The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) conducted a virtual roundtable discussion on ‘Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Government’ yesterday. Alongside, the Ministry also launched the #FOSS4GOV innovation challenge with an aim to harness the innovation potential of the FOSS community and start-ups to increase awareness about its usage in e-governance and its adoption.
Stakeholders present in the event
Speaking on the event, Mr. Ajay Sawhney, Sectretary, MeitY, said:
I am delighted to see the interest in further advancing the adoption of FOSS in Government among a wide range of Government leaders, Academia and FOSS innovators. MeitYwill continue to play a key role in this journey. We are also pleased to announce the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge, which will harness the innovation potential of the FOSS community and start-ups to solve for critical issues in GovTech. More such efforts will be forthcoming.”
The Managing Director of Digital India Corporation, Mr. Abhishek Singh was also present on the occasion. He moderated session wherein stakeholders shared their experiences on successful deployment of Aadhaar and UPI and highlighted best-practices and learning for all participants. Governments of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Kerala, and representatives from EkStep Foundation, Samagra Governance, Civic Data Lab, International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), and Frappe Technologies (creators of ERPNext) also shared presentations on successful FOSS led innovations.
The challenge calls upon FOSS innovators, technology entrepreneurs and Indian Startups to submit implementable innovations in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). The solutions shall also have possible applications for government technology in health, education, agriculture, urban governance, etc. MeitY will soon share details regarding participation, eligibility for incubation support, prize money, mentorship by experts, etc.
Policy on FOSS
India had issued a policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015. Interestingly, some of India’s largest projects such as Aadhaar, Aarogya Setu, UPI, etc., are based on open source software.
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