Hi Nikhil,

Thank you for your detailed comments. I agree with you that there is a
need for our kids to be internationally relevant and I respect your
inclusionist approach. There are a few points to make:

Firstly, your contention that India-specific information is available
all around is a falllacy. I can find more information easily about the
Bastille than I can about Shaniwarwada.

Secondly, prima facie, all the articles are not necessarily relevant,
there appears to be some ad hocism here also.
For example, I cannot understand why this article was added Apaochi
but no Kublai Khan.
Similarly the chosen article "caveman" really sucks. They should have
added "Human evolution" instead.
I understand this kindof curating involves tremendous amount of work.
I'm also criticising post-event which is so easy to do. But my point
is, they have a wonderful first version - but its exactly that, as far
as choice & development is concerned - a first version, which can be

Secondly, the plan is to go over our class text books from 3rd to 10th
and check that every important subject is included which the children
would have questions about. Also important topics from our culture,
environment, current affairs, etc are added which they may want to ask

Thirdly, space will be a constraint if the encyclopedia is to be on
one DVD only so that some items would have to be excluded to make way
for the new ones. Also, why retain articles like Boadecia or
Elizabethan Poor Law which more than 95% Indians will never have come
across or never will?

Fourthly, Indic language Wikipedias are more likely to have topics of
Indian interest and very few about the rest of the world. Too many
articles outside our milieu will result in our inability to gather
enough articles in that language for an offline Wikipedia.

This task of mine will take quite some time. I plan to ask domain
experts in both the teaching of children and the subject matters to
help us select appropriate articles.

I agree that there should be an international edition too. But I feel
there is tremendous scope for improvement on this version to achieve
that goal also. If the encyclopaedia is actually to be made relevant
to the world than there is a huge amount of critical examination of
articles to be done and then articles added, expanded, rewritten,
improved etc. Just making a good choice of articles to compile an
encyclopedia is not enough, even on English Wikipedia. Let the
Universal edition be another fork on which interested parties may

To conclude, I do not take it as a given that every thing is hunky
dorey. Without meaning disrespect for the absolutely wonderful work
and colossal efforts put in by the SOS Children's village Wikipedia
team, I personally would like to tweak it so as to suit the Indian
palate. I too am part of the world movement but I consider it a glocal
one, not a global one. At this point of the time, I'm looking at how
to make the world relevant to our locality.

Respectfully, AshLin

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 6:20 PM, Nikhil Sheth <nikhil...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ashwin,
> Thanks, but with all due respect, I have a few doubts and concerns. I've
> shared them on the talk page.
> http://wikimedia.in/wiki/Talk:Wikipedia_for_Schools_-_Indian_version
> Cheers,
> Nikhil Sheth
> +91-966-583-1250
> Pune, India
> Teach For India Fellow, 2011-13
> www.nikhilsheth.tk
> Find me on: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Google | RangDe
> Join me on: Pune Documentary Club | Let's Do it Pune | Toastmasters in Pune
> | Wikipedia For Schools project
> On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 5:15 PM, Ashwin Baindur <ashwin.bain...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Nikhil,
>> You had ported an English Wikipedia for Schools to the portable ZIM
>> file format for distribution. However that edition consists of
>> articles selected for the Western milieu by SOS Children's Village
>> Project. It needs tweaking to be relevant to our environment. Plus, we
>> will need to collect equivalent sets for each Indian Language.
>> Probably, some wikipedias may not have equivalent inter-wikis and will
>> need fresh articles written for them.
>> I have begun listing the articles of the SOS version of Wikipedia for
>> Schools ( I have the torrent/html version). Once we have listed them
>> all, we'll customise it for India. It's begun on Wikimedia India as a
>> Project by me. Find it here :
>> http://wikimedia.in/wiki/Wikipedia_for_Schools_-_Indian_version
>> Warm regards,
>> Ashwin Baindur
>> ------------------------------------------------------

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