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Information and Communication Technology in Education (ICT)-Using free software in education

Thiruvananthapuram, December 22: Using free software under Information and Communication Technology in Education (ICT) in 3.2 lakh schools across the country can save over Rs.8,000 crore, said an expert in free software.

Rahul De of IIM Bangalore said this, Friday, while speaking at the opening day of 5th International Free Software Conference – Swatantra 2014 being held here. “About Rs.18 lakh is spent per school, under the ICT in Education scheme. If free software is used in 3.2 lakh schools, the savings would amount to Rs.8,000 crore,” said Rahul De.

  • He said that the adoption of free software led to re-thinking on entire chain of bringing IT to schools and found that except for Kerala, most states are using proprietary software for schools.
  • “We found no pedagogic or academic reason why proprietary software was preferred when free software could meet all requirements. Similarly if we look at implementing free software in almost all departments of the government, it can bring tangible and intangible benefits,” added Rahul De.
  • Richard Stallman, often referred to as the father of free software inaugurated the three-day event in which over 200 delegates from across the country and abroad are attending to discuss and define the roadmap for the use of Free Software.
  • Swatantra 2014 has been organized by International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) and is supported by the Free Software Foundation India, Centre for Internet and Society, Bengaluru, among others.

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