Kerala launches International Centre for Free and Open Source Software

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Tvm: The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) was inaugurated today by Chief Minister Shri V S Achuthanandan in Thiruvananthapuram. The Technopark based ICFOSS will focus on providing technical assistance for using FOSS to implement various government projects in Kerala in an endeavour to promote open source software.

In his inaugural speech, the CM said, “As per the IT policy of the Government we will support the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in all projects, especially those for governance and education. Kerala was one of the first states in the country to adapt to free software. Today, other states are following our footsteps and we should ensure that we maintain the leadership position. ICFOSS is a step in this direction.” He also added that major projects of national importance like Aadhaar should have been developed on FOSS.

Ishita Roy IAS, Director, Kerala State IT Mission said, “The opening of the International Centre will go a long way in making Kerala a global FOSS destination. The centre would promote the use of free software in all government projects including e-governance projects and provide technical backup for the state government while developing new FOSS based software”. ICFOSS is being set up by the Kerala State IT Mission.

Satish Babu, President of InApp, an IT services company in Technopark, has been appointed as the Director of ICFOSS. He is an active proponent of Open Source Technologies and is the Convenor, Special Interest Group of Computer Society of India on Free and Open Source Software.

Talking to Kerala IT News, Satish Babu said, “The vision of ICFOSS is to become a leading research organisation in Free and Open Source model of knowledge development thereby contributing towards sustainable development of society and to stimulate economic development in the region. We hope ICFOSS will act as a converging point of experts, students, officials and the public.”

Rahul De from the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (IIM-B) has prepared the vision document for the International Centre for Free and Open Source. There is no institute of similar nature existing in the country. Kerala has been recognised around the world for its initiatives in FOSS.  ICFOSS will act as a consultancy agency for various government organisations in Kerala. Considering the fact that many other states are also looking into the possibility of adopting FOSS, ICFOSS will play an important role in national level also.

Anil Philip
Kerala IT News

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