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Public Software bulletin, July 2010

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Public Software for the Public Sector

Public Software News July 2010
IN THIS ISSUE:

 

Workshops:
International Workshop on Public Software in Kochi
Knowledge Building Workshop in Bangalore

Within the Government:
Tamil Nadu government mandates UNICODE
New version of National Open Standards Policy released
Gujarat set to follow Kerala in Public Software in ICT Education

Education:
Training in Computer Aided Learning in Karnataka

International:
Google phasing out internal use of Microsoft Windows for security reasons
Over a hundred schools in Finland using open source
New Zealand says No to Software Patents

WORKSHOPS

International Workshop in Kochi - An international conference on 'Software in Public Sector, with focus on Public Education' was jointly organized by UNESCO/UN Solution Exchange ICTD unit and IT@School Project of Government of Kerala in Kochi, Kerala.  The Kochi Declaration on Public Software, which was an output of this conference can be read here.


Knowledge Building Workshop in Bangalore - A 'Knowledge Building Workshop (KBW)' was organized by the Karnataka Community (KC) of United Nations Solution Exchange to engage in dialogue among Community of Practioners (CoPs). The workshop focused on the role of ‘knowledge sharing’ to support share knowledge, experiences and perspectives to support CoPs work and bring about greater synergy and congruence. Read More

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EDUCATION

Training in Computer Aided Learning in Karnataka - Many organizations including IT for Change with the support of SSA and RVCE will train and certify about 150 government staff as 'Master Trainers' on Computer Aided Education tools, on lines of the succesful Kerala model of computer aided learning program in schools. Mathematics will be the focus of the training along with some English language and Geography tools. There will be three batches of hands-on training on selected tools in August 2010; each batch will be trained for four days and there will be an assessment at the end of the workshop for the certification. The training will ultimately cascade down into 1010 'Block Master Trainers'  and 8000 teachers. Read More

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WITHIN THE GOVERNMENT

Tamil Nadu government mandates UNICODE - The Tamil Nadu Government has made the use of UNICODE fonts compulsory (see the Order of the Governor here), as announced during the World Classical Tamil Conference on June 23-27. This policy would remove an important obstacle to the spread of local language computing – use of proprietary and non standard fonts.

New version of National Open Standards Policy released - A new draft of the National Open Standards Policy for e-Governance (labelled v1.1) was released. The draft has received favorable feedback from many quarters and declares that "GoI shall endeavour to adopt Single and Royalty-Free (RF) Open Standard for an Area". To see the policy click here

Gujarat set to follow Kerala in Public Software in ICT Education - Following Kerala schools, the Gujarat Government has decided to use only Linux operating system, the opensource free software, in the computers installed in 3,650 schools. “If the experiment in schools is successful, we will go ahead and do it for computers in Sachivalaya, too,” a top IT aide to chief minister Narendra Modi said. It is estimated that the state government will be saving close to Rs 100 crore by installing Linux in schools. Read More

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INTERNATIONAL:
Google phasing out internal use of Microsoft Windows for security reasons - Internet major Google is phasing out its internal use of Microsoft Windows operating system due to security concerns, which arose mainly after its China operations were hacked, a media report has said. Windows is known for being more vulnerable to attacks by hackers and more susceptible to computer viruses than other operating systems. In addition to being a semi-formal policy, employees themselves have grown more concerned about security after the China attacks, the report said citing an employee.

Over a hundred schools in Finland using open source - More than a hundred schools across Finland are using open source for all of their desktop PCs, according to Opinsys, an open source services provider. The company assists ninety schools in 28 municipalities with the maintenance of PCs and laptops running Ubuntu Linux. Tens of other schools are managing similar PCs themselves, according to Mikko Soikkeli, the company's sales director. "This infrastructure is easy to extend, it is secure, reliable and easy to use", according to Allan Schneitz, a teacher at the School of Kasavuori. Please read more here.

New Zealand says No to Software Patents - Despite what appears to be a big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Minister, Simon Power announced today that he wouldn't be modifying the proposed Patents Bill hence software will be unpatentable once the Bill passes into law. He said "We believe it's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, hence many software companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative software, live a constant risk that their entire business will be wound up overnight due to litigious action by a patent holder." Read More

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