Hi Theo,

I think the historical context you put the Ahmedabad group in is
fascinating, but imputing the creation of the proposed group to yet another
WMF-led half-baked initiative is unfair.

Wikimedia User Groups are finally getting off the ground; while the page
might contain edits from me, it is considered official. There have
been hiccups with getting trademarks sorted out but the first serious user
group proposed is actually the meetup group of Munich, fully supported by
Wikimedia DE in their attempt to get recognized. (See the WM DE
chapter-created newsletter:

User groups are meant to be created and recognized quickly (speed of the
process will improve as we go on), perhaps even the 1-month timeframe might
be considered too long if there are no complications; the model is an easy
and not too risky way to empower a group who wants to conduct _offline_
activities (the reasons you don't see the hundreds of on-wiki Wikiprojects
applying for this status is that they are not eligible).

MediaWiki Groups are indeed a very new concept, but as they fit relatively
well into the Wikimedia User Group model, which is overseen by a volunteer
committee incidentally, it was agreed that it is better to have it
integrated and approved by the volunteer Affiliations Committee.

As for the Indian SIG model, it is understandably specific to the Indian
chapter. The reason it is being considered is because Wikimedia
organizations should be good neighbours, and the creation of new ones
should be a carefully considered step. However, it might be that the final
recommended best course of action is to 1) make the proposed group merely a
SIG in this local context 2) make it only a MediaWiki Group 3) make it into
both 4) continue this discussion in a way that the people behind the group
simply give up and the problem vanishes.
In considering the best way forward, one needs to consider the requirements
of setting up a SIG (which requires Wikimedia India membership, and certain
other unknown steps that are currently described on the closed members wiki
of Wikimedia India – with a promise to make them public), an MG (which are
described on the linked pages, but boil down to having at least three
interested people with a common goal to do something offline and support
from the relevant community(ies)) – my guess is that not counting prolonged
discussions like this, the MG process is quicker so a reasonable final
action plan would include first getting this status and then being
recognized as an SIG, if option 3 above was the method chosen by the group.

Best regards,
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