Another mention. This one is in the Sakaal Times and has the pic of the
*Sakaal Times : Wiki zeroes in on Pune for India pilot programme*
*PUNE*: Wikipedia is all set to roll out its ‘India education programme’ in
the country with Pune being chosen as preferred location for pilot launch.
A group of 22 volunteers, referred as ‘campus ambassadors,’ completed their
formal training here on Sunday and will be reaching out to local campuses
beginning from coming academic year.
The world’s largest online encyclopaedia is of the view that information
about India and those contributed from Indians is not adequately represented
on Wikipedia, and filling this void is the main aim behind this initiative.
To achieve this, Wikipedia has planned to rope in academic community,
involving college teachers and students, who will be contributing in terms
of rich contents with the support from 'campus ambassadors'.
“College students undergo lot of written assignments, some of which would be
replaced by writing articles for Wikipedia. To this end, we will work with
professors and teachers through campus ambassadors to identify potential
articles on Wikipedia that can be created or improved through classwork,”
said *Frank Schulenburg*, head of Public Outreach of Wikimedia, a nonprofit
organisation that operates Wikipedia.
To a query, he said that Pune is one of the vital educational hub in India,
making it an ideal place to engage a diverse group of campus ambassadors,
and hence chosen for pilot launch.
A mix of students as well as young and experienced professionals comprises
group of 22 ‘campus ambassadors,’ some of which are based in Pune while
others hail from different cities across India.
These volunteers will provide face-to-face support to students on how to
edit Wikipedia, work with teachers to incorporate Wikipedia assignments into
classrooms, help recruit new contributors on campuses, and participate in
real life activities in support of 'free knowledge'.
*Hishan Mundol*, who is leading 'India education programme' told Sakal Times
that several leading educational institutions from in and around Pune have
shown deep interest in becoming the part of Wikipedia initiative.
“India education programme is going to benefit immensely students and
institutions alike. While student will hone skills like research, critical
thinking, writing and collaboration due to Wikipedia initiative,
institutions will achieve academic excellence to stand out from others,” he
told Sakal Times.
*Ram Yadav*, an IT professional and Sagar Makode, who is pursuing MBA from
University of Pune, both who are campus ambassadors, felt that
volunteering for ‘India education programme’ was something returning to
Wikipedia, which has been freely sharing in the sum of all knowledge.
The online encyclopaedia is of the view that info about India and that
contributed from Indians is not adequately represented on Wikipedia. It
wants to fill this void through this initiative.
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM, CherianTinu Abraham
> *The Hindu : "Wikimedia Foundation launches Campus Ambassadors Program in
> *First city outside the U.S. and first in India to host it*
> *The Wikimedia Foundation launched its Campus Ambassadors Program here on
> Sunday, making Pune the first city in India and the first city outside the
> United States, to host the Program. Part of the ‘India Education Program,'
> the 22 Campus Ambassadors will be working towards promoting Wikipedia as a
> tool in education across institutes here.*
> *Speaking about the choice of Pune for the Program, Hisham Mundol of the
> Foundation's India Programs said, “Pune has a strong heritage in education
> and a huge student body. So when we thought of piloting the Program in
> India, we knew we had to target the centre.”*
> *Sharing the reason for choosing India, Frank Schulenburg, Head of Public
> Outreach at the Wikimedia Foundation, said: “We need a lot more writers from
> India, and a lot about India needs to be written. This is why we sensed the
> biggest global opportunity in India.”*
> *The Foundation's aim was also to increase the number of Indic language
> pages in India. Pune, having a diverse population mix, could help in that
> aspect as well, Mr. Mundol said.*
> *The Program would encourage the use of Wikipedia in colleges. The Campus
> Ambassadors would form a network of students and professors in the city and
> train them to write and edit articles on Wikipedia, thus increasing the
> academic value. One of the main aims, Mr. Mundol said, was also to get
> professors to give assignments in the form of writing Wikipedia articles.
> “This will enhance research and critical writing skills in students.”*
> *The U.S. experience*
> *Talking about the experience in the U.S., Mr. Shulenburg said, “We have
> experienced that the quality of classwork gets very high when Wikipedia is
> used as an education tool. The level of motivation is very ,” said Mr.
> Tinu Cherian
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