Fantastic to hear, Hisham. Congratulations! Couldn't be happier with
the choice of initial trustees. Good luck!

Thank you.



On 11 November 2011 09:55, Hisham <> wrote:
> Hi Folks,
> I'm writing to share an update with you on certain developments of relevance
> to the Wikimedia movement in India.
> Announcement of Wikimedia India Program Trust
> For some time, efforts have gone into creating an organization that would
> provide an appropriate structure to support Wikimedia program activities in
> India.  Aspects such as the current regulatory framework (regarding funding,
> taxation, etc.) as well as the legal protection for the India team have been
> considered to determine this structure. In this context, a host of options
> (e.g. subsidiary, branch, Section 25) were evaluated and a determination was
> made towards an independent non-profit public trust. Legal advice has been
> taken at every stage in this decision.
> A new entity, the “Wikimedia India Program Trust”, has now been formed and
> registered (in Delhi.) This will be the organization that will eventually
> drive India programs and house the team in India.
> Why an Independent Public Trust?
> The Trust will provide an effective vehicle within India to marshal
> resources to support programs and partner with local institutions. The
> objective of the Trust is to promote the objectives of the Wikimedia
> movement and work closely with the Wikimedia community on various projects
> with an India focus. It is important to understand that the Trust will not
> have any editorial control over content on any of the Wikimedia projects.
> The Trust is a not for profit organization.
> Introduction of Trustees
> Trustees have been identified based upon their support for Wikimedia
> movement's principles and plans in addition to having reputations for good
> governance and management.
> Sunil Abraham and Rahul Matthan have been requested to be the initial
> Trustees.  Both are friends of Wikipedia and have extensive experience.
> Sunil is Executive Director of the Centre for Internet & Society (CIS), is a
> long term advocate of free software and IP reform and has been supporting
> the Wikimedia community and movement for some time now.
> Rahul is a partner and heads the technology practice at Trilegal. He brings
> deep expertise and relationships that will be valuable for the Trust.
> These initial Trustees will serve for a term of three years at the maximum.
> All additional or subsequent Trustees will serve on rotation in accordance
> with a trustee selection plan that will be prepared.
> Trustees will not be compensated for their services.
> Governance, Funding, Financial Standards & Communications of the Trust
> The Trust will be governed by Trustees who will provide oversight and
> guidance regarding the operations and governance of the Trust.
> Since the Trust is an independent organization, it will require funding for
> its operations which is in compliance with the legal and regulatory
> framework in India. It will seek funding from private donors within India as
> well as external sources.
> The Trust has the support of the Wikimedia Foundation which is a United
> States based non-profit foundation. However, in India all non-profit
> organizations need to be in existence for 3 years before they can receive
> funding from sources outside India. In the interim, they can apply for
> prior-permission under the FCRA regulations to help expedite the process. As
> a result, the Trust will shortly be applying for approval to receive funds
> from the Wikimedia Foundation in the future.
> As a Trust, we are required to have an independent external auditor. We have
> appointed KPMG. KPMG is experienced in auditing non-profit companies and are
> also auditors for the Wikimedia Foundation.
> Annually, the Trust will publicly disclose it's independently audited
> financial statements.
> The Trust will publish a monthly newsletter outlining its current activities
> and future plans. This will commence in December 2011.
> Operations of the Trust
> The trust deed under which the Trust must operate clearly states that the
> purpose of the Trust is to independently promote the growth of volunteer
> activities within India in support of effective and unrestricted
> dissemination of free knowledge to the public.
> I will serve as the Executive Director of the Trust. Once it is possible,
> additional employees will be brought on to the Trust
> The Trust will eventually have an office in Delhi.
> In the interim, I have personally secured temporary office space to
> facilitate establishing the Trust and its mission. It is located at Top
> Floor, G-15, Hauz Khas, New Delhi - 110 016. It's a couple of minutes walk
> away from IIT Flyover and Hauz Khas Metro. Do drop in! It's a small but cozy
> place and we'd love to have you over!
> Conclusion
> We continue to make progress in setting up program activities to support the
> growth of Wikimedia in India. We have a long way to go, but are glad that we
> are starting to build a solid foundation.
> The following link is for FAQs on this (and related)
> topics:
> As always, do reach out if you have any comments or questions.
> Warm Regards,
> hisham
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