Following the footsteps of nations like Germany and the UK, the Indian government on Monday announced its decision to embrace open source for its public offices. The policy on the same was published by the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology yesterday.
With acclaimed and prestigious Indian organizations like C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and IIT Chennai already working on Debian based distro BOSS Linux, this move by centre seemed inevitable. In fact, being two steps ahead of the centre, the Tamil Nadu government has already been advocating open source for a while now.
According to experts, the financial benefit of using open source could be seen as the primary reason for government’s passion behind the drive. Organizations all over the world have been adopting innovative alternative solutions in order to optimise costs. They have been doing this by exploring different avenues of “Open Source Software”. In order to leverage economic and strategic benefits, the Government of India has been for long promoting the use of open source technologies in the e-Governance domain within the country.
“Adopt open standards and promote open source and open technologies”, the charter reads.
The government’s seriousness regarding the policy can be derived from the fact that the nature of compliance for the policy has been set to ‘mandatory’, which means all public facing offices will be mandatorily required to follow the same.
This step taken by the Indian government can prove to be a huge blow to Microsoft. Currently, Microsoft products dominate the Indian Govt. offices. It is expected, that with the open source policy initiated, the Indian Govt. will move away from the office suite as well as Microsoft’s operating systems including its latest offering Windows 10.
In the long run, the decision may also impact the 1.3 billion population of the country. Pirated softwares has a huge market in India. With free alternatives and open-source getting the government’s nod., it would be interesting to observe which operating systems and software replaces regular proprietary software for the Indian population.