Growing Wikimedia’s Readership – by Increasing participation of Government Sector –Context, India
- Increasing Wikimedia Readership is one of the most challenging area especially in developing country like India.
- Here the observations are presented keeping in view the experiences of India.
- In countries like India where internet coverage is increasing very fast has lot of potential for enhancing Wikimedia Readership
- There is a lot of scope to enhance Wikimedia readership in Government sector as at present government and public sector institutions have very negligible Wikimedia's readership however major part of the service delivery system is managed by Government sector.Recently introduced global mandate of SDGs is also implemented primarily by Government institutions.
- Recently elected new Government of India has special policies to strengthen online service delivery system in the country through enhancing coverage of Internet coverage especially in rural and remote areas.This opportunity may be used for increasing Wikimedia Readership.
- The Government is major stakeholder of implementing SDGs in the country therefre there is a lot of scope of increasing readership with special reference to SDGs in government sector . Niti Aayog  is the key nodal department to implement SDGs in India.It is being implemented by provincial states /UTs at sub national level.
- Present Status of Internet and IT linked activities in India  :
- As of 31 December 2018, India had :
- A population of 130 crore people (1.3 billion).
- 121 crore (1.21 billion) mobile phones
- 44.6 crore (446 million) smartphones,
- 56 crore (560 million) internet users up from 481 million people (35% of the country's total population) in December 2017
- 51 per cent growth in e-commerce.
- Internet User base
An overview of key internet subscriber statistics in India as on 31 December 2018. :Internet User base
- Total subscribers -604.21 million
- Narrowband subscribers -78.86 million
- Broadband subscribers -525.36 million
- Wired subscribers -21.42 million
- Wireless subscribers-582.79 million
- Rural subscribers -213.30 million
- Overall net penetration-46.13 %
- Urban net penetration -93.86 %
- Rural net penetration-23.87 %
Government of India initiatives to expedite the internet system
- BharatNet 
- Digital India 
- Made in India 
- Startup India 
vernacular content , age group of users profile
- As per the World Economic Forum (WEF) about 60% of Indian internet users viewed verncular content.
- Only about a quarter of internet users were over the age of 35 years in 2019.
- It is estimated that 1.1 billion Indians would have access to the internet by 2030
- 80% of the subscriber base primarily accessing the internet on mobile devices.
- The profile of India's internet user base was predicted to diversify by 2030 with 80% of users accessing vernacular content .
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
- SDGs and increasing Wikipedia readership in India
- Covering Government Departments :
- SDGs are being implemented in India in at National by Niti Aayog [ ] and in 35 provincial Governments[ ]. Government departments at National and provincial level have an adequate potential to enhance readership as they are the key entities to implement and monitor 169 targets of SDGs .There are around 48 Government departments in government of India and equal no of departments are in each of the 35 provincial States /Union territories.
- Most of these departments are related to monitoring 169 targets defined under SDGs .In the beginning the SDGs dealing 0fficials of each of the departments may be integrated as new reader /User of Wikipedia .In next pahse other officials and general public may also be involved in this process .This process may be followed both horizontally and vertically in the government departments i.e. from top bottom approach and parallel departments interaction approach.
- Local Wikipedia community may approach the Government authorities to aware it about the potential of Wikipedia and its possible free of cost benefits in achieving SDGs.
- Education sector has huge potential for enhancing Wikipedia readership .The ongoing projects of of Wikimedia related to Eduacation must be integrated with primary secondary and tertiary education streams primarily as per relevance to SDGs Goals/targets.students should be advised not only to use but create the content also on Wikipedia .
- There are 638365 villages in India where there is very limited access of Wikipedia movement due to lack of awareness and and limited internet fecilities.There is only 23.87 % Rural net penetration in the country (2018). Present Government is focussing on providing internet to all villages of the country.Last year the Government of India has provided internet fecility to one lac Gram Panchyats in frist phase  and in coming period all panchyats will be provided this fecility which will create huge potential to increase readership of Wikipedia if proper awareness and followup is done in this regard.
- Presently there is lot of inequality in terms of internet penetration in the country and consequently leading to inequality in education and other online access fecilities .0nly 23.87 percent rural area has internet against 93.13 percent of urban area .In coming time there is possibility of significant increase in internet network with government efforts which should be utilised for increasing Wikipedia readership.There is a strong need and possibility for penetration in rural areas which will lead to achievement of SDGs 10 related to ‘Reducing Inequalities’ by reducing rural-urban gap of internet and Wikipedia access. This will also check the migration of rural population to urban areas and help in achieving SDG 11 related to ‘Sustainable cities and comunities’ by reducing pressure on urban amenities and fecilities.
- This process will also reduce gender inequalities ( SDGs 5) as it will help to provide education fecilities within villages and help in providing formal and informal education to those girls students who are not allowed to receive education out of villages due to gender prejudices of conventional society.
- It will help to achieve the the SDGs 11 related to ‘Sustainable cities and comunities’ by helping the Slum population in education sector and bringing them in mainstreams.
- Formulation of Strategy and Action Plan to increase Wikipedia readership in Government and Public sector .
- Increase in Wikimedia Readership in all geographical ,remote and neglected regions as government institutions have penetration in all such regions.
- Possible Pro active role of Wikipedia in achievement of SDGs goal as partner and supplementary agent to government institutions related to SDGs will ultimately create future partnership with Public sector in long run and enhance readership in accumulated manner over period of time.
- It will legitimize Wikipedia movement as general public have full faith in Government and partnership of Wikipedia with Government will increase credibility of Wikimedia projects.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- Room: -small classroom, a projector + screen, seating
The session will work best with these conditions:
- Room:small classroom, a projector + screen, with reasonable seating arrangements for around 30 people
25-30 persons from diverse geographical areas and gender.No special skill required and normal Wikipedia users can attend it.
PPT type presentation requiring internet for showing partly online content.