NEW DELHI: The Department of IT on Wednesday made it clear that there was a place for both proprietary and open source software in its larger scheme to provide the country with a robust IT infrastructure.
Amidst persistent reports that the government is pushing for open source software in the form of a Linux India initiative that includes a policy shift, IT secretary Rajeeva Ratna Shah, on Wednesday clarified that the IT Department has never been vendor-specific, product-specific or genre-specific in its approach.
"The final decision will rest with the consumer and it is market and competitive forces that will decide which gets priority," he said. According to him, the government is interested in keeping abreast of global trends in technology usage and he had therefore called a meeting of industry to study the potential for open source software.
While there was no specific agenda finalised, the interaction revealed that open source software may prove to be more cost-effective in research and development initiatives aimed at bridging the digital divide, he told ET.
Since affordability is a criterion in this country, if internet penetration is increased, it would be possible for poor consumers who cannot afford costly applications to download them from the Net — and this was mainly built on open source software, he explained.
"It would be wrong to say the government is excluding a particular proprietary system to boost another open source system. But it is true that we would be relying on both and in the process may help open source acquire the strength it lacks today."
News source: Newsforge