Open source influences in India

Our next featured customer guest blogger, Vijay Saradhi hails from India, is an active participant in the Lenovo forum community and moderates Lenovo discussions in the Orkut community. I found his perspective on open source and the use of computing devices which are not in the traditional desktop or notebook form factors interesting.   Not every technological culture follows the same developmental roadmap or approach...

I want to share my perspective on the radical shift in technology underway in my country and the way India has adapted in its development. There are many areas of computer science which are developing niche products in their own areas or domains, but two areas which hold my interest are the open source phenomenon and web based services. My never ending want to gain more knowledge as long as possible is due to the impetus called opensource. All along these years I have been a bit of a layman about computers, a person who would use the usual software or tools without any choice. Why do I find opensource so amazing? My reason is that it provides a very good competition to large scale software companies because the rise of a formidable competitor in opensource will leave other companies with no choice but to provide better products. I have been using GNU/Linux for 6 years and it was this platform that presented various questions and queries. Remember Linux was not so user friendly once as it is today! Due to my interest in computers and GNU/LINUX , I was inclined to try every single distro I could get my hands on, exploring the various characteristics of them though the web and social media. It is these kind of platforms which provide increased know-how to persons who are interested in these kind of areas. For example, Linux is being used as a tool for developing the rudimentary knowledge of computers for school children in the state of Kerala, which has India’s highest literacy rate. The state government chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux to be deployed not only in state run schools but also for its administrative purposes. In the IT policy of the federal government, the use of opensource software has provided many advantages such as the localization of important platforms like Mozilla Firefox and open into our regional languages. I wonder whether that could have been possible, or as easily accomplished with proprietary software makers? It is also Linux which powers India’s first locally made hand held computer called the “Simputer."


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More on the simputer... Innovative mechanisms like these and much more have given Indian people the power to utilize their synergies in a good manner. For a country such as India where any initiative in IT sector should be started in a big manner due to its huge population,(1.1 billion) a viable and economical solution is the adaption of opensource systems as a whole. Vijay Saradhi