There are only eight days to go for WikiConference India 2011, the first national conference of its kind in India aimed at creating a platform for Wikimedians (volunteers engaged in creating and editing content for all Wikimedia projects, including Wikipedia) from across the country to enter into a dialogue about the future of the online encyclopaedia in India, especially its Indian language counterparts.
Interest in this purely volunteer-driven activity can be gauged from the number of scholarship applications that arrived for assistance to attend the conference which will take place at the Fort campus of University of Mumbai. A total of 7,070 applications were received and nearly 100 candidates were selected based on their level of contribution to Wikimedia projects.
However, even though the conference is being held in Mumbai, the current lack of awareness about Indian language Wikipedias in western India has seen just over 15% of application awards go to this region, principally Gujarat and Maharashtra.
“Within this we have a very strong presence from Pune, including a focused community working on the Marathi language Wikipedia,” said Vickram Krishna, head of the scholarship committee for the conference. He added that over 18% of scholarship applications came from the north, and 13% from the eastern region. The largest number of scholarship-awarded participants came from south, a total of 50%.
WikiConference India will be held between November 18 and November 20. To register as a participant, visit bit.ly/wci11.