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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Information about Freedom First Conference
Comments and Suggestions can be sent