Today, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched ‘Swatantra’, which is billed as the world’s largest integrated Free and Open Source IT facility in a government sector.
An initiative of the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), Swatantra would house the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Incubation Centre & Training Space.
It is aimed at enhancing the governments agenda of promoting democratic access of information with the objective of sustainable economic development.
ICFOSS is an institution set up by the Kerala government and having the combined mandate of popularizing FOSS for universal use.
In 2001, Kerala becomes the first state in India to formally adopt a pro-FOSS IT policy and later in 2009, the state government started ICFOSS headquartered in Thiruvanthapuram.
In March 2015 the India’s central government announced a policy on adoption of FOSS.
FOSS is software that have licenses that allow users to freely run the program for any purpose, modify the program as they want, and also to freely distribute copies of either the original version or their own modified version.
Besides this, Kerala also has Society For Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE), a registered society that has members from academia, the IT industry, professional societies and Government of Kerala. The vision of SPACE is to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in academics, governance, corporate and individual use, and to support the use FOSS for employment generation in Kerala.
For last 6-7 years in succession, an online free software treasurehunt is being conducted by ICFOSS, as promotional event for FOSS, called “Swatantra international conference”. SPACE has released website code on Github as a free software under GPL 3 so that people can host their own treasurehunt within an hours using this project.
Via ~ Times of India