India moves to open source

microsoft-open-sourceThe Government of India has moved to a comprehensive open source policy as part of a cunning plan to adopt open standards for buying.

The policy coincides with another broad initiative, Digital India, and requires the various ministries of the GOI “to adopt Open Source Software [OSS] in all e-Governance systems performed by various Government organisations, as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS).

“All Government Organisations, while fulfilling e-Governance applications and systems must include a specific requirement in Request for Proposal (RFP) for all suppliers to consider OSS with CSS while responding. Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response, as the case may be. Government Organisations shall ensure compliance with this requirement and decide by comparing both OSS and CSS options with capability, strategic control, scalability, security, life-time costs and support requirements.”

Most departments were reported to be supportive of the policy, with none opposed to it. However the policy has received criticism, directly from some companies as well from organisations representing some parts of the IT industry.