India’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has announced its policy of adopting open source software for e-governance facilities. This new implementation is aimed at giving the administration financial and strategic benefits.
The policy is effective for all Central Government organizations and also State Governments willing to adopt it. The policy will apply to all new e-governance projects and fresher versions of the existing systems that are being developed. Under this declaration, it is mandatory for software suppliers to provide information for the use of both open source software (OSS) and closed source software (CSS). And they should also validate wherever necessary, the requirement of CSS over OSS.
E-governance falls under the purview of the broader vision of the Digital India venture by the Central Government which focuses on making administrative services electronically available to every citizen. The open source adoption policy will not only contribute towards reducing the cost of these services, but will also help in increasing transparency, strategic restriction and security. The statement also says that organizations are urged to implement OSS wherever possible, but exceptions can be made if the use of proprietary products is necessary only provided it is properly justified.
The open source adoption policy will mitigate the expense of e-governance and will also offer the benefits associated which such software like local need-based source code alteration and freedom from market monopoly. The move aims to set up support machinery implemented OSS with the help of institutes, scholars, industries and OSS communities. Countries like the US, the UK and Germany have already started the use or promotion of the use of open source software in administrative work.
The policy envisages the collaboration and contribution of the Government of India with national and international OSS community members to develop beneficial open source software. The declaration if properly implemented, will make e-governance services more cost effective and increase strategic control and security over these facilities.