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India’s ICFOSS organises survey of FOSS in e-governance

Today the Times of India reports that a study on the use of free and open source software in e-governance is to be jointly conducted by the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) of Trivandrum in Kerala and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Bangalore, Karnataka.

The study, which is planned to be completed within 18 months, will cover the Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

In a statement issued on Monday, ICFOSS said the study would determine the extent of free and open source software use in government projects, as well as assessing the economics of its use.

“There is still wide variation between different states in the deployment of free and open source software. Kerala leads the nation in adoption of such software,” said Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard Professor in Information and Communication Technology ( ICT) for Sustainable Economic Development at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore; Mr De is also the lead researcher of the joint study.

Besides a cost advantage, free and open source software likewise comes with other benefits: for example user licences are liberal and users are free to customise software themselves.

“With the 2012 Government of India Software Policy providing explicit support for free and open source software, it becomes imperative for e-government applications to consider it,” Rahul De said.

Hat tip: Mark Taylor of Sirius