Friday, December 11, 2009

Assam government includes FOSS in state IT policy Yet another Indian state government made open source an integral part of its state IT policy. The policy is because it mandates open standards and ODF, in particular, which has been advocated open source supporters the open standard for office documents (instead of Microsoft’s proprietary .doc, OOXML and other data formats). It also extends beyond software and says that all generic hardware purchased by the government should have support for open source software. The section mandating that source code developed for any State Government body shall be duly archived in a repository, indicates that the policy makers also understand the power of the open source development model. Overall, it is a good policy and worth forwarding to all the government policy makers that we are in touch with.

The full text of Section 3.12 of the Assam Government’s state IT Policy says:

(a) The Government would promote use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in all the departments and State agencies, bodies and authorities.

(b) The State Government would promote manpower development and training in use of FOSS, especially in day to day office works.

(c) The State Government would promote imparting training on FOSS in schools and colleges.

(d)Entrepreneurs/ companies using FOSS for application/website development would be given preference over those using third party packaged applications.

(e)All source codes customized/developed for any State Government body shall be duly archived in a repository, and shall be made available freely to other Government departments.

(f) The Government departments and bodies would ensure that Open Document Format (ODF) is adhered to in creating and storing editable documents, data and information and all applications developed by the respective departments adhere to ODF and other Open Standards and are largely independent of Operating Systems (OS) and web browsers.

(g)The Government departments and bodies would ensure that any generic hardware procured has support for multiple Operating Systems(OS) such as Unix, Linux, Opensolaris and other open source platforms.

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