Rajasthan Government procurement of proprietary software in their Tender document for purchase of laptops

The Government of Rajasthan floated a tender for the purchase of 112,000 laptops in January 2013. In their bid document they have specifically asked for proprietary software to be provided by the vendor. IT for Change worked with the network of educationists across India, to write a letter to the Government asking it to re-consider the waste of public resources in this procurement. Proprietary software creates a dangerous vendor lock-in of the public education system. It creates an artificial scarce environment, whereas use of FOSS can create a rich learning environment, through the use of hundreds of generic and educational applications. The move of the Rajasthan government, which is against the principles elaborated in the National Policy on ICTs in school education, 2012 and the Policy on Open Standards in e-governance and the MHRD 12th plan guidelines,2012, was also criticised by the media.

Secondly, the decision to distribute laptops to meritorious students needs to be part of a larger idea to holistically integrate ICTs into education rather then as a standalone effort.

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