Exclusive wikipedia in Kannada soon

Online encyclopedia by November


The Karnataka Knowledge Commission has, on Wednesday, commenced work on setting up a Kannada wikipedia (yet to be named) and held a consultative meeting with a group of experts. If all goes well, this online encyclopedia in Kannada will take shape and will be ready for public use by November - to coincide with Kannada Rajyotsava.

Speaking to reporters, Member-Secretary of the Commissioner M K Sridhar said, an easy-to-comprehend portal is being developed. Initially, priority will be given to subjects related to Kannada and Karnataka in the wikipedia. The International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B) is giving technical support to the ambitious project, he added.

During the meeting, a rough plan has been chalked out as to how to go about the project. Accordingly, four committees -- advisory, technical, information collection and editorial -- will shortly be formed.

These committees will work in their on areas by roping in experts in the field. Information Technology experts from top companies include Infosys, IBM and Microsoft have expressed their desire to contribute to the project, which is perhaps first of its kind in the country, Prof Sadagopan of the IIIT-B said. The State government has already set aside Rs 2 crore for the project.

Separate font

Kannada Development Authority Chairman Mukhyamantri Chandru said, a separate Kannada font and a keyboard are being planned to be developed for the wikipedia. “Regional languages are slowly becoming extinct, and Kannada is also facing this threat. The wikipedia will help growth of Kannada language,” he stated.

The meeting also discussed about name of the proposed wikipedia. Kannada Gnanabandara, Kannada Mahitebandara, Kannada Khajane, Jnana Setuve are some of suggestions made in the meeting. But the final decision will be taken at the later stage after consulting the Government, he said.

The aim of the project is to make information easily available to common man in
Kannada.

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