On 27 may 2016, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher
Secondary Education has given a reply to my notice. Maharashtra State
Board was neglecting Open Source directives given by MHRD. Though the
Circular in this regard was issued, it was published in the education
booklet "Shikshan Sankraman" !. The circular as Important as this, which
could have saved huge amounts for Schools, must have been given to
Schools directly and it must have been given wide publicity in major
The Board's claim that by putting a note - "Schools and Colleges can use
Open Source Software" on index page, they have followed directions given
by MHRD is ridiculous. In the remaining pages of the reply, Board has
given photocopies copies of the changes they have made in 2016-17 text
books to be printed soon, and they have clarified further that Open
Source can be used in "Theory as well as in Practicals" which is very
Note that MHRD has used the word "PREFER" while Board is cleverly using
Anyway, I assume that this is only a symbolic exit of Microsoft from
State's Schools Education.
This covers State Schools and Junior Colleges in Maharashtra. But
University Education too is compelling degree colleges to use
proprietary software. Situation is somewhat better in Engineering
courses but in the courses such as Computer Applications (TYBcom), there
are softwares like MS Excel and Visual Basic. Also there are direct
questions in the examination on the commands used in Excel and VB. I am
going to send similar letter to Mumbai University too.
Also the course MS-ACIT has been made mandatory for teachers. This
course is exclusively an advertisement of Microsoft and other other
proprietary software. Since after removing proprietary software from
school. This course, which itself is a violation of MHRD notification,
becomes meaningless for teachers. Hence appropriate changes are
necessary in this course curriculum. We have to follow this matter in
I request all to help Schools in Maharashtra aware of the purpose and
significance of this change and make open source movement stronger.
Otherwise it will remain only on paper.
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-- Arun Khan
(I have no commercial affiliation with the Humble Bundle)