AICTE: Cancel your contract with Microsoft (which locks in 80 lakh students to using only Microsoft) and use Open Source Alternatives
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!
The fate of over 80 lakh students lies in your hands. These 80 lakh students over the next few years could learn to use Open Source Technologies or be restricted to learning and using a sub-standard technology of a private company.
Former President Abdul Kalam has said “In India, open source software will have to come and stay in a big way, for the benefit of our billion people.”
Kindly note that AICTE is going exactly the opposite way by locking in 80 lakh students and more than 11,500 educational institutions to Microsoft Office.
The future of the world is open-source. Open-Source allows innovation, research and are driven by a self-less spirit which finds its echoes in Indian values and ethoes. There is a supportive online community which is always ready to help. Improvements, new versions, innovation happen easily as students get access to the source code and contribute to the world wide movement of buidling better software. By limiting them to the whims and fancies of a private corporation prevents their access to this world of learning and growth that awaits them.
Can we take such a risk? Today, when the whole world is moving towards open source - from the Supreme Court of India (which authorized usage of Ubuntu http://www.sci.nic.in/e-committee.htm ) to the Kerala Govt, which used package named Fedena to assist over 15,000 schools and 70 lakh students.
Please revoke this contract you have made with Microsoft and promote usage of Open Source Technologies.