Wikimedia to open India operation, soon

CIOL Bureau
New Update

BANGALORE, INDIA: Wikimedia Foundation, the owners of Wikipedia, are looking at opening their operations in the country. This would be the first Wikimedia center outside USA. The Indian team will be responsible for strategic planning and understanding of the projects for Wikimedia.


Speaking to CIOL, Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, founder of Wikimedia Foundation, said, “We have Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization, which is the umbrella organization for all global movements. We are looking at opening an office in India for the first time; it would be the first operations outside the US. Right now we are reviewing the location, but we should have the office within the next few months.”

He added, “Initially this would be a small room including 2-4 people, serving local community and working with local volunteers for identifying and solving their issues. These issues could be related to technical support, software updates, barriers for editing, PR support like reaching the media. But the pilot would be with finding out the problems.”

Commenting on why India, Wales said, “For Wikimedia, going multilingual and sharing content for all the languages is the way forward. We looked at various regions before choosing India, like Europe and Africa. Keeping the policy in mind, while Europe looked more than ready, Africa faced basic issues (technology, literacy rates) making us wonder where to start from. India was in the middle of the two extremes. We already have a successful community, the protocol was ready, it is a growth region and I also like the enthusiasm in the country.”


Recently there were some complaints about foreigners editing its India content.

Wales informed that Wikimedia runs a local chapter in India called Wikimedia India. According to the information shared ( ), it is the 29th chapter and was formally approved by the Chapters Committee in June 2010.

According to Wales, one of the most successful ways of spreading information about Wikipedia has been through collaborating with the academia by encouraging the faculty and students.

He said,“The German community tried this first, by conducting Wikimedia academy with global universities. It helped in building high quality Wikipedia by involving the faculty and editors to contribute for it. We are planing to replicate this in India.”