Hello Vishnu

You seem to be getting awfully defensive in the beginning.

On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM, Vishnu t <visdav...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Srikanth,
> On 8 February 2013 18:56, Srikanth Ramakrishnan <parakara.gh...@gmail.com>
>  wrote:
>> Vishnu, thanks for responding.  Would you or someone from CIS help me
>> understand the rationale for selecting two individuals affiliated with
>> CSCS which is also affiliated with CIS?
> First about my affiliation: I am not sure what you mean by affiliation.
> Technically I am no more affiliated to CSCS for the past 5 years. But
> intellectually I have friends and associates, because of my stint there
> from 2002-07. I am unable to see if this is in any way problematic. If it
> is, I am quite perplexed because I have intellectual connections with
> faculty/departments in nearly 20 Universities to where I would like to
> Wiki-movement. Or are you suggesting that there is some deep conspiracy to
> select ONLY because I was affiliated to CSCS? I personally believe not. But
> it would be nice to hear the interview panel (especially those representing
> the Community and Chapter) come in on this. On the other hand I am quite
> happy to showcase my work at CSCS which gave me an exposure to the debates
> and challenges of Indian Languages in Higher Education and Research.
> Similarly my role at SRTT over the past 5 years equipped me other
> intellectual capacities. Not sure, if I was able to address your concern,
> but I would encourage you further clarify, so that we have a closure on
> this.

Allow me to help. First, here's what Affiliation means[1]. If it helps
let's call it association.

You mention in the second line, that you haven't been affiliated to CSCS
for the past 5 years, implying that you were before then. BTW what is CSCS?
I don't know what you mean by "where I would like to Wiki-movement" it
sounds oddly coprophilic. :P

I believe Srikanth might indeed be suggesting the latter - a conspiracy!
(with dramatic music even)

> Second about Tejaswini's affiliation: She is the founding director and
> will continue to be with CSCS. But what I think we should note is that she
> and other faculty because of their work brought whatever image CSCS has not
> that CSCS as an organization (which is impossible to think without the 5
> people, esp. Dr. Niranjana) has given her credibility. It is her
> intellectual capacities that  I personally see adding value to our movement
> and plans than just her 'affiliation' to CSCS. By the way she is also
> affiliated to half a dozen other institutions. Even in her case I am not
> able to see why 'affiliation' becomes a problem. Again, I think someone
> from the interview panel should come in on this and clarify whether it is
> her affiliation to CSCS or intellectual and professional expertise and
> experience that weighed on their recommendation.

I don't know about any of these individuals, I barely know CIS to begin
with. I however know Wikimedia and the world that you might be associating
with. Both Ms. Tejaswini and you, are prior colleague and your organization
had long term association with the one that just hired you. I think the
line of questioning is fair, even though these associations are becoming
more and more common these days in the same circle.

> About CIS having affiliation to CSCS. Yes they did, I think, currently
> they don't and in future they may or whatever. So what? I am afraid I do
> not see the need to explain/see this as THE RATIONALE which drove either
> CIS or rather the interview panel in recommending the candidates. It looks
> to me, Srikanth, that you are trying to connect dots to see something,
> which at least I personally believe is not the case in the first place.

So basically, you just admitted that there is affiliation between the
organization that hired you and the one you worked for? to go further, your
colleague will be joining you as an advisor. I don't see why you denied it
or questioned Srikanth's assumption in the first place - most of them hold
true by your own admissions.

About the need to explain, I think you did a good job above. In fact, that
explanation is quite lengthy if you meant to imply, you don't see a need
for it, it might not have worked.

>> I don't mean to question the
>> credentials of either you or Ms Tejaswini,
> Thanks Srikanth, but I feel you have already done the contrary above and I
> will not be honest if I say I am not hurt, especially when you trivialize a
> senior academician like Dr. Niranjana's getting associated to the
> Wiki-movement in India. If I were part of the interview panel, at least I
> would take severe exception to your mail.

hmm....double negative, so I'm guessing you meant you are hurt? You could
have just stated that. I don't realize why you would take exception to a
fair and apparently a viable assumption. I don't know you and I don't know
Dr. Niranjana, try and understand "Wiki-movement in India" doesn't have any
relation with you, in fact, it barely knows you. I barely know CIS, the
organization that hired you. If there is an older link that might have
conflict of interest in this hiring, I believe it should have been

If you have any problem with srikanth asking this question, please assume
they are coming from me now on. This might be how CIS works, but we care
for COI and something like this should have been disclosed first.

> however, was there a need
>> felt for the inclusion of an additional consultant whilst there are
>> already four other members in the CIS Delhi Office (previously WMF
>> India Programs)?
> I think, I see your point about A2K teams' workload and I am sure my
> colleagues will be reading this. However, if I were you, I would see
> Adviser as part of the solution than as problem itself. Mainly because the
> Adviser will not do the job of any of the A2K team member (who by the way
> is 3 after Shiju left us). If I understand the logic (from my experience in
> the not for profit and academic sectors) Advisers generally increase a
> team's work exponentially, because they throw ideas, opportunities, plans
> at the team to make them achieve the Goals and also check, criticize,
> mentor, etc. them. Not sure why you get an impression that she will do the
> teams' job. But probably the interview panel could throw more light on
> their 'rationale' for recommending her as an Adviser. At my level I can
> tell you that in the last 7 days of her coming in, she has given the team a
> lot to think and do.

You are probably missing an year and a half of context. The problem with
your predecessor and the previous direction has been criticized, not just
by some people on the list, but several Wikipedians abroad, even in an
official report, for not having enough experienced Wikimedians on hand. Add
to that your hiring, and your advisor, it is odd how 2 people who barely
know about Wikipedia will be leading a team that has been criticized for
not having enough experience and exposure in the first place.

Either way, I would love to know what some of the "ideas, opportunities and
plans" that have been "thrown" in the last few days, because I don't know
if either of you have a Wiki account yet or what it is, or how much
exposure you've had to this world before you lead it.

> Do you feel that the current workload on the rest of
>> the team justifies the hiring of an additional consultant?
>> Same as above para.
>> Furthermore, based on my discussions with other members oft he
>> community there appears to be some confusion on the amount of WMF
>> grant quoted in your email above, that is, INR 2.6 crores [~USD 488,000].
>>  If I recall correctly, the grant
>> amount sanctioned by the WMF for CIS's A2k programme stands at INR 1.1
>> crores [~USD 206,000] with the possibility of further support from the
>> FDC through a
>> separate grant request.
> Srikanth, here again we are getting misled by the way we are interpreting
> the terms. Sanctioning a Grant does not mean releasing/disbursing a grant.
> I have in my earlier capacity sanctioned many grants and there are
> instances where you do not end up releasing/disbursing the entire amount
> and typically you set various milestones for the release of installments.
> But the Grant letter says you are sanctioned a grant of X amount of which
> X-y will be sanctioned initially and after review, etc the balance amount
> of X-z will be released. Thus CIS has been sanctioned INR 2.6 crores of
> which INR 1.1 is released. Trust this clarifies.

Oh thank you for explaining the grants system. Again, perhaps people here
might be just a bit more familiar with Wikimedia grant system and basing
their questions on that rather than the one you might have followed.

> As far as my understanding goes, this support
>> is provisional
>  No it is not provisional. As far as I know no agency releases grant
> provisionally.

Actually, you might be wrong, by your own explanation it means it is
provisional, as in conditional, and contingent upon further review, or
crossing of a milestone.

> Though I was upset reading your mail initially, I should thank you for
> being forthright Srikanth, which gave an opportunity to be clear and open
> about what is happening with the A2K team. Anything further do get back. I
> can also be reached on my mobile +91-9845207308 if in case any one of you
> is comfortable talking one on one.

Yes, the Y2K team has a lot of work ahead.


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