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Kerala Takes  Lead for OSS initiative

We have discussed earlier the need for Open Source Initiatives as a means to "Zero Piracy Without Pain" and the role  of Government in supporting the private sector initiatives.

We are glad to note that the he Free Software Foundation of India (FSF-I), the official Indian affiliate of the FSF, will be formally inaugurated by  Richard Stallman at the Freedom First! Conference at Trivandrum, Kerala on 20 July 2001. 

FSF-I will be the national agency for the promotion of the use of free software, i.e. software distributed under the GNU General Public Licence (GNU GPL) or other licences approved by FSF, in all domains. 

The objectives of the FSF-I would be

To Promote awareness about free software among the general public and, specifically, among programmers and students 

To Increase access to free software by users in India 

To Promote the development of local solutions to local problems by empowering local programmers in the use of free platforms, tools and technologies 

To Provide support to free software by way of documentation, expert help or any other means 

To Help organize training for programmers and users of free software platforms and software 

To Carry out R&D work for free software solutions to suit local requirements 

To Provide services for the free software programmer community by, for example, locating and distributing jobs 

To Assist the national and State governments in all aspects relating to free software, such as evolving and maintaining standards; providing a quality assurance mechanism for free software; and ensuring the use of free software in government and quasi-government milieux 

To Provide services such as adjudication and conflict redressal within the free software domain

The Indian affiliate will conduct a "Freedom First" conference on Free Software at Science and Technology Museum, Trivandrum. Mr Richard Stallman is the founder of  the GNU Project, launched in 1984 to develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for ``GNU's Not Unix''), and thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost. 

At the conference, Richard Stallman himself will inaugurate FSF-I. He will also speak about the purpose, goals,  philosophy, methods, status and future prospects of the GNU operating system, which, in combination with the  kernel Linux, is now used by an estimated 17 to 20 million users worldwide. 

     Conference Schedule

19.07.2001 Pre conference Tutorial on Free Software and GNU/Linux at Technopark,  Trivandrum
20.07.2001-0930 hrs Inauguration of FSF India by Richard Stallman Venue: Science and Technology Museum, Trivandrum
20.07.2001 -
1100 hrs 
Address by Richard Stallman
20.07.2001 -
1400 hrs
Address by noted international practitioners of Free Software on the business model of Free Software
21.07.2001 RMS's talk at College of Engineering, Trivandrum
 Session with government officials Interaction with programming community at Technopark

The Conference has been organized by  Free Software Foundation of India, Computer Society of India (Trivandrum Chapter) and  Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala, Trivandrum 

The Conference has been sponsored by the  Department of Information Technology, Government of Kerala, Group of Technopark Companies (GTECH) and the Technopark.

It is encouraging to note the Government of Kerala is supporting this initiative. Compared to the approach taken by the Karnataka Government to create a Zero Piracy State by force, with the appointment of a "Compliancy Officer", the approach of Kerala Government is  refreshingly positive. This strategy has the potential of pushing Kerala ahead in Indigenous Software development ahead of its neighbours...unless Karnataka and Tamil Nadu wake up and follow suit.

July 5, 2001 

More about Mr Richard Stallman

More Information about Freedom First Conference

Comments and Suggestions can be sent to  Naavi

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