Academicians and not-for-profit organizations in the field of Information Technology today asked the Centre to reconsider the contract given to US software major Microsoft for development of ‘Swayam’ platform as it is in “direct contrast” with the government policy on open source softwares. Also Read - Xbox Series X restock in India possible by early August, no news on Series SAlso Read - Xbox Game Pass: List of games coming to consoles in July, big games releasing next month
“A group of concerned citizens and organizations comprising academicians and NGOs have written a letter to the MHRD Prakash Javadekar, requesting him to reconsider the decision of awarding Microsoft a contract to develop SWAYAM,” Software Freedom Law Centre, a signatory to the letter, said in a statement. However, the Ministry has denied the allegation.
“It is incorrect to state that Government has banned use of any other platform except the open source. Use of open source or established software is to be decided based on the complexity of the task,” MHRD Additional Secretary R Subrahmanyam said.
The letter was written following an announcement made in June that Microsoft Corporation had been engaged as the system integrator to develop government open online learning platform SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) at a cost of Rs 38 crore. ALSO READ: Microsoft partners NGO Tamana to promote I-T based opportunities to autistic kids
“This announcement was in direct contrast to the ‘Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software (OSS)’ of the Government, which mandates that the Government of India shall endeavour to adopt OSS in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government organisations as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS),” the statement alleged.
“For all academic projects that involve collaborative work, we advocate use of open source; but when dealing with complex software on enterprise model involving multiple stakeholders like SWAYAM, the choice is clearly on established software,” Subrahmanyam said.