Promotion of free and open source software (FOSS) will be an area of important attention for the Computer Society of India, as the country could benefit hugely out of it financially and socially, the CSI's newly elected president Satish Babu has said.
“We are looking at how IT and ICT could benefit the whole nation and the society at various levels. Promotion of FOSS is going to be an area of focus in this larger perspective. We believe that the country will benefit cost-wise and also in achieving the larger goal of using IT and ICT as a social tool,” Mr Satish told PTI here.
An IT professional and entrepreneur, Mr Satish said there was an increasing awareness not only in India but also in other parts of the world, including Africa and Latin America, that the use of FOSS was important in their new initiatives in economy as well as social sectors.
An advocate of FOSS for long, Mr Satish said his perspective on FOSS had been very much in tune with the goals of CSI as an organisation committed to support the nation by leveraging its strengths in areas such a technical education, capacity enhancement and social development.
“We hope to play a role in transition to the idea economy – the future where ideas and innovations drive the economy as transactable entities. This requires encouraging, identifying, incubating and creating market-linkages for innovation from all sections of society and from all geographies,” he said.
CSI is aware that interface with key stakeholders such as governments, civil society organisations, IT industry and academia was important in this process, he said.
Also, CSI will strive to create new initiatives in areas of contemporary interests such as green computing, e-waste management and climate change adaptations, Mr Satish said.
Founded in 1965, CSI has a current membership of about 90,000 spread in its chapters and student branches. Its members hail from diverse fields ranging from academia, research institutions, industry and business, government and user communities extending to far-flung areas of the country.
“My organisational priorities include enhancing services to all stakeholders, strengthening chapters, divisions and regions and special interest groups as well as creating single-point open access repository of all content generated through CSI conferences and seminars to make them useful to all information consumers,” he said.
Mr Satish, who also heads CSI's Special Interest Group on FOSS, said there had been a gradual shift on the part of most State governments towards free software in the last few years.
For example, the IT@School programme in Kerala, which had become a model for the country as a whole, is almost based on free software, he said.