The State Of Open-Source Ecosystem in India

The State Of Open-Source Ecosystem in India

The State Of Open-Source Ecosystem in India. Most of the digital experiences are powered by open-source software. Notably, more than 85 percent of India’s internet is running on open-source software. Courts, IRCTC, State Bank of India, LIC India etc rely on this ecosystem to scale operations and provide efficient services.

India has a vibrant and growing open-source community. In March, Microsoft’s  GitHub, which has 5.8 million Indian contributors, announced a grant of Rs.1 crore to support India-based open-source maintainers and contributors who build world-class software using open-source tools. As per GitHub COO Erica Brescia, India is the fastest-growing country in terms of new developers contributing to open-source projects.

Open-source software development has a lot of potential in India and could become the best in the world under the right circumstances. The government of India can play a major role here. Introducing policy-level changes to open-source development could encourage a mutually beneficial relationship for both the government and the developers and give ‘Digital India’ a much needed push.

Digital India & open-source ecosystem

Open-source hinges on commons-based peer production of information, knowledge, and culture. In open-source, both creators and users have the same power, which is not the case with proprietary softwares & tools controlled by tech monopolies.

In 2015, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, rolled out three major policies related to open-source.

Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India: The policy states that all the government departments would adopt open-source software in all the e-governance systems. The idea was to ensure strategic control in e-Government applications and systems and define a framework to adapt open-source and reduce ownership costs.

Such open-source software should have the following characteristics:

  • Making the source code available for the end-user to study and modify the software. The end-user should also be allowed to redistribute the original or the modified source code.
  • The source code will be free from royalty.

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