Free and Open Source Software

by Velankanni Royson last modified Jan 26, 2009 08:04 AM


  1. Lack of balance between proprietary software and FOSS in the market, educational sector and public sector.

  2. Vendor lock-in of public data and infrastructure resulting in a dilution of citizen and consumer rights

Research Agenda

  1. Document, summarize and analyse the participation divide (Gender, Rural/Urban, North/South) in production and consumption of FOSS by analysing code repositories, mailing list and discussion group archives, public URLs, etc. Case-studies of FOSS developers.

  2. Aggregate, publicly archive and analyse academic curricula in various state and national school and college boards for vendor and technology neutrality.

  3. Documenting the pedagogic impact, development impact, total cost of ownership and sustainability of e-learning and ICT4D projects based proprietary/open/mixed technologies. For instance, Friends in Kerala, and other such projects.

  4. Designing and prototyping improved user interfaces and improvements to existing user interfaces. Pay particular attention to localization and internationalization issues related to Indic languages.

  5. Documenting and designing best practices and processes for training, capacity-building, mentoring, testing and certification for FOSS developers from the global South. Looking at volunteer and corporate participation for example Apache in Sri Lanka.

  6. Understand the similarities and differences between southern and northern Linux User Groups and Free Software User Groups.

Intervention Agenda

  1. Provide feedback to the Open Source policy document to be published by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.

  2. Support Free Software Foundation, Delhi Science Forum and others in the campaign against software patents—specifically deletion of “per se” in the Patent Act and related sections in the Indian Patent Office manual.

  3. Advocate that software developed using public funds be licensed under an appropriate FOSS license. Advocate that e-governance software that directly impinges on the quality of citizenship stands public scrutiny.

  4. Advocate for a vendor and technology neutral ICT curriculum in schools, colleges and universities.

  5. Advocate that students participate in global projects for academic credits and all student work be archived on online code repositories. Advocate for local repositories in colleges and universities with insufficient access to the Internet.

  6. Promote choice rather than mono-culture in public organisations, civil society and educational sector to ensure appropriate balance between innovation and access.


ASPI-CIS Partnership


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