eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

E-GOVERNANCE MAJOR FOCUS ON SECOND DAY OF LINUXASIA CONVENTION

Posted by egovindia on July 16, 2006

E-GOVERNANCE MAJOR FOCUS ON SECOND DAY OF LINUXASIA CONVENTION
Speakers highlight challenges of standardisation, IPR and customisation at state levels.
Industry recognises its own through LFY Industry Awards

New Delhi, February 9, 2006: The second day at the LinuxAsia 2006, the region’s premier Open Source conference and expo, saw speakers from government and industry recount experiences in implementation of Open Source e-governance projects.

Speaking at the e-Governance Forum in the convention, Dr. Neeta Shah, Director E-Governance, Government of Gujarat, informed that the state government had taken up an ambitious project, completely based on open-source, which will integrate 100 plus different department web sites, on a single platform. The project, called “e-databank’ is expected to make life much easier for the common man. Mr. Prakash Kumar, IT Secretary Government of Delhi, offered to guide other state governments in emulating the successful e-governance initiatives of the Government of Delhi. He, however, pointed out that in some cases the IPR is not owned by them, which becomes a hindrance in transferring the code. He also mentioned the need of standardisation of basic processes and systems of data capture and citizen interaction, across the country, so that the states can share and optimise resources. He averred that open-source would be an ideal solution for citizen interface as it is regional language friendly.

Mr. Pradeep Tagare, Senior Investment Manager at Intel Capital, the venture funding arm of Intel, speaking at the Panel on Attracting Venture of OS startups revealed that Intel had begun a number of initiatives to encourage open source applications on Intel platforms. He said Intel did believe that Open Source solutions could be a commercial success based on their service support and value provided.

Elaborating on Intel’s plans in India in the Open Source area, he announced that Intel would be starting an Open Source Incubator in the country that would pick up projects and ideas and build companies around them. He said Intel was looking at funding 3-5 such projects in the next twelve months and would be willing to invest between US$ 100,000 to US$ 2 million in each project as seed capital. Intel would further support these projects with engineering and marketing resources, help for business development and help in getting ongoing funding after seed capital. He expected the growing awareness of Open Source in India, supported by government mandate, particularly in areas such as education, would throw up several such projects.

The highlight of the day was a keynote address by the colourful Klaus Knopper, creator of Knoppix, the landmark live distribution version of Linux who presented his vision of an “Open-Source World” over the next 100 years. On his first visit to India, Mr. Knopper outlined the free software concept of “copyleft” as opposed to “copyright” – free and open source that promotes sharing knowledge as a Common Good, which should be freely distributable. He said “Diversity is Good! In the next 100 years, we should make sure that knowledge and its application stay as free as at present and there is always a choice.” While supporting commercial use of Open Source, he said that legally binding licences could form the base for working together and sharing resources as a “creative commons”.

The activities of the day at the LinuxAsia convention ended with the announcement of the LFY Industry awards. Top honours went to RedHat for Best OS Services; Fedora for Best OS Distribution; MySQL for Best OS Database; Tomcat/Apache for Best OS App Server. Other winners were Mozilla (Best Web Browser), KDE (Best OS Desktop), Novell Evolution (Best email Client), and OpenOffice.org (Best Office Productivity Suite). Hardware vendors recognised for providing Linux-friendly platforms included HP (Desktops, Laser/Inkjet Printers, Scanners), IBM (Servers), Lenovo (Laptops) and Sony (Digital Cameras).

The LinuxAsia Conference had sessions running in four parallel tracks on the second day. There were Industry sessions, the e-Governance Forum, the Technology Forum and a set of special sessions under the label Fedora Day. Speakers from Telecom, Government, Education, Small and Medium Enterprise, Financial Services, IT & ITES, formed the panels.

The gov.in pavilion, a first-time feature this year with central and state govt bodies showcasing eGovernance open source solutions, drew many visitors in the day’s focus on e-governance. Conference sponsors Oracle, Dell Computer and Intel had enthusiastic crowds at their stalls. Other exhibitors included HP, IBM, RedHat, CDAC and several others. Local language applications continued to attract most visitors.

Artech India, knowledge partner to the LinuxAsia conference announced the launch of Akshar Naveen, the first multilingual IT product on Linux. Akshar, a 25 year-old product is now available for Open Source platforms in Hindi, Punjabi, Bangla, Gujarati.

About LinuxAsia 2006
Being held for the third consecutive year, LinuxAsia is the premier open source conference and expo in the region. It attracts the Linux community, serious users, government policy makers and industry across the board. The last edition of the event attracted over 2500 visitors.

Editorial contact:
Rohit Srivastava
MelCole PR
Tel: 011-29834428, 29833118
E-mail:
delhi@melcole.com

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