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Indian State Logs Microsoft Out 142

Posted by Zonk
from the player-one-has-lost-the-match dept.
slack_prad writes "An Indian state, Kerala has chalked out a plan for migrating its high school students to free software platforms in three years. This was apparently in response to RMS's recent visit to the place. The education minister for the state said that the Free software guru Richard Stallman's visit last week had nudged the schools to discard the proprietary software altogether. 'Stallman has inspired Kerala's transition to free software on the lines of an exciting model of a Spanish province.' Initially, schools were given the option to choose whether teachers were to be trained in Linux systems or Microsoft. The option has now narrowed down to migration."
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Indian State Logs Microsoft Out

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  • Re:kerala (Score:5, Informative)

    by legoburner (702695) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @02:04PM (#15985423) Homepage Journal
    RMS travels around attempting to persuade people/states/organisations the benefits of Free software


    I didnt mean to sound like I was bashing RMS, I meant it as being a good opportunity to get some decent, large-scale statistics about the benefits of free software with alternative indian states as a useful comparison, not as a demand that RMS act as an institution on his own, and that I hoped RMS or people affiliated with him use it as a chance to further the cause of free software (or learn from any potential problems with free software).
  • Kerala (Score:5, Informative)

    by vivin (671928) <vivin DOT paliath AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:18PM (#15985674) Homepage Journal
    Kerala [wikipedia.org] - the state with the highest literacy rate in India. And one of the two states with a democratically elected communist government.

    Compared to the rest of India, the state is much more advanced. It's the subject of what economists call the Kerala Enigma [utne.com].

    I'm sure there are a lot of benefits. Kerala might be poised to become another IT hub in India. There are computer courses and classes almost EVERYWHERE in India. I remember when I visited my hometown this may when I was on R&R from Iraq - it's changed quite a bit over the past few years. The people are a lot more tech savvy and there's a LOT of interest in Open Source stuff - mainly due to cost benefits. Hopefully Malayalees look to Open Source as an alternative for M$ - it will be a good boost for Open source.

  • Malayalam Opensource (Score:5, Informative)

    by vivin (671928) <vivin DOT paliath AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:27PM (#15985699) Homepage Journal
    Just to add. Kerala already has a presence in the open source community:

    C-DIT develops Malayalam Open Source Software [thehindu.com]

    Keli [old-lnxse], a free opentype font for Malayalam (under GNU GPL).

    Malayalam Font released as 'free and open' software [hinduonnet.com]
  • In this case... (Score:4, Informative)

    by vivin (671928) <vivin DOT paliath AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @03:38PM (#15985729) Homepage Journal
    In this case, I think he will be successful. The mentality of Malayalees is very different compared to the rest of Kerala. They are highly politically aware - in fact, the first thing they will do every morning is read the paper - you can see it all over Kerala. They are highly involved with what goes on in the government. Also due to the fact that Communist parties are strong in Kerala, there is a socialistic trend and as a result they're not too fond of Monopolies. Recently they banned Coca Cola because of issues with contamination - they weren't passing certain tests. RMS picked a good environment to push foss.
  • I predict (Score:2, Informative)

    by t_ban (875088) <tathagatabNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday August 26, 2006 @04:53PM (#15985927) Homepage
    that the state of West Bengal will follow suit soon. Kerala and West Bengal are ruled by the same party's government, and a decision of this level usually comes from their central politburo.
  • Re:kerala (Score:2, Informative)

    by benomathew (998066) on Saturday August 26, 2006 @10:20PM (#15987250) Homepage
    as a person whose been in Kerala for 14 years, who've studied in different schools and college there, i've crossed paths with thousands (literally) of youngsters around my age... and i am yet to see one with a linux only box.. this includes the guys who helped richard stallman setup a seminar at my college!! if at all someone has linux, he'll also have a dual boot machine with some version of windows...

    from what i've read, i understand that it is the government aided schools that is going to have the open source stuff.. out of the total number of students in kerala, only less than half come from government schools... and those that go to government schools are generally of a lower economic background... mostly of which dont have a computer at home.. the rest majority rely on easily available pirated s/w which are mostly windows based.. in other words, most kids that do have a pc, grow up with windows and windows based s/w.. in such a scenario, i just cant imagine a kerala, say 5 years from now, having a linux generation.. the proposition is great but the implications most prolly wont last..

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