Requesting education departments which come under the govt to include Wikipedia in their syllabus

Content Donation/Release under CC License edit

Mysore University Encyclopaedia Project edit

Plan: A2K has already signed an MoU with Mysore University to re-release the university's encyclopaedia under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license, extract the text, convert it to Unicode and bring it into Kannada Wikipedia via Kannada Wikisource.

Execution: The encyclopaedia has 14 volumes. Each has about 300-500 articles. As per the MoU, Mysore University has re-released the first 6 volumes under CC-BY-SA 3.0. Out of these 6 volumes, 4 volumes have been improvised, updated, some new articles added and printed again recently. Soft copies are available for these volumes. It is expected that the other volumes will also be improved and printed again soon. The content extracted will be converted to Unicode encoding and added to Kannada Wikisource. Articles will be created in Kannada Wikipedia using these articles as a base. The work has already started and about 1200 articles have been added to Kannada Wikisource.

Projection: About 1200 articles have been already added to Kannada Wikisource and another 1200 may be added towards the end of the 2014-2015 period.

Content from Other Universities, Academies, Govt departments and Institutions edit

Plan: To get content from Universities, Academies and other Institutions under Creative Commons License.

Execution: Efforts are being done to convince other Universities, Kannada University, Hampy, like Kuvempu University, Shimoga, Karnataka Univeristy Dharwad, many academies of State government such as Karnataka Sahitya Academy and other Institutions like Regional Research Centre, Udupi, to donate the encyclopaedic content they possess and re-release them under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license. Efforts will also be made to get books published by Govt departments released under CC. The efforts started last year and only Mysore University has agreed to donate the content and an MoU has been signed. Efforts to persuade others will continue.

Projection: Since so far no other University, academy or institution has shown very keen interest in this, the final outcome cannot be predicted at this stage.

Bringing Textbooks into Public Domain edit

Plan: To bring the textbooks of primary and secondary schools published by the Education Department of Karnataka State under CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

Execution: Efforts will be made to convince the Education Department to bring the textbooks into public domain. Already there is an example from Kerala State which will be used to persuade the Department of Education of Karnataka State.[4]

Projection: If successful, this will improve Kannada Wikisource and also help grow the Kannada Wikisource as an OER which could benefit thousands of students. This is also one way to invest in the long term growth of the next generation of Kannada Wikimedians.

Goals edit

The A2K team will strive to achieve the following goals for Kannada Wikipedia and Wikisource, in collaboration with the Kannada Wikipedia community during 2014-15.

Kannada Wikipedia

Parameters Expected target Dream target
No. of Editors 1000 1200
No. of New editors 300 500
No. of Active editors 50 80
No. of Articles 20,000 22,000
No. of Outreach Events 12 15

Kannada Wikisource

Parameters Expected target Dream target
No. of Editors 300 500
No. of New editors 310 330
No. of Active editors 20 30
No. of Articles 3,700 4,900
No. of Outreach Events 2 4

Activity-wise break-up of Goals edit

Kannada Wikipedia edit

Activity No. of New Articles No. of Existing Articles Quality Improved No. of New Editors No. of New Active Editors No. of Events No. of Partnerships built (Institutions/Groups)
Institutional Partnerships 880-1020 20-80 400-450 5-15 6-8 4
Outreach events 190-210 10-20 75-100 5-10 4-6
Science writers workshop 20-40 20 20

2-5 1
Mysore University 1200 - 2400 40

2-4 1
Thematic Projects 250-300 30-50
Total 2540-3970 80-170 535-610 14-34 11-15 4

Kannada Wikisource edit

Activity No. of Items Donated No. of New Articles No. of Events No. of Institutional Partnerships
Christ University 2500 2 1
Encyclopaedia donation (Mysore University) 6 volumes 1200-2400 1
Total 6 3700-4900 2 2

Budget edit

Expenditure Item FDC Support (INR) FDC Support in US$ Other Sources and in kind support (INR) Other Sources and in kind support (US$)
1 PM x 50% & 480,000/- 7,766.79 - -
1 PD x 10% && 144,000/- 2,330.04 81,600/- 1,320.35
Travel and Stay &&& 100,000/- 1,618.08 100,000/- 1,618.08
Volunteer Support 100,000/- 1,618.08 50,000/- 809.04
Events/Meet-ups/Workshops 100,000/- 1,618.08 150,000/- 2,427.12
Digitisation costs 100,000/- 1,618.08 150,000/- 2,427.12
Consumables/Printing/Stationery/Swag 20,000/- 323.62 - -
Miscellaneous 5,000/- 80.09 - -
Total 1,049,000/- 16,973.67 531,600/- 8,601.72

& 50% of Dr. U.B. Pavanaja's time as Program Manager at CIS-A2K, 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

List of Contributors edit

The following Kannada Wikipedians have contributed in making this work plan-

  1. Srinidhi T G
  2. Sridhara T S
  3. Nagesh Hegde

References edit