eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

Archive for November, 2007

Google announces first open source contest:Contest aimed toward students to participate and write code, documentation, research and quality assurance

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Google announces first open source contest

 

Contest aimed toward students to participate and write code, documentation, research and quality assurance

Friday, November 30, 2007

 

BANGALORE, INDIA: Who doesn’t love a contest? We certainly do. Google believes strongly in students having opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, and today at the Open Source Developers’ Conference in Brisbane, Australia, Google has announced the highly open participation contest to secondary school and high school students in open source software development.


For the past three years college students have participated in Google Summer of Code with great results: hundreds of college students have been introduced to open source software, thousands of people across the globe have begun development together, and millions of lines of open code have been produced. As we thought about what we could do to help encourage students before university and build a pipeline of future talent, we developed the Google Highly Open Participation Contest — the first contest from our open source team exclusively for secondary school and high school students.


Students can visit to write code and documentation, prepare training materials, conduct user-experience research, and win prizes — t-shirts, cash, or, for ten grand-prize winners, a chance to visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, Ca.


Google will work with ten open source organizations — Apache Software Foundation, Drupal, GNOME, Joomla!, MoinMoin, Mono, Moodle, Plone, Python Software Foundation, and SilverStripe CMS — for this pilot effort, each of which will provide a list of tasks to be completed by the student participants.


Tasks typically fall into the following categories: code, documentation, research, outreach, quality assurance, training, translation, and user interface, so there should be something for everyone, and parents and educators can help by sharing this opportunity with their children and students.

The contest is open to students age 13 and older who have not yet begun university studies, and contestants will be able to claim tasks until 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time on January 22, 2008.

Source: WebWire

http://www.ciol.com/content/301107101885.aspx

 

 

 

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Create virtual servers using open source virtualization

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Create virtual servers using open source virtualization

 

Using OpenVZ project’s software users can effectively create virtual servers to improve utilization of the physical server

Friday, November 30, 2007

 

 

HERNDON, USA: The OpenVZ project announced that using its open source virtualization software in combination with virtual machine open source Xen software, users can effectively create many virtual servers to improve utilization of the physical server.


The software enables users to divide one physical server into virtual servers using Xen software, and then creating OpenVZ virtual environments inside those virtual machines.


The software download is based on the RHEL5 Xen kernel with builds available for both x86 and x86_64 platforms. The software can run on the Xen hypervisor in both Dom0 and DomU.


“We wanted to show people what is possible with the low overhead of our operating system (OS) virtualization open source OpenVZ software,” said Kir Kolyshkin, manager of the OpenVZ project. “This is a marriage of complementary technologies that blends the flexibility of virtual machine technology, which is capable of running different operating systems, along with the efficiency of OS virtualization, which can run several times more virtual servers as compared with other virtualization technologies.”


“This combination of open source virtualization technologies provides users with flexibility of running one or more guest operating systems, while also realizing high performance through low overhead,” said Tom Schwaller, an expert in Linux, open source and virtualization technologies based in Germany. “We’re seeing virtualization technologies maturing as we really understand what is possible.”


The OpenVZ project freely distributes and offers support to its users, promoting operating system virtualization through a collaborative, community effort. Supported by SWsoft, the OpenVZ project serves the needs of the community developers, testers, documentation experts, and other technology enthusiasts who wish to participate in and accelerate the technology development process. OpenVZ is open source software that is used as the basis for the SWsoft Virtuozzo virtualization software product.

Since going into full production late in 2005, the OpenVZ project has been very active with the user community with more than 20,000 message posts on its support Forum. The OpenVZ website attracts tens of thousands of visitors each month as more businesses and individuals explore and contribute to the leading open source operating system virtualization project.


About OpenVZ

OpenVZ is operating system server virtualization software technology, built on Linux, which creates multiple isolated, secure virtual environments on a single physical server – enabling greater server utilization and superior availability with fewer performance penalties. The virtual servers ensure that applications do not conflict and can be re-booted independently.


With the power of today’s processors, hardware is often under utilized. With virtualization technology, the server can effectively be split into many small ones, each running its tasks so that the whole server is utilized more efficiently.


OpenVZ software can be used to help consolidate servers and increase server utilization rates, or for creating “sandboxes” for test and development, or when sharing resources so that every user can have root access while being kept isolated from each other.


The OpenVZ software comes with user tools that help automate management of virtual servers. With its unique architecture that uses a single operating system instance, the virtual servers perform and execute like independent servers with their own memory, configuration files, users and applications.


Each can be re-booted independently. Using template-based application deployment provides a simple way to get new virtual servers up and running in minutes and OpenVZ can run several times more virtual servers per CPU than other virtualization technologies.

http://www.ciol.com/content/301107101882.aspx

 

Posted in OPEN SOURCE SYSTEMS - OSS | Leave a Comment »

Create virtual servers using open source virtualization

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Create virtual servers using open source virtualization

 

Using OpenVZ project’s software users can effectively create virtual servers to improve utilization of the physical server

Friday, November 30, 2007

 

HERNDON, USA: The OpenVZ project announced that using its open source virtualization software in combination with virtual machine open source Xen software, users can effectively create many virtual servers to improve utilization of the physical server.


The software enables users to divide one physical server into virtual servers using Xen software, and then creating OpenVZ virtual environments inside those virtual machines.


The software download is based on the RHEL5 Xen kernel with builds available for both x86 and x86_64 platforms. The software can run on the Xen hypervisor in both Dom0 and DomU.


“We wanted to show people what is possible with the low overhead of our operating system (OS) virtualization open source OpenVZ software,” said Kir Kolyshkin, manager of the OpenVZ project. “This is a marriage of complementary technologies that blends the flexibility of virtual machine technology, which is capable of running different operating systems, along with the efficiency of OS virtualization, which can run several times more virtual servers as compared with other virtualization technologies.”


“This combination of open source virtualization technologies provides users with flexibility of running one or more guest operating systems, while also realizing high performance through low overhead,” said Tom Schwaller, an expert in Linux, open source and virtualization technologies based in Germany. “We’re seeing virtualization technologies maturing as we really understand what is possible.”


The OpenVZ project freely distributes and offers support to its users, promoting operating system virtualization through a collaborative, community effort. Supported by SWsoft, the OpenVZ project serves the needs of the community developers, testers, documentation experts, and other technology enthusiasts who wish to participate in and accelerate the technology development process. OpenVZ is open source software that is used as the basis for the SWsoft Virtuozzo virtualization software product.

Since going into full production late in 2005, the OpenVZ project has been very active with the user community with more than 20,000 message posts on its support Forum. The OpenVZ website attracts tens of thousands of visitors each month as more businesses and individuals explore and contribute to the leading open source operating system virtualization project.

 


About OpenVZ

OpenVZ is operating system server virtualization software technology, built on Linux, which creates multiple isolated, secure virtual environments on a single physical server – enabling greater server utilization and superior availability with fewer performance penalties. The virtual servers ensure that applications do not conflict and can be re-booted independently.


With the power of today’s processors, hardware is often under utilized. With virtualization technology, the server can effectively be split into many small ones, each running its tasks so that the whole server is utilized more efficiently.


OpenVZ software can be used to help consolidate servers and increase server utilization rates, or for creating “sandboxes” for test and development, or when sharing resources so that every user can have root access while being kept isolated from each other.


The OpenVZ software comes with user tools that help automate management of virtual servers. With its unique architecture that uses a single operating system instance, the virtual servers perform and execute like independent servers with their own memory, configuration files, users and applications.


Each can be re-booted independently. Using template-based application deployment provides a simple way to get new virtual servers up and running in minutes and OpenVZ can run several times more virtual servers per CPU than other virtualization technologies.

  http://www.ciol.com/content/301107101882.aspx

 

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‘Indian laws have failed to keep pace with change’

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

‘Indian laws have failed to keep pace with change’
30 Nov 2007, 0132 hrs IST,Anubha Sawhney,TNN

NEW DELHI: In an instance of the law taking its own time to catch up with prevalent social norms, the Supreme Court last week said, “there is nothing wrong in a girl eloping to get married according to her choice if she has attained 18 years the legal age for marriage.”

Nothing wrong with that, barring for one small thing: Once a girl is 18, she automatically attains legal sanction to get married. So whether she elopes for matrimony or chooses a partner to live in with, it comes to the same thing.

Explains lawyer Arvind Jain, the author of Hindi bestseller Aurat Hone Ki Saza : “Indian laws are contradictory in nature and conflict with each other at every step. According to Section 375 of the IPC, for a girl, the age of consent for sex is 16. By making the legal age for marriage 18, the law is — in effect — encouraging pre-marital sex.”

Jain also claims the law commission has made many a recommendation to amend existing gender-related laws, but to no avail.

Granting bail to a boy from Karnataka who was jailed for a year by the high court on a complaint of the parents of the girl with whom he had eloped, a bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and Markandey Katju sent out a warning to all parents with daughters of marriageable age. They cannot threaten, coerce or keep in illegal confinement their daughters who have crossed 18 years of age, it said.

The ruling also recounted from the Mahabharata the tales of chivalry embodied in the elopement of Krishna with Rukmini. Social commentator Shiv Visvanathan believes there could be many a social implication of such an action.

“Myth and law cannot and should not be confused. Time was when myths were considered religious sanction but confusing them with laws is not such a good idea,” says Visvanathan.

Adds Futurebrand CEO Santosh Desai, “As for the law, there’s always a dichotomy between reality and what ought to be. I believe if there’s an agreement between both generations (parents and children), it’s quite okay.”

According to author Shobhaa De, “The fact that homosexuality is still considered ‘criminal’, says a lot about our archaic laws. In a rapidly changing society such as ours, we need to address issues in a far more progressive way. An 18-year-old girl is legally in charge of her life and all decisions pertaining to herself. Given that, the ruling seems redundant and absurd. There are far too many contradictions in our social system. Unfortunately, the law has failed to keep pace with change.”

Commenting further on the SC ruling, Jain explains, “There is actually a law in India that says if a girl is married off at the age of 6 months, the marriage is valid and neither void nor voidable. Also, according to the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, if they are married, a 1 year old boy is the legal guardian of a 6-month-old girl. So where does the question of a girl eloping at 18 arise at all?”

And what elopement are we talking about? Gone are the days of knights in shining armour sweeping damsels off their feet. “In today’s context, a girl decides who she wants to be with,” says Rakshanda Jalil, media and cultural coordinator at Jamia Millia Islamia. “The notion of beguilement and the whole ‘damsel in distress’ idea is a thing of the past. Today’s girls make informed choices. And that’s the way it should be.”

anubha.sawhney@timesgroup.com

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Indian_laws_have_failed_to_keep_pace_with_change/articleshow/2583238.cms

Posted in COURTS in INDIA | Leave a Comment »

‘Judiciary equally to blame for backlog’

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

‘Judiciary equally to blame for backlog’
30 Nov 2007, 0144 hrs IST,Manoj Mitta ,TNN

NEW DELHI: A close scrutiny of the recent performance report made public by CJI K G Balakrishnan on the status of the judicial system shows that the judiciary itself is not blameless for prolonged vacancies in the judiciary that has heightened the larger problem of delay and arrears in the disposal of cases.

The reports shows the vacancy situation is bad not only in the subordinate judiciary, where the appointments are made by the respective state governments, but also in the high courts, where the superior judiciary calls the shots in the appointment of judges.

Consider the latest available figures cited by CJI himself — out of the sanctioned strength of 792 judges in the 21 high courts across the country, the working strength was 586. This works out to 26% vacancies against sanctioned strength in the high courts. Out of the sanctioned strength of 15,399 subordinate judges in the country, the working strength was 12,368 — with vacancies accounting for 20% in the subordinate judiciary.

In other words, while in absolute terms, a larger number of judges have to be appointed in the lower courts, a higher percentage of posts of judges are lying vacant in the high courts. Justice Balakrishnan also gave the data on the manner in which the arrears had gone up over seven years at the two levels of the judiciary. He ended up showing that the rate of increase in the arrears was more in the high courts than in the subordinate courts.

According to the CJI’s report, the arrears increased in the high courts from 27.5 lakh cases in 1999 to 36.5 lakh cases in 2006. In the subordinate courts, the arrears increased over the same seven-year period from 2 crore cases to 2.48 crore cases.

Thus, the arrears grew by 33% in the high courts while they grew by 24% in the subordinate courts.

So while the CJI made a case against the executive, facts would show that both the government and the judiciary are to blame. Obfuscating the distinction in the systems of appointment to the subordinate judiciary and the high courts, Justice Balakrishnan claimed: “That takes us to the selection and appointment process where the government has a greater role than the judiciary.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Judiciary_equally_to_blame_for_backlog/articleshow/2583272.cms

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Govt needs to invest in infrastructure of courts

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Govt needs to invest in infrastructure of courts
30 Nov 2007, 0147 hrs IST,Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan has worked out a figure of additional judges that would be required to clear the judicial backlog. According to him, if 1,539 new judges were added to the existing 792, all pending cases in high courts would be cleared in a year. And if they are to be cleared in two years, 770 additional high court judges would be sufficient.

Likewise, the Chief Justice has calculated that if all pending cases in the lower courts were to be cleared in one year, all existing 15,399 posts must be filled up and an additional 18,479 judges should be appointed. If the backlog were to be cleared in two years, 9,239 additional judges would be required.

Would this involve an unacceptably high cost? Certainly not. In the model worked out by TOI , the cost is just Rs 1,426 crore but at existing levels of salary, it is a meagre Rs 180 crore if Rs 15,000 is taken as the average salary and 10,000 new judges are appointed.

The government has to invest more in the infrastructure of courts. Most of them, especially the lower courts, are in a shambles. The buildings need repair and expansion. The courts need to be fully computerized so that old files don’t eat into half the court space. Also, court rooms should be air-conditioned to increase efficiency in extreme weather conditions.

Who is responsible for filling up vacant posts? Actually, both the superior judiciary, and the state and central governments. For the lower courts, it is the government. And for the high courts, it is a collegium of judges headed by the Chief Justice which forwards the name of the new judge for ratification by the law ministry and the PMO.

Law minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj was quick to point out that “not a single file regarding appointment of judges to the high courts is pending with the government.” In other words, the collegium has been tardy in recommending judges for the high courts. Justice Balakrishnan has said, “The backlog cannot be wiped out without additional strength, particularly when new filings are likely to increase and not come down in the coming years.”

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Govt_needs_to_invest_in_infrastructure_of_courts_/articleshow/2583283.cms

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Timely justice at Re 1 per head per month–3_crore_cases_pending_in_Indian_courts

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Timely justice at Re 1 per head per month
30 Nov 2007, 0129 hrs IST,Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/3_crore_cases_pending_in_Indian_courts/articleshow/2583234.cms

As many as 37.1 lakh cases were pending in India’s 21 high courts as of June 30, 2007.

On the same day, 2.5 crore cases were pending in lower courts.

Of the 792 posts of judges sanctioned for high courts, 206 are vacant. Of the sanctioned strength of 15,399 judges in lower courts, 3,031 are vacant.

NEW DELHI: People spend a lifetime in courts. Cases often take more than a decade to be decided. The judges are overworked, the infrastructure is shabby and the judicial system is creaking at several levels, especially in subordinate courts. Judiciary — the one institution that still commands the people’s respect — is straining to deliver justice.

Who is responsible for this? Is it the judiciary or the government? TOI took a close look at different aspects of the judicial system and found that while there might be a modicum of truth in the popular refrain of courts not working to their potential, the bulk of the blame for unfilled lower court posts and the creaky infrastructure lies with the government.

Not just that, the government is also responsible for fixing pathetically low salaries for judges. It starts at Rs 9,000 per month for judicial magistrates and goes up to all of Rs 35,000 for the Chief Justice of India. If the best legal talent doesn’t want to join the judiciary, it’s hardly surprising. And if there’s corruption in the courts, it is not surprising either.

TOI would like the salaries to be much higher to ensure an efficient and corruption-free judiciary. It worked out a model in which judges would get a respectable salary and it hiked the number of judges to the level required to clear the backlog within two years, and found the additional cost would be Rs 1,426 crore (see Times View). This works out to Re 1 per Indian per month — a small price to ensure quality and timely justice.

The government, however, has simply not focused on how to pull the judiciary out of the mess. Each passing year, Parliament and state assemblies pass more and more laws, yet no one in government appears to give thought to the obvious — that the number of judges should be increased to cope with increased number of litigants and that retraining of judges in new laws should be mandatory.

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Open Source : Turbolinux joins Interop Vendor Alliance

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Open Source : Turbolinux joins Interop Vendor Alliance
Company plans to open development lab foucusing ib developing, testing and provide Linux and Window Server interoperability solutions

Thursday, November 29, 2007

TOKYO, JAPAN: Turbolinux, a leading Linux client and server distributor in Japan and China, has announced it has joined the Interop Vendor Alliance (IVA), a Microsoft sponsored community of software and hardware vendors working together to enhance interoperability with Microsoft systems. The IVA is an industry-wide group sharing the common goal of making technologies work better together with Microsoft systems for customers.


With increasing demands for products that support business objectives and lower total cost of ownership, IT managers need solutions to seamlessly enhance connectivity between Windows and Linux IT environments. As a leading Linux distributor with a strong market position in Asia, Turbolinux is well positioned to join the IVA in providing real interoperability solutions to customers with mixed IT environments. The joint solutions, such as single sign-on, will help customers reduce the cost and complexity of running mixed Windows and Linux systems.


“Microsoft is pleased that Turbolinux has joined the Interop Vendor Alliance,” said Sam Rosenbalm, Interop Vendor Alliance manager, Microsoft Corporation. “We are very excited about collaborating with Turbolinux to build a bridge between open source and commercial technologies that benefits the entire IT ecosystem.”


Microsoft Corporation and Turbolinux signed a business agreement in October that addresses customer issues, furthered Linux-Windows interoperability and R&D collaboration, and provided IP assurances to Turbolinux users. Taking part in the IVA, Turbolinux will provide solutions which greatly enhance Linux-Window Server interoperability by developing some modules that enable Turbolinux products to work more seamlessly with Active Directory and the Windows networking environment.


“Joining the IVA is an important component of our partnership with Microsoft and will allow us to start solution development and testing.” said Yano Koichi, CEO of Turbolinux. “Working collaboratively with Microsoft, we are eager to deliver the solutions as soon as we can to the market.”


Turbolinux will organize a research and development lab with the cooperation of Microsoft and will use the lab to focus on developing, testing and providing Linux and Window Server interoperability solutions for customers and partners.


Turbolinux plans to open development lab foucusing ib developing, testing and provide Linux and Window Server interoperability solutions.

http://www.ciol.com/content/291107101865.aspx

 

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Novell ships SUSE Linux enterprise real time 10 Novell’s only open source, real-time operating system available in the market today

Posted by egovindia on November 30, 2007

Novell ships SUSE Linux enterprise real time 10

Novell’s only open source, real-time operating system available in the market today

Thursday, November 29, 2007

 

WALTHAM, USA: Provider of infrastructure software for the Open Enterprise, Novell has announced the availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10, the latest version of Novell’s enterprise-class, open source real-time operating system for running high-performance, time-sensitive, mission-critical applications.


With SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10, financial organizations can respond more rapidly to changing markets and new information, get greater application reliability and predictability, and identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks. This will allow them to increase revenue opportunities and improve service to their customers, even while reducing computing infrastructure costs.


“In order to win in today’s increasingly competitive global markets, companies need to be able to respond quickly while delivering superior products and services” said Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell.


With Novell’s real-time technology, customers can segment portions of their processors for high-priority mission-critical workloads, as well as ensure that other system processes and tasks do not interrupt them. That means these workloads deliver predictable performance in time-critical environments.


Supported by Novell, SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10 is the only open source, enterprise-class real-time operating system available in the market today


Enhancements to SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10 include the latest enterprise-hardened open source technologies that reduce system latency or delay and improve predictability, such as CPU shielding, priority inheritance, sleeping spinlocks, interrupt threads, high-resolution timers and the latest OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution for commodity high-speed interconnects, OFED 1.2.5.

http://www.ciol.com/content/291107101866.aspx

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eGovINDIA Group suggests Open source software should be the default software for e-governance operations. Setting up of open source support and research centres in every district.

Posted by egovindia on November 29, 2007

Open source software should be the default software for e-governance operations:

Open source software had come a long way to compete and even overtake proprietary software systems. The latest release of Novell Suse 10.0- open source version had been hailed to be a match, if not more than a match to the proprietary windows operation system. Open source movement offers a variety of rich and valuable software packages free. Open source office suite – openoffice.org, open source database system – Postgresql, open source report writing software – ireport,  open source GIS software – OpenGIS , Netbeans for linux for software development, Apache Tomcat, Resin, Jboss etc., provide a great deal of flexibility to the users to configure the e-governance system. Developed countries themselves have started adopting the open source systems and open standards. India needs to spell out a policy towards use of open source systems and open standards in e-governance operations. (It is quite strange that a few State governments and NISG have struck a deal with Microsoft for using Microsoft’s proprietary technology at huge cost. This is not a logical step because Microsoft does not offer any of its software free. Then why such MoUs? There seems to be huge corruption here).

 

Setting up of open source support and research centres in every district:

Open source software enables innovations. For a nation that aims at becoming a knowledge super power, it is extremely important that vital software packages that drive the computer systems should flow freely. Proprietary systems, by default cannot flow freely towards the needy. Only the open source software can be freely used by the research professionals and educational institutions. A GIS software or database software in the normal course costs a fortune. But the open source movement had provided these packages under GNU for free download. This freedom has to be encouraged through appropriate government assisted technical support centres at every district level. The District Informatics office under the control of NIC could be declared the open source support centre. The support centre’s services should be made available freely to the student community and all government offices.

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