The government plans to allocate over three years to almost 1.7 billion “Big Russian encyclopedia” (BDT) creation of a national Internet portal that shall become a domestic alternative to “Wikipedia”. The allocation of such amounts stipulated in the draft Federal budget for 2020 and the planned period of 2021-2022 years.

As reported by “Interfax”, the subsidy for the open joint stock company “Scientific publishing house “Great Russian encyclopedia” on the establishment and operation of nationwide online encyclopedic portal will be about 684,5 million rubles in 2020, 833,5 million in 2021 and 169.9 mln in 2022. This year the subsidy of BDT to create a portal amounted to 302.2 million rubles. Thus, the total cost of the project will reach nearly 2 billion.

Previously managing editor of GRE Sergei Kravets said that the project started on 1 July 2019, designed for 33 months to complete the creation of a Russian analogue of “Wikipedia” is scheduled for April 2022.

We will remind, in 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on the establishment of a working group to discuss the future of encyclopedic portal, which should become a competitor to Wikipedia. This group then consisted of 21 people, including the first Deputy head of the government staff Sergei Prikhodko and Deputy Minister of communications and mass communications Alexei Volin.

In July of this year, the communications Ministry has developed a draft law on the rules of allocation of subsidies from the publisher BDT for the establishment and operation of encyclopedic portal. As noted in the bill, funds for the establishment of a competitor of Wikipedia must be within the limits allocated to Rospechat. The document also says that the publisher “Great Russian encyclopedia” will be able to spend the money on rent and staff salaries, which will create the portal and payment of the subscription for reference, technical and other “necessary for implementation” books, periodicals and online paid resources, implementation of filming in museums, theatres and other cultural institutions, the use of archival materials and the development of software.

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