Published On: Wed, Jun 24th, 2015

Encouraging Scenario for Open Source Software(OSS) and Government

Government of India has taken initiatives to implement Digital India programme, in order to realize, a digitally accessible knowledge society, by offering digital services to all its citizens via OSS. This policy announced a few months ago, promotes healthy growth for software applications developed based on, OSS. In other words, e-Governance apps requiring use of such software is being encouraged. Each and every state and central government organization, should abide by, its policy statements. Also, every supplier sought via request for proposals(RFPs) for, digital services to central and state government has to consider these statements of policy.

What the GoI Aims?

Department of Information Technology, under Ministry of Information Technology, introduced a policy for encouraging adoption of OSS(Open Source Software) in Indian government. This programme aims to empower a digital, growing India, thereby realizing a rich knowledgeable economy, which offers transparent, digital services, to all its citizens. This is realized by use of Open source standards, which offer potential economical benefits.

Govt of India  aims to encourage OSS adoption, with a futuristic outlook of reduced project ownership costs and systematically managed, e-Governance applications.

A look into policy statement

It summarizes that, open source software applied to, government applications, should utilize open source code, readily available for implementation. This does not carry with it, any royalty or copyrights, and is free to be redistributed, modified, copied, or used in its original form.

Policy is applicable to all central and state government organizations, which offer all or part of e-governance systems. Also, RFPs, require supplier to consider and abide by mandatory use of OSS, before submission of project bids. Exclusive cases, requiring use of closed source software, should be justified, by suppliers.

What are the exceptions to this mandatory policy?

Particular domains, where OSS may not fulfill a certain requirement, are considered as exceptional cases, and allowed the use of closed source code software for implementation.
ICFOSS – In India, Free and open source software(FOSS), platform by FOSS initiative cell, at the IT Group, allows SMEs to, deploy tools using FOSS and bridge technology gap. In case of  SOD Technologies Pvt Ltd, its Partnership with ICFOSS, the international centre for free and open-source software, gave them already needed secure, platform integration, which aided the culmination of an ERP product implementation for Spices Board India. Spices Board is a government agency regulating and promoting Indian spices.

To summarize, open source ERPs offer cost efficiency, by reducing third of development cost. Open-Source iDempiere ERP, is free of license and functional upgrades, which cuts down cost significantly. It is the best choice for implementing secure, government tools.

About the Author