Ahmednagar — Marathi Wikipedia Workshop

Posted by Tanveer Hasan at Mar 18, 2013 10:50 AM |
Wikipedia Community members helped the Higher Education Innovation and Research Applications Programme (HEIRA), CSCS Bangalore organize a day-long workshop on ‘Digital Literacy’ at Ahmednagar College, Ahmednagar, Maharasthra on January 17, 2013. Tanveer Hasan of HEIRA shares with us the developments in this report.

Ahmednagar College is one of the participant colleges in the ‘Pathways to Higher Education’ programme anchored by HEIRA, and run in collaboration with CIS. This programme works closely with undergraduate students in three states to address the problem of quality of access to higher education. The focus of the programme is on inculcating critical and analytical skills which play a very important role in gaining access to knowledge.

The Wikipedia workshop in Marathi held at the Ahmednagar College intended to introduce the students to the concepts of open and free sources of knowledge, and encourage active Marathi editors to edit and populate the Marathi Wikipedia domain.

Yogesh Khandke was representing the Wikipedia community. He started off by explaining the five pillars of Wikipedia, the copyright issues and the importance of references and citations. As most of the students were new to the concepts of both editing and knowledge production, we faced a few problems in the beginning. Since the IP addresses were already cleared for multiple registrations we did not face that particular problem.

The students were asked to come up with material and information that they would want to add to the Marathi Wikipedia domain. We conducted a group activity where the groups exchanged the information they were planning to use. These groups researched, proof read and added to the information collected by their friends. We had stressed that all the information needed to be cited from a reliable source and must have a clear reference. Hence, a lot of unnecessary and opinionated information was cleared at the first level itself.

The hands-on editing session proved to be challenging as most of the students did not know how to type in Marathi and ended up using phonetic keyboards. The session ended with all the students having been registered as Wikipedia editors and most of the groups were successful in editing. A couple of groups created new pages as well.

Yogesh Khandke was of immense help and he was ably supported by Nagesh Shelake, Dept. of Sociology, New Arts and Science College, Ahmednagar.

A special thanks to Dr. S.B Iyyer, Department of Physics, Ahmednagar College and Coordinator of Pathways Cell, and Raikwad, Department of Commerce and Assistant Coordinator of Pathways Cell.