This is a letter to all Indian editors of the English Wikipedia requesting
discussion, cooperation and help.

Recently I was asked to give a three to four minute presentation on the
state of WikiProject India on English Wikipedia for the session on state of
Indic Wikipedias at the recently concluded WikiConference in Mumbai. At
first I thought nothing about the matter, but as I was compiling the
report, I came across statistics which would horrify any of us.

To begin with, as of time of writing this post, WikiProject India has a
total of 90,021 articles. This is a very large number and second only to
Hindi Wikipedia's 100,588 articles. Since all these English articles cover
only India or some aspect of its geography, history, culture or its people,
this set of 90,000+ articles is important to all Indians, representing the
largest core of knowledge about India on any Wikipedia project.

But all of this is not high quality stuff. User:Svick on English Wikipedia
provides a useful service to WikProjects on English Wikipedia. He provides
a WikiProject-wise listing of articles which have improvement tags such as
{{unreferenced}}, {{cleanup}}, {{copyedit}} and so on. In his report for
WikiProject India, at the following url:

you will find that of the 79435 articles in this project which were
assessed by Svick, a total of 52077 articles or 65.6 % are marked for
cleanup, with 86271 issues in total. These are tagged with 82 different
types of tags, the most populous being :

* Articles with unsourced statements (6815)
* Articles lacking reliable references (1989)
* Articles needing additional references (4840)
* Articles lacking sources (8970)
* BLP articles lacking sources (1297)
* Articles needing cleanup (2751)
* Articles containing potentially dated statements (9317)
* All articles needing coordinates (14571)
* Articles to be expanded (1020)

Besides this, there are 40,338 articles unassessed for importance and
20,527 for quality, making a backlog of 60,865 assessments.

In addition, of the 90,000+ articles, there are 43,843 stubs and 10,986
start class articles. All these need to be developed in time also.

Besides these are a very large number of cryptic articles, articles
pertaining to India but not tagged on the talk page with the WikiProject
banner. The articles themselves sometimes need more cleanup tags than are
marked at present.

You may have read Sven Manguard's special opinion editorial in the Signpost
some time ago

wherein he has drawn attention to the hundreds of thousands of articles
needing cleanup and improvement on Wikipedia as a whole.  That is exactly
the issue with WikiProject India, as of now.

To me it appears that - Something needs to be done URGENTLY.

My own suggestion is that this can easily be tackled if all of us do a
little bit every day. Many hands make light work. There are about 450
active editors listed on the WikiProject members page. If each of us
decided to do just one cleanup task each day, then we can do away with
1,64,500 odd problems in a year. Over time, these issues will fall to
negligible levels.

Please reply to this thread with your views. Firstly, do you agree with me.
Is there a problem or am I sensationalising the case? What exactly are the
issues and how do we resolve them. Can we as Indians rise to the challenge
and bring down these backlogs to manageable levels. Please  give us any
ideas, inputs, insights or critiques that may occur to you.

Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur
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