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Public Software Bulletin, April 2011

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          Public Software for the Public Sector

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Public Software News April 2011
  IN THIS ISSUE
 Within the Government
MHRD directive to explore open source options
Broadband for all village panchayats by 2012
International Centre for FOSS in Kochi

Within other public institutions
CDAC releases BOSS Linux
Education
Microsoft to provide software to college students

International
Cuba migrating to open software
Estonian ministry saves millions with open software
Open Document Formats official in Latvia
Internet Governance in the aftermath of WikiLeaks

WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT

MHRD issues directive to explore open source options - The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has directed educational institutions to explore open source alternatives before adopting proprietary software. Click here to read the full text of the directive.

Broadband for all village panchayats by 2012 - All 250,000 panchayats in the country will receive public connectivity by mid-2012. The broadband connections will be provided by the government and managed by local government institutions. Read more.

International Centre for FOSS in Kochi - The centre aims to provide technical assistance in using FOSS in government functions, while also acting as a research centre. Read more.

WITHIN OTHER PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

CDAC releases BOSS Linux - The BOSS GNU/Linux Desktop Ver 4.0 contains several updates in major applications, as well as support for 22 Indian languages. This release by CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), a government agency, is indicative of a shift in recognising public software as an entitlement that is to be provided by the state. Click here to read the release notes.

EDUCATION

Microsoft to provide software to college students - Proprietary software majors Microsoft and Autodesk have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to provide their software to college students. The move is of concern, because students will now be provided with just a single proprietary software product to learn a concept. Publicly owned alternatives such as QCAD also enable the students to study, modify and share the software. A Right to Information (RTI) request for details of the MoU was refused. Read more. 

INTERNATIONAL

Cuba migrating to open source Linux and Open Office - The government of Cuba has set a strategic goal in 2011 to migrate most of  its computers to open source software. Read more. 

Estonian ministry saves millions by using open software - The Estonian Environment Ministry has saved millions of euros over the past ten years by using OpenOffice.org, says Meelis Merilo, the head of the IT department at the Ministry. Read more.

Open Document Formats (.ODF) now officially accepted in Latvia In November, India became one of the first countries to adopt open standards in e-governance. Other countries seem to be following the lead, as a Latvian government official announced that beginning January, all government departments in Latvia must accept documents and submissions in the open format .ODF. Read more.

Internet Governance in the aftermath of WikiLeaks This piece examines the political decisions that led to the removal of WikiLeaks from Amazon, EasyDNS and PayPal/Visa. Many national governments have begun to switch to open source software as a way to reduce their dependence on US-developed software. Read more.

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