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Warm regards,

Ashwin Baindur

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ashwin Baindur <>
Date: Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 7:39 PM
Subject: Announcing - WikiProject Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools
To: WikiProject India mailing list <>


(WikiProject Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools)

Dear friends,

This is to announce the beginning of a new project for WikiProject India - WikiProject Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools (OWIS). For quite some time now, there has been a need for an offline wikipedia compilation suitable to Indian schools. There are, and have always been, a whole lot of Indian schools and students out there who do not have access to an English encyclopedia. The web has killed off a whole range of printed encyclopedias and factbooks besides paid encyclopedia packages such as Encarta. If the school does not provide wide-spread, regular and dependable access to the web. then the students have zilch. So, keeping in mind that English Wikipedia has been around for more than a decade and has more than enough material for an encyclopedia, we began this project so that all interested people could pitch in and collectively prepare such offline compilations which are the need of the hour.

About the Wikiproject

To do this, we began a new WikiProject in English Wikipedia, daughter to WikiProject India. Titled WikiProject Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools (OWIS), it is intended to be the umbrella WikiProject for all Indian versions of offline English language wikipedias for students and communities. The WikiProject will concentrate on content issues and leave the production to a team of technically oriented guys from the community (to be decided later).

You can read about the WikiProject page here:

Under this WikiProject, it is proposed to provide a variety of compilations suitable for various needs, such as a full offline encyclopedia, single disc collations on topics related to India etc.

The first project

To begin with, we felt it is best to create a single DVD compilation with all subjects covered in sufficient detail. We have named it as Offline Wikipedia for Indian Schools (Full version) or OWIS-FULL (in short).

It is based on and will be similar to the SOS Children’s Village Offline Wikipedia for School which you can checkout for yourself at this link:

The project page for this first project is here:

The SOS village compilation is CD based with approximately 6500 articles based on the British educational syllabus. Naturally, it contains a large number of topics relevant only to the UK and has a distinct Western flavour in its overall choice too, which is only natural.

To make this compilation suitable for our environment, we will have to not only add a whole host of new articles on Indian topics to the compilation but also remove topics/articles irrelevant to Indian students. In addition, the SOS Children’s Encyclopaedia, being in existence for the last few years, is designed to fit on a CD with the consequence that the number of articles on a subject cover a subject satisfactorily but skimpily. Since we plan our compilation to be on a DVD, there is scope to improve coverage on all subjects as well. Hence it is planned to have in the region of around 9000 articles.

So where are we now? As a first step we have established the framework in the form of the WikiProject and pages where one can work. The list of topics from the SOS compilation has been prepared subjectwise. These lists need to be vetted/improved/extended and then finalised.

As of now, six subjects have been opened up for topic selection - Art, IT, Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry. We need motivated editors to join the teams and pitch in. The selection of topics needs to be completed in ten days time so that we can move on to other subjects, other tasks.

So, if this venture interests you, if you want to do something really important with us, if you agree with our proposition that this is critical for delivering the potential of Wikipedia to digitally-challenged communities, sign up here:

All the best to all of us to successfully complete this vital project.

This email is being reflected on Wikimedia India list for information. But If you would like to respond to this, please respond to on the  English Wikipedia for India mailing list -

Everyone is welcome to subscribe to it.

Ashwin Baindur