cross-posting pan India (apologies if you got/get this through other mailing lists.)
I'm really pleased to send out this email welcoming the first 2 new members of the
India Programs team. Just before I introduce them, I thought I'd share with you the
background of their selection.
As you might be aware, the Foundation had decided to undertake a catalyst operation in
India to promote the growth of the community and projects here. The team is expected to
be a small, nimble 5 person group. We had put out 2 job postings - for Indic Initiatives
and for Participation. (Please refer:
) We posted
them on linkedin and on the Indian FOSS community list as well as announcing them on
various Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
The response was wonderful. >110 applications for Indic Initiatives and nearly 175
applications for Participation. These were short-listed to 10 (3 for Indic Language and 7
for Participation.) These were a mix of existing & previous Wikipedians, Wikipedia
newbies and open source advocates.
In June, the shortlisted 10 were interviewed and further down-selected to 4. These 4 were
then further interviewed by a group of other staff members from the Foundation. I am
pleased to inform the community of the final selected 2.
Shiju Alex - Indic Initiatives
Most of you already know Shiju. For those who don't, Shiju is a long-time Wikipedian
[User: shijualex] and is active on Malayalam Wikipedia, English wikiprojects and Wikimedia
Commons, as well as Wikisource and offline. He has been passionately involved with the
establishing and building of Indic language Wikipedias. He's participated in a series
of outreach activities and is also (jointly) undertaking a grant from the Foundation for
outreach across India. He's a regular member of the Bangalore community.
Shiju is from Palakkad, Kerala and is married with a 2 year old baby. He currently works
as a Senior Technical Writer with ABB in Bangalore.
Even those of you who know him might not know the following 2 things that I was lucky to
discover during the selection process. Shiju is an MSc in Physics with a specialisation
in Astronomy and Astrophysics - and he retains a deep interest in anything astronomical.
Feel free to quiz him vigorously on this! He also enjoys trekking and misses his time in
Pune where he could be up & close the gorgeous Sahyadri Hills.
Shiju is going to lead our work on promoting Indic language projects across India. The
challenges are enormous - from technical constraints to low levels of awareness of these
projects to vibrant but nascent communities. However, these only point to the massive
size of the opportunity for Indic language projects - which is the joint top-2 strategic
priority of the movement in India. After he joins, he'll collaboratively put together
a plan for Indic language projects and work towards quality execution of high-impact
Shiju is currently serving out his notice period so will be able to join us only around
September - October.
Nitika Tandon - Participation
Nitika [User:nitika.t] is relatively newer to the community - and has been brushing up her
editing. She's been immersing herself in the Wikimedia world and attended community
meet-ups as well as reviews of the Wikipedia India Education Program. She is from Delhi -
and is currently based in Mumbai - where she works as a Strategic Partnerships Manager
with Directi. (If you're not aware, they are one of the most prominent internet domain
& solutions providers in India.)
Nitika has an MBA and has also worked on research analytics. A fascinating detail I
discovered about a previous assignment of hers - and you must ask her about it - is how
African drums can be used for management coaching! She also reliably informs me that
there are 7 Spanish dance forms and she instructs in all of them!
Nitika is going to be working on Participation - which is primarily focussed on increasing
the contributor base of non-Indic language projects, primarily Wikipedia. One of her
first tasks will be to expand the Wikipedia India Education Program from the Pune pilot to
a more national footprint. She'll also work on other initiatives to promote
participation - and I can foresee Wikimedia Commons being a potential initiative.
Nitika will join us on August 1st.
I'm going to be scheduling the August Monthly India Programs IRC on Thursday August
18th to introduce them both to you. Please do join us. I'll send a reminder closer
to the date. Also, needless to say, they'll be attending a series of community
meet-ups over the next months.
In the meantime, please do join me in welcoming them onboard. I'm really excited
because this means that we will now have the capacity and capability to dramatically
accelerate our activities in India.
Wikimedia India Programs
skype : hisham.wikimedia
gtalk : hmundol(a)wikimedia.org
twitter : @mundol
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