80 Lakh Engineering Students will be locked into using Microsoft Office and will not be able to use or learn other Open Source Alternatives.
The decision will limit Engineering Students to one technology (Mircosoft Office 365) when their exposure should be widened.
A recent notification by the AICTE states that all institutes must compulsorily install and use Microsoft Office 365, a productivity suite. The AICTE notification that announced the mandate says the project needs to be completed by June 30, 2013.
This goes against the letter and spirit of what former President Abdul Kalam has said in the past that “In India, open source software will have to come and stay in a big way, for the benefit of our billion people.”
There is a strong case to be made for Open Source Alternatives. In early 2011, the state government of Kerala deployed an open-source enterprise-resource planning (ERP) package named Fedena to assist over 15,000 schools and 70 lakh students. Using the Office suite will only limit students to Microsoft's perspective and stand in the way of serious open-source research in rural colleges. Supreme Court of India has already embraced Open Source Technologies and is using them effectively.
This is a regressive step in the wrong direction. PLEASE PROTEST AND SHARE!
This story is available at http://www.thehindu.com/features/education/issues/engineering-students-locked-into-microsoft-office/article4640546.ece