Open Source Software in India
In modern times, India has accomplished miracles through the power of collaboration. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has the potential to accomplish yet another set of miracles in automating government and industry, and producing affordable education for all. Being a developing country, everyone in India doesn’t have the purchasing capacity to afford copies of original software. Poverty is a huge problem in India so, here we have a place where saving each penny becomes extremely important.
Several revolutions have taken place in India in the past few years such as the Green Revolution, the White Revolution, the Gray Revolution and many more. OSS is destined to bring in another one, perhaps the gold revolution. OSS is a boon for the Indian export market. However, automation of any sort is only beginning in the domestic market. Hence the local market languishes in the adoption of all automation tools, whether proprietary or open.
OSS sees its future not only in Indian Enterprises, but also in the outsourcing field. Several companies, such as HP India, Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro, Mindtree, IBM India, and many others are poised to take advantage of this new field.
Many Indian IT companies, are feeling the need to study and switch towards open source owing to its large-scale corporate advantages. Infosys, a top Indian IT company, is building a Linux migration practice as part of its multidimensional systems services and integration business strategy. Recent projects at Infosys illustrate both migration services and custom application development. For example, to meet the needs of a large petroleum industry client, Infosys ported applications for visualizing oil exploration data to Red Hat Linux from Solaris and IRIX. For another client, Infosys migrated a multinode high-availability application cluster from Solaris to Linux.
The Indian govt. too shows immense support towards the Open Source movement. This is aptly demonstrated by the OSS migration movement in the states of Kerela and Maharashtra. Maharashtra and Kerala state land record systems have separately demonstrated the cost effectiveness of applying OSS, including database technologies, to what traditionally has been a slow and manual process. IBM has signed a deal with the Indian govt. to open several resource centers throughout the country running purely on Open Source based solutions.
Many Indian industries have also switched to Open Source. The most well known example would be LIC or Life Insurance Corp. of India which completely switched its network, servers and client workstations to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, with commercial support from Red Hat itself.
India being a multi-lingual country would benefit the most from OSS. OSS, which is extremely customizable, could easily be translated into native Indian languages. The BharateeyaOO project is one such project and it represents the”Indianization” of OpenOffice.org. It is a cross-platform project for translating a rich office productivity suite into languages appropriate for non-English-speaking Indians. Availability of major computational tools in local languages is already helping to bridge the digital divide and spread computer usage and learning in the rural areas of India.
Another example being the IndLinux project has created a Linux distribution that supports major Indian languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Oriya, Telegu, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Tamil. Like BharateeyaOO, this project tries to bridge the digital divide by bringing the benefits of computer and information technology to non-English-speaking Indians.
The Open Source movement in India is still in its infant stages. However, the long-term potential of OSS is recognized by some of the leaders of
India, example being the current president of India, Dr. APJ Kalam. With continued advocacy, OSS can become a Gold Revolution that powers export as well as domestic industries across all economic segments and realizes the promise of a shared knowledge and collaboration-based information society.
More on Open Source Software in the Industry
Corporations have choices over here, they can either go for a proprietary software based service or they can even go for an Open Source based support.
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Influence of OSS
In modern times, India has accomplished miracles through the power of collaboration. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has the potential to accomplish yet another set of miracles in automating government and industry, and producing affordable education for all.
OSS in India
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