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.
Any help is appreciated! :)
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: miniDebConfPune <minidebconfpune(a)openmailbox.org>
Date: Thu 23 Jun, 2016, 01:00
Subject: [Mini DebConf India] [Announce] Mini Debian Conference Pune 2016
We are pleased to announce *mini Debian Conference Pune on 30 and 31st
July, 2016. *
We are proud to be hosting it at *College of Engineering, Pune (CO**EP)**. *
COEP has a history of good FOSS contributors and with the upcoming
conference, we hope to add to its legacy.
It has also hosted a mini Debian Conference way back in 2010
and this year mini Debian Conference returns where it started, in Pune.
This is our second mini Debian Conference of the year. The first one
happened in Mumbai in January 2016 .
*Dates:* 30th & 31st July, 2016
*Venue*:College of Engineering Pune,
Wellesely Rd, Shivajinagar,
Pune-411 005. Maharashtra, INDIA.
Be a part of this mini Debian Conference Pune as a speaker by submitting a
We have started accepting proposals now.
*Call for proposals (CFPs) is on and will end by 23 July, 2016, 23:59:59
For submission guidelines and info on how to send your proposals please
refer to the website 
*We are looking for sponsors* to help us make this year's event a roaring
We have a great sponsorship proposal for Interested organizations looking
to sponsor the event.
Interested parties should contact us on 
We are also looking for volunteers who can look after tasks such as
designing posters, logos etc.
If you want to volunteer for any of the above mentioned tasks or even tasks
apart from them,
feel free to mail us on .
More details will soon be updated here on mailing list  as well as on
the website  and social media portals. .
Help us *spread the news* about mini Debian conference Pune by sharing this
mail on various other
mailing lists and social media portals. Also share the news with your
friends,family and colleagues.
We hope you all will *join us in celebrating a successful community* that
has grown in leaps and bounds since the operating system's initial
*Looking forward to see you all* at mini Debian Conference Pune.
On behalf of the Debian India community,
*Team miniDebConf Pune*
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