Hi Theo,I think the historical context you put the Ahmedabad group in is fascinating, but imputing the creation of the proposed group to yet another WMF-led half-baked initiative is unfair.
Wikimedia User Groups are finally getting off the ground; while the page might contain edits from me, it is considered official. There have been hiccups with getting trademarks sorted out but the first serious user group proposed is actually the meetup group of Munich, fully supported by Wikimedia DE in their attempt to get recognized. (See the WM DE chapter-created newsletter: https://blog.wikimedia.de/2012/11/15/wikimediawoche-462012/).
User groups are meant to be created and recognized quickly (speed of the process will improve as we go on), perhaps even the 1-month timeframe might be considered too long if there are no complications; the model is an easy and not too risky way to empower a group who wants to conduct _offline_ activities (the reasons you don't see the hundreds of on-wiki Wikiprojects applying for this status is that they are not eligible).
MediaWiki Groups are indeed a very new concept, but as they fit relatively well into the Wikimedia User Group model, which is overseen by a volunteer committee incidentally, it was agreed that it is better to have it integrated and approved by the volunteer Affiliations Committee.As for the Indian SIG model, it is understandably specific to the Indian chapter. The reason it is being considered is because Wikimedia organizations should be good neighbours, and the creation of new ones should be a carefully considered step. However, it might be that the final recommended best course of action is to 1) make the proposed group merely a SIG in this local context 2) make it only a MediaWiki Group 3) make it into both 4) continue this discussion in a way that the people behind the group simply give up and the problem vanishes.In considering the best way forward, one needs to consider the requirements of setting up a SIG (which requires Wikimedia India membership, and certain other unknown steps that are currently described on the closed members wiki of Wikimedia India – with a promise to make them public), an MG (which are described on the linked pages, but boil down to having at least three interested people with a common goal to do something offline and support from the relevant community(ies)) – my guess is that not counting prolonged discussions like this, the MG process is quicker so a reasonable final action plan would include first getting this status and then being recognized as an SIG, if option 3 above was the method chosen by the group.