India/India Chapter/Meetings/Report of the event

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The national event of launching online India Chapter of Wikieducator on 15-11-08 marked yet another day on the calendar to be remembered by every wikieducator of India . Indeed, a day it is, to be annually celebrated with more and more Indian language pages added on with OER content.

The virtual presence and real sonorous voice of Dr.Wayne Mackinthosh set the wiki mood and collaborative mode of the programme. The banner, the power point displays on the walls, the diligent over all supervision of Dr.Sridher, Director CEMCA, the enthusiasm and untiring perseverance of Ms.Moinca Sharma and CEMCA staff, behind the curtain preparations navigated by Mrs.Rukmini Vemraju and Dr.Savithri Singh, ably assisted by Sri Anil Prasad at Acharya Narendra Dev College hours before the event are the elements which contributed to the blazing success of the grand programme at the well chosen venue “India International Centre”, Annexure, Conference Hall No.3.

In her introduction to Wikieducator – India , Dr. Savithri Singh, Wikieducator – Council Member and Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College highlighted the need for OER development through Wikieducator and its unparallel advantages. While expressing gratitude towards COL and CEMCA to have taken up the idea of language pages add on to Wikieducator India she added that the regional language pages have great potentials in actualizing the vision of free and open education resources by 2015.

Dr.M.S.Swaminathan, Honorable Member of Rajya Sabha and also a noted scientist was the Chief Guest. He formally launched the India Chapter by clicking on the launch page link and the language pages. In his inaugural address he welcomed the endeavour of Wikieducators of India and stated that “ India is a data rich country; but poor users Indians are”and that this should change!

Sri Jainder Singh, IAS, Secretary, Dept. of IT, Minstry of Communication and IT, Govt. of India, was the Guest of Honor. He brought to fore the future plan of the department to reach out to fulfill the online needs of poor farmers and common man through pro poor initiatives of creating internet accessibility at a low cost within the next two years.

The inaugural session was followed by questions and answers regarding the prospects of open education resources and online distance learning in the Indian context. Dr. M.S. Swaminathan and Sri Jainder Singh interacted with the audience in a lively manner and responded to the questions with insightful clarifications.

The programme was supported by OWSA( One World South Asia) and GKP( Global Knowledge Partnership). Ms. Geeta Bharadvaj spoke on Collaborative Content Development and Sharing.

I)Lessons learnt and observations during the programme.

i)It is important to find inspired people to provide hands and legs to inspiring ideas without which they are not empowered.

ii) It is necessary to go ahead without waiting to be led.

iii) Willing readiness to adapt to the changes which are unexpected and unavoidable counts much to achieve success in organizing collaborative efforts.

iv)One should taste the apple before sharing it with others.

II)Lessons from the trip from Mangalore to New Delhi and back.

It is better to book flights of the same Airways in the case of onward link journey like Mangalore-via-Mumbai-New Delhi because, if the link flight is missed due to delayed landing (as it happened in my case at Mumbai on 14th) it would be difficult to get alternative ticket from other agents/Airways for the next available flight.