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Use Of Open Source Software Now Mandatory In Govt Offices As Per New Policy!

Use Of Open Source Software Now Mandatory In Govt Offices As Per New Policy!

Indian Ministry of Communications and IT have come up with a new policy that has mandated all Government offices across India to use Open Source Software.

The new policy released last week said that the new Government has been pushing use of Open Source Software (OSS) in Government offices, since they have come to power. The use of OSS not only promises significant reductions in the the paid software costs but will also lead to economic and strategic benefits.

Currently, most e-governance solutions are developed using Closed Source Software (CSS), which is licensed under the exclusive legal right of the software manufacturer. In such cases, the user (the govt in this case) has limited rights to do any modifications, sharing, studying, redistribution or reverse engineering.

With use of Open Source Software, Government can now centrally create, modify and redistribute the software without any costs involved.

Key Highlights of the OSS Policy

  • The nature of compliance will be Mandatory.
  • The policy shall be applicable to all Government Organisations under the Central Governments and those State Governments that choose to adopt this policy.
  • All new eGovernance applications will be considered for implementation as well as all new versions of legacy and existing applications.
  • All Government Organizations, while implementing e-Governance applications and systems must include a specific requirement in Request for Proposal (RFP) for all suppliers to consider OSS along with CSS while responding.
  • Incase, in certain specialized domains where OSS may not be available or in case of urgent / strategic need, Closed Source Software (CSS) may be permitted.
  • All future Requests for Proposals (RFPs) of e-Governance projects shall include a mandatory clause for considering Open Source Software (OSS) as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS). Suppliers will need to provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response
  • Government of India, shall actively collaborate with OSS communities in India as well as at the International level and contribute wherever appropriate.

Kudos to the Government for coming up with this! This policy will definitely provide much needed fillip for the use of Open Source Software in India.


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