Distribution of free laptops to the students is a scheme of mammoth proportions that aims to uplift the educational standards of all students. It aims to bridge the urban-rural digital divide. It is probably the first time in the world that any government has ventured to provide laptops to students who otherwise may not even be in a position to dream of possessing one.
“ELCOT wishes to clarify that Linux Operating System will be made available to the vendors for preloading in laptops. The hard disk drive of 160 GB can be used for loading multiple operating systems. A Linux Operating System under the name ‘Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS),’ which has been developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Chennai, a Government of India organisation, will be preloaded in the laptops. This will ensure that Linux Operating System with its drivers will be made available to the students uniformly. The cost for providing the Linux OS along with the drivers would be borne by ELCOT. Thus, the freedom of the students to choose the operating system of their choice is encouraged”
Primarily the government had decided to load the laptops with windows Operating System. But with the regular effort and request form IIT ( Indian Institue of Technology) Chennai, a veteran IT institute in India, students government finally decided on to load the laptop with dual boot and provide them with a choice between windows and Linux. A Linux Operating System under the name ‘Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS),’ which has been developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Chennai, a Government of India organisation will be loaded in them.
It is indeed a great effort from the students of IIT Chennai. Other states and also other countries should learn from this effort and promote FOSS in their countries by taking steps like this. Not only Tamil Nadu Goverment but the Kerela government too has great FOSS initiative.
Hats off to students of IIT Chennai and Tamil Nadu Goverment.
Corrections and upgrade to the article:
News from Muktware published the tender news about linux being thrown away and not being part with free laptops. ( Thanks to Swapnil Bharatiy, editor of Muktware for updates ) .
This decision has not been made just because some IIT students intervened but as a result of a two-month long campaign in which the Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu organised signature campaigns, met IAS officers and the Minister and worked closely with the media.
This, i think would be evident from the fact that the article in The Hindu which raised the issue has references to FSFTN’s work on the issue. See..
FSFTN has students from IIT and also a larger group of professionals and students from outside. Our first step in this campaign was..
and more recently..
Thanks to Mr. Srujan Kumar,
Executive Committee Member, FSFTN, IIT Madras for the corrections and missing informations.