Yesterday, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan launched the worlds largest integrated Free and Open Source IT facility in the government sector, ‘Swatantra.’
As reported by Indian Web 2, the facility was developed by the International Center for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), which was set up by the Kerala government in 2009. The organization has a directive of popularizing FOSS within Kerala and around the world. Swatantra will house a Free and Open Source Software Traning Space and an Incubation Center.
For those who don’t know, the software that allows users to run programs without restrictions, for any purpose and modify it as per their requirement, are termed as FOSS. Using Swatantra, the Kerala government intends to provide democratic access to information and aim to achieve sustainable economic development.
The Central Government of India adopted FOSS for all e-governance systems in March of 2015. FOSS-based systems offer greater reliability, transparency, and efficiency at reasonable costs owing to which they are rapidly gaining popularity the world over. Kerala adopted a pro-FOSS IT policy way back in 2001 and was the first in the country to do so.
Kerala has also set up a Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment Act (SPACE) to promote FOSS in academics, corporates, governance and for generating employment within the state. SPACE is a registered society that consists of members from the government, academia, IT industry and other professional sectors.
A free software treasure hunt has been organized by IFCOSS to promote its Swatantra International Conference since 2001. People can now host their own treasure hunts within an hour using the website code released by SPACE on GitHub.