Use of Open source software mandated by the Indian Government

The Indian government recently has decreed using of open source software among all types of systems that are used in the public sector, thereby mandating that all (RFPs) Request for Proposals towards instructing suppliers to take into consideration using of such applications.

Introduction by the government

The Ministry of Information Technology and Communication in its policy that was unveiled very recently stated that there was a need to adopt open source for supporting government’s objective towards transforming the country into a ‘knowledge economy and digitally empowered society’. It further added that India always had advocated using of open standards as well as open source technologies in public sector for tapping touted economic advantages of doing so.

The ministry wrote that the Indian government should endeavor towards adopting open source software across all e-government systems that are implemented by different government organizations, as preferred choice when compared to closed source software.

What does the policy state?

The policy further states that all types of open source software that is deployed is to be constructed upon source codes which are available for community and implemented to modify, study and to redistribute in copies of modified or original software. The source codes are to be free from royalty of any type.

This policy does apply to both state and central governments in the country and is to be observed for every new e-government systems and applications, including new legacy versions and existing systems. RFPs are to include specific needs for all suppliers to take into consideration open source software, with that of close source software types, while submitting bids for projects. Should they try to select to exclude open source, the suppliers have to provide justification towards doing so in the bids.

In specific specialized domains, exceptions are to be considered, especially where offerings of open source software might not be required or there is lack of adequate skill set in particular technological segments or closed source software needs to be implemented.

SODTECH is regarded to be the very first organization in the country to be selected by ICFOSS for initial implementation of Open-Source ERP at Spices Board of India. The Spices Board is the Indian government regulatory and promotion agency for Indian spices.

Open source ERPs are cost effective tools that reduce cost of development by a third. Open source iDempiere ERP does not carry with it, the cost of licensing, or version/functional upgrades, hence it is cost effective, secure and useful tool for government operations.

We will be updating the advanced features of our Open Source ERP in our next article.

View Case study on Enterprise Finance Management Solution (Spices Board of India)

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