Original Message -----
From: "IT@School" <itschool(a)asianetindia.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 05, 2002 5:08 PM
> Mr.Manjush G. Menon
> We are not giving to depend totally on Ms. Products. Rather MS
> Office is taught along with open office and Windows along with Linux
> from this year. Arranging the resource persons for training an open
> software, making available the software, the maintenance of a help desk
> etc. are logistical issues which could not be immediately undertaken.
> We plan switch out to open software within three years.
> Executive Director
---- Original Message -----
From: Manjush G. Menon
Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 5:46 PM
Subject: Respected sir,
Manjush G. Menon,
Sofker Solutions Pvt Ltd,
The Executive Director,
'IT @ SCHOOL' Project,
SUB: In protest against the inclusion of products from multinational companies
in the syllabus of 'IT @ SCHOOL'
It's a very dissappointing fact that when the whole world is moving towards
Free software, we at kerala are going behind a major MNC - Microsoft. I hereby register
my protest in such an act from 'IT @ SCHOOL' Project team.
Breaking of prototypes will definetly help us in finding economical and high quality
products for our future generation.
For students and programmers, the GNU Linux contains 'GNU Compiler Collections'
which includes C, C++, FORTRAN, PERL, TCL etc. Also, for DTP and other publishing purposes,
it includes GNU Office utilities like Abi-Word, gedit, and other worksheet utilities,
all these with a nominal cost of Rs 700-800/-. The software as it is, is free and
the cost is accounted towards the media (CD + Documentation) included.
By this letter, I urge you to take this matter seriously and suggest necessary modifications
in the action plan of 'IT @ SCHOOL' project.
Wishing you all the best and wishing all 'Students @ SCHOOL' a bright future,
Manjush G. Menon.
Check out all the latest outrageous email attachments on the Outrageous Email Chart! - http://viral.lycos.co.uk
Please sign this petition if you agree with it... it's an attempt to convince a
prominent technological university in Bangalore (VTU) to be opened to the use
of Free Software too.
Krishna Pagadala, San Jose, USA. I have benefitted highly from the Free
Software movement and the Freedoms it has provided. Specifically the Freedom to
learn from the source code has helped me in getting a high-technology job in
the US. I wish that all students enjoy the all the Software Freedoms.
Pramode C.E, IC Software: I would like to add that there are efforts under way
to develop innovative hardware experimentation platforms using GNU/Linux to
improve the quality of Physics (as well as Engineering) education; and the best
part is that it's being done in India. Please visit
http://www.nsc.res.in/~elab/phoenix/ to know more about the `Phoenix Project'
being developed by Ajith Kumar at the Nuclear Science Centre, India. The wealth
of high quality tools and the open nature of the platform is of immense value
to young engineers and scientists raring to unleash their creativity; the
lessons in freedom and sharing that students learn by using GNU/Linux will also
go a long way in shaping their character as caring and responsible human
ashidhar b desai ,6th sem E&C, B.V.Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering &
Technology Hubli,Karnataka,India ,FLOSS is an excellent alternative for the
existing commercial softwares..Academics(colleges and univ) is the best way to
promote and support "Free Software".It will be a great initiative if the univ
adopts it(it will become an example for other univ & institutes). News about
open source and gnu/linux stuff---Indian Inside . Lets get Liberated.LONG LIVE
Praveen Arimbrathodiyil (National Instititute of Technology, Calicut) Fri Mar
11 17:34:50 IST 2005 We use GNU/Linux in our main Computer center. It saves a
lot of money of the college as there is no licence fee to be paid for each
users. Since the source code of the softwares are available many computer
science students do projects based on Linux kernel and other such projects. The
possibility of use of thin-clients (which our computer center use) reduces the
cost of hardware dramatically. It has proved to be beneficial to our college
and I urge you to chose Free Software for giving a better alternative for
Debapriyo Sarkar. Final year student of BCA, Goa. As a student, I plead to
every university, to adopt, encourage and spread the use of Free/Libre Open
Source Software (FLOSS). The benefits are clearly far-more significant than
cost savings (which of course is a huge motivating factor). The quality of
software reviewed and worked on by virtually the entire developer community of
the world is definitely at least world-class if nothing else. It is possible to
save on costs with $0 priced closed source software often termed as freeware,
but the limited resources of the single developer or the couple of developers
behind the software makes future of such software bleak. Compared to that,
software released under an open source license, helps user as well as developer
involvement to happen as deeply and transparent as no other licensing model can
support. As the letter includes the following (stripped) statement "...Octave,
which is simulation software written by University professors. This usually
comes with the GNU/Linux Operating System." which clearly shows that professors
of universities elsewhere have contributed to the solution of making quality
software available to the students and colleges alike under a license that
welcomes further contributions to improve the project virtually endlessly. As a
personal experience, I often have used open source alternatives whenever
acquiring the proprietary packages meant depending on the lab assistant to
provide the CD for illegal copying or genuinely going out and shelling out all
those huge wads of cash for functionality that was already at my disposal with
added advantage of continuing development and a long-life (of the software). As
universities use and recommend use of open source software,rate of development
is bound to grow with more and more students using the same version of software
both at college and home (no limited cheap "student" edition which are "cheap"
imitations with myriad "limitations"). Also professors' contributions in the
form of bug reports, bug fixes, new functionality patches and their work in
increasing awareness about the benefits of using open source software would
help improve quality of free software to an enormous extent.
Vijay Kumar, Chennai, India. http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/schools.html
.P.Sujeevan,Project leader, S2S2, Kerala .Here at kerala at school level more
than 50 of schools are still using GNU/Linux.Also SSLC IT practical examination
has successfully done under the linux operating system.Some schools are still
using the Linux terminal server systems.Next year aggressive work is planning
to implement complete linux environment in schools.http://s2s2net.netfirms.com
_/ ____\____ Frederick Noronha * Freelance Journalist * Goa
\ __\/ \ India T +91.832.2409490 M +919822 122436
| | | | \ http://fn.swiki.nethttp://goabooks.swiki.net
|__| |___| / http://www.bytesforall.nethttp://www.bytesforall.org
Writing with a difference, on issues that really make the difference.
The Free Software Free Society Conference held at Thiruvananthapuram
during May 28-29 adopted a declaration that called upon the social and
political institutions to eliminate systems that hinder the
development of the gnowledge society (see www.gnowledge.org).
The full text of the declaration is available at
V. Sasi Kumar
Strangely, I've not seen this discussed on any of the usual mailing
lists so far (or maybe I missed it). Apologies for cross-posting. See
also our Mumbai Free Map project on http://www.crit.org.in/projects/gis
Cabinet approves new map policy
Defence and open series to be released
Though as a rule the use of maps is governed by a system of
registration, there will now be no such requirement for maps up to a
scale of 1:1 million.
The Hindu, Chennai
20 May 2005
NEW DELHI: : The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a new policy, which
provides for the release of two series of maps — defence and open. This
is to ensure free flow of spatial information for developmental
activities and address security concerns.
The defence series maps (DSMs) are for the exclusive use of the defence
forces and authorised government departments. The open series maps
(OSMs) will be available to the public, private and public agencies and
non-governmental organisations involved in planning and development of
irrigation projects, roads, bridges and hospitals.
The Defence Ministry will determine the policy on the use of DSMs,
while the Survey of India (SOI), under the Science and Technology
Ministry, will be responsible for the policy on OSMs.
The S&T Ministry will have to take one-time permission from the Defence
Ministry before releasing a map in the open series. The user-agency
will be free to add value and share it, provided the changes are
communicated to the SOI.
The OSMs can be produced to any scale. Though, as a rule, the use of
maps is governed by a system of registration, there will be no such
requirement for maps up to a scale of 1:1 million. Registered private
agencies, carrying SOI accreditation, will be permitted to do surveys
for preparing maps in all parts using the public domain datum.
Announcing the decision,Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said
technological changes around the world rendered many features of the
existing map policy redundant and anachronistic.
An official release said its continuance tended to impede free flow of
spatial information and engendered high opportunity costs for a
developing economy. At the same time, all spatial data available in the
public domain had potential security hazards. The new policy would
address all these concerns.
Later, addressing a press conference, S&T Minister, Kapil Sibal, said
the SOI would begin releasing the new OSMs in a few months, after the
Defence Ministry decided on the extent of the geographical areas that
could be opened up for generation of maps without compromising security
concerns. At present, 60 per cent of the geographical area was under
restriction. It was expected that the new policy would drastically
The SOI would soon begin updating the maps. The OSMs would have all
essential parameters such as the latitude, longitude, gradients and
CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust)
Goregaon-Malad Link Road
Malad (West), Mumbai 400064
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, May 28: Publicly-funded content must be openly available, and sharing knowledge only enhances its richness, Italian senator Fiorello Cortiana told a four-nation international conference held in the Kerala capital this morning.
Eminent economist and former Venezuela minister for planning and development Dr Filipe Perez-Marti agreed, and stressed that participation, solidarity and wisdom would be the key three words that characterise a new global situation.
Amidst praise for Kerala for organising this first ever south-to-south contact in the world of free software and free knowledge, speakers from Latin America (Venezuela, and Brazil), Italy and India explored ways of understanding their respective situations and possibilities for collaboration across the oceans.
The Latin Americans were keen to hear about Kerala's attempts to look at take Free Software solutions to schools, through their IT@School project which aims to train about 200 master trainers, who will then train at least one teacher from each school in the state in the use of free software.
Free Software Foundation of India director Prof G Nagarjuna stressed how India was able to fight-back attempts to make software a patentable item. He said help for this endeavour had come from enlightened politicians, the peoples' science movement, media and others.
Latin American delegates spoke of how their firms including the Venezualan oil giant had opted for free software, both for more control over their work and avoid possibilities of sabotage in a crucial sector of the economy.
Government of Brazil special advisor in the ministry of communications Antonio Bezerra de Albquerque Neto said Brazil was keen to build links with countries like India and China, and stressed that Free Software is a key means of in building a fairer society.
SPACE executive secretary Satish Babucalled this a fairly unique event and said Kerala had a good chance of building itself as a global destination of Free Software. SPACE chairperson Prof K R Srivathsan termed Free Software a natural way for the scientific community to play around with.
Former musician turned Free Software activist Juan Carlos Gentile said he hoped this first-ever meet of its kind would lead to many things to come. Kerala IT secretary PH Kurian said ideas of sharing knowledge were not alien to India, and cited the case of Gautam Buddha who used the people's language to spread his message.
Kerala began this four-nation meet on Saturday morning, and it aims to take the ideas of free software to different realms of society, which can gain from the power of sharing knowledge and culture.
SPACE, the Thiruvananthapuram-based Society for the Promotion of Alternative Computing and Environment, is co-organiser of this event with the global NGO Hipatia (www.hipatia.net) and the Free Software Foundation-India (www.fsf.org.in).
Organisers say that the international free software movement has shown a new way of knowledge creation and social ownership. They're keen to explore how the free software model can be applied to fields as diverse as governance, digital inclusion, development and culture. (ENDS)
Frederick Noronha 784 Near Convent, Sonarbhat SALIGAO GOA India
Freelance Journalist TEL: +91-832-2409490 MOBILE: 9822122436
fred at bytesforall.orghttp://www.bytesforall.org
India's Upcoming Free Software, Free Society Conference
Free software advocates and IT delegates from around the world will be in Kerala, India, this week in the hopes of building free software collaborations for the future.
Free software offers its users various freedoms. In India, free software enthusiasts are working on a new one--the freedom to build bridges to potential partners half-way across the globe who are facing similar developmental concerns or challenges.
To help facilitate this bridge-building process, the Free Software Foundation of India is organising a four-country conference to be held May 28-29, 2005. The Free Software, Free Society conference brings together hackers from an unlikely set of nations, people who don't speak the same language but who do see much in the idea that knowledge is most powerful when it is shared freely. Arun M, arun(a)gnu.org.in, one of the key organisers of this event, said, "The Free Software movement has shown a new way of knowledge creation based on collaboration and social ownership. This conference explores the possibilities of applying the Free Software model in addressing broader questions such as governance, digital inclusion, development and culture."
Free Software, Free Society is being organised by the Free Software Foundation of India, along with Italy's Hipatia project, the Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE) in Kerala and the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management-Kerala (IITM-K). The conference will be held at Technopark, a technology and software promotion centre in the state-capital of India's southernmost state of Kerala....
Frederick Noronha 784 Near Convent, Sonarbhat SALIGAO GOA India
Freelance Journalist TEL: +91-832-2409490 MOBILE: 9822122436
fred at bytesforall.orghttp://www.bytesforall.org
Teenager Develops User Friendly GNU Linux OS
Obstacles such as financial constraints, very minimum PC resources,
did not in any way deter the grit of Kerala-based, 15-year old Sarath
Lakshman from developing SLYNUX- a highly user-friendly GNU/Linux
operating system designed for beginners. A completely self-taught
person, who has never stepped into a computer-learning institute in
his lifetime, his tale is one of guts and more guts.
Speaking to CXOtoday, Lakshman recollected, "I had first heard about
GNU/Linux when I was a computer (Windows user) from standard eight.
However, I was advised by tech-savvy people that only experts could
use it. This inspired me to collect a Linux distro. I collected Redhat
9.0- the only Linux distro known and available in my locality and
installed it in my system (128MB Ram and Celeron 1Ghz processor).
"That was my first brush with Linux; its basic features impressed me
though the OS was not user friendly as I could not understand the
program names, commands since I was a fresher to Linux. This paved the
seed of a user friendly Linux in my mind," added Lakshman.
The main feature of this operating system is that, any person who is
familiar with Microsoft Windows OS can handle this operating system
very easily. The desktop of this operating system is arranged so as to
make it friendly to the user. It comes with a wide range of
application programs, which are pre-installed. It can be run
completely from CD without installation with options of installing a
Speaking further he said, "I have written many shell scripts, though I
have not counted the same. I have done little C++ compilations and
codings too with some kernel modifications too. (The base of every
GNU/Linux is shell scripts)."
SLYNUX is a live Linux distribution, which includes content of about
2GB made available by using transparent compression. This is a debian
based GNU/Linux developed from Knoppix (credit of most features of
this Distro goes to knoppix). 256 MB Ram is recommended to run SLYNUX
Live CD for good performance.
Describing the challenges he faced, Lakshman stated, "The first
problem I faced was lack of Internet facility. I currently use a BSNL
dial up connection with about 44 Kbps speed since I cannot afford a
broadband connection. Because of this, I could use the Web only for
browsing purposes. All resources related to GNU/Linux are available
for download, especially source codes, which were of huge sizes
(around 20MB, 50MB, 600MB etc)."
The second problem was lack of help. "At the place, which I reside
there are no Linux users until now. But in places like Ernakulum and
Trivandrum, in Kerala, Linux is gaining momentum. I later met an IT
consultant at the Kerala legislative assembly who helped me a lot by
giving me some GNU/Linux distros, (especially knoppix 3.6.)," said
Describing his struggle further he said, "Thirdly, the PC (Intel
Celeron 1Gnz, 810E motherboard), I currently use is unfit for
development activities and many Linux distros cannot support my
configuration for graphics. This resulted in long hours for cloop
compression (a process in SLYNUX development, which used to take about
2 hours for compression every time. A good configuration system would
have take me only about 8 to 10 minutes."
Lakshman rues the fact that he does not even posses a Web space for
hosting his site. He has currently hosted it in a free domain.
He insists that SLYNUX is especially for newbies of Linux. "Using
SLYNUX every Windows user can migrate to the GNU/Linux. Meanwhile,
SLYNUX 1.1, 2.0 can also be used by enterprise users as I plan to
shortly release SLYNUX 3.0 with kernel 184.108.40.206 and other Apache server
tools, MySQL etc. (MySQL is already there with SLYNUX.)," stated
A science and technology enthusiast from the age of 10, Lakshman has
just appeared for the SSLC (Kerala state syllabus) public examination
and waiting for the results. His other achievements include developing
an e-periodic table with basic knowledge of Visual Basic programming
when he was studying in the ninth grade. The Executive Director,
IT@School, Thiruvananthapuram demanded the copy right of the software
to include it in the X standard resource CD to supply to all High
schools in Kerala.
Speaking about the road ahead, he has no clue about how to go about
marketing his product, though he hopes to be approached by genuine
companies who would be interested in marketing his product, although
in the same breath he states he does not have a profit motive, (he
follows the philosophy of free software).
While it is indisputable, that India does possess the talent, brains,
and the determination, efforts such as these often go unnoticed due to
lack of a strategic marketing plan and direction. Meanwhile, any
takers for SLYNUX?
Here is your last chance to sign the petition since we are thinking of
winding it up on June 5th.
Please read and sign the petition at
below is the signature by RMS
80. From Richard Stallman <rms at gnu.org <http://gnu.org>>: Schools of all
levels should insist on Free Software, because proprietary software
prohibits learning and builds dependency. See