Use Of Open Source Software Now Mandatory In India’s Government Offices
As outlined in a recent Policy Paper by India’s Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, all Indian government office will shift to the use of Open Source Software only. They write:
“Government of India (GoI) is implementing the Digital India programme as an umbrella programme to prepare India for a knowledge based transformation into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. Under the overarching vision of Digital India, GoI aims to make Government services digitally accessible to citizens in their localities and to ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. To meet this objective, there is a need to set up a commensurate hardware and software infrastructure, which may require significant resources.”
I have taken the liberty to highlight some of the most important aspects mentioned in the quote. And sure enough, only Free and open-source software can truly empower digitally. Proprietary software on the other hand inherently dis-empowers. And it is not transparent, reliable only to the extend that it usually appears to be doing what it is supposed to do (aside from all the other things it might do), and it certainly isn’t anywhere close to FOSS when it comes to affordability.
A second interesting point is the mentioning of not just software but also hardware. Are we going to see a push for open hardware use from the Indian Government? That would be very welcomed.