In March 2023, Faisal Farooqui, a visiting faculty at the Jamia Millia Islamia, where the Deoband Community Wikimedia (DCW) wants to begin its journey of institutional partnerships, made certain observations like “what does the DCW need from the university and what can it offer in return; how the work was going to be done, including, how the students were to be engaged?” His comments made the strategic researchers at DCW recommend proposing a leadership development and skills infrastructure plan stating that, “Leadership programs are more than just helpful. These programs help in producing and training some quality people who are readily available and can lead the initiatives in your absence. These could include “Train the Trainer programs” or likely developing a study course”. The proposal was subsequently submitted to the Wikimedia Foundation on 16 April 2023.
Gladly, the proposal was approved to be worked on under the Movement Strategy Initiatives of leadership and skills development infrastructure on 9 June 2023. The brief of the whole of the plan includes to ascertain the need for such an infrastructure, scrutinise what is already available, and then expand upon it subject to the concept of “knowledge-sharing”, since DCW shares a belief that legacy is not re-invented. The plan would further these recommendations and help in the growth of the global movement. The bigger picture aims at preparing certain courses inline with the choice-based-credit-system of certain Indian universities that the DCW could offer in the making of this leadership.
On 13 June 2023, DCW called for applications from interested scholars, students and researchers to help in this project, both in its online and offline channels, and shortlisted a few candidates for interview. The candidate who was able to make it to the finals is Affaf Nasir, a female research scholar at the Jamia Millia Islamia, who is doing her doctoral studies on the topic “Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and Prospects of Cooperation with India: Analysing the New Contours of India’s Look West Policy.” Affaf has a B.A. and an M.A. in English language and literature from the Jamia Millia Islamia and has been pursuing her doctoral studies at the varsity’s India Arab Cultural Centre since 2019. She is an educator with an experience of more than four years. She knows functional Arabic, and is proficient in English, apart from knowing Hindi and Urdu as her first languages, and it was considered a plus point in having her selected. Affaf has qualified UGC-NET and is eligible to be a lecturer, and thus makes a blissful addition to the team of the DCW. We want the entire community to welcome her and wish her the best.
DCW would be working on this leadership making project for four months from 1 July 2023 onwards. It is aimed that the result would be ready in the month of November 2023. DCW invites feedback, ideas and comments from Wikimedians all over the world because it wants this plan to help everyone. This can be done on Meta-Wiki, or any of its social media channels, for instance, Instagram, Twitter, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
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