F. No. 1(3)/2014 – EG II Ministry of Communication & Information Technology Department of Electronics & Information Technology POLICY Title of Policy: “Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India”
Government of India (GoI) is implementing the Digital India programme as an umbrella programme to prepare India for a knowledge based transformation into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy. Under the overarching vision of Digital India, GoI aims to make Government services digitally accessible to citizens in their localities and to ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. To meet this objective, there is a need to set up a commensurate hardware and software infrastructure, which may require significant resources.
Full text below the fold.
Organizations worldwide have adopted innovative alternative solutions in order to optimise costs by exploring avenues of “Open Source Software”. GoI has also been promoting the use of open source technologies in the e-Governance domain within the country in order to leverage economic and strategic beneifts.
Further, the National Policy on Information Technology, 2012 has mentioned, as one of its objectives, to “Adopt open standards and promote
open source and open technologies”.
In view of the above, there is a need to formulate a policy for the Government Organizations to adopt Open Source Software. The “Policy on
Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India” (hereinafter referred to as “Policy”) will encourage the formal adoption and use of Open Source Software (OSS) in Government Organizations.
To provide a policy framework for rapid and effective adoption of OSS
To ensure strategic control in e-Governance applications and systems from a long-term perspective.
To reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of projects.
Refer Glossary (Page No. 7)
3. Policy Statement
Government of India shall endeavour to adopt Open Source Software in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government
organizations, as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS). The Open Source Software shall have the following characteristics:
3.1 The source code shall be available for the community / adopter / end-user to study and modify the software and to redistribute
copies of either the original or modified software.
3.2 Source code shall be free from any royalty.
4. Nature of Compliance
The policy shall be applicable to all Government Organisations under the Central Governments and those State Governments that choose to adopt this policy for the following categories of e-Governance systems:
All new e-Governance applications and systems being considered for implementation.
New versions of the legacy and existing systems.
6. How to comply
All Government Organizations, while implementing e-Governance applications and systems must include a specific requirement in Request
for Proposal (RFP) for all suppliers to consider OSS along with CSS while responding. Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of
OSS in their response, as the case may be. Government Organizations shall ensure compliance with this requirement and decide by comparing both OSS and CSS options with respect to capability, strategic control, scalability, security, life-time costs and support requirements.
GoI shall endeavour to adopt Open Source Software in all e-Governance applications and systems implemented by Government Organizations. However, in certain specialised domains where OSS solutions meeting essential functional requirements may not be available or in case of urgent / strategic need to deploy CSS based solutions or lack of expertise (skill set) in identified technologies, the concerned Government Organization may consider exceptions, with sufficient justification.
8. Implementation Mechanism
i) GoI shall publish a policy framework for rapid and effective adoption of OSS covering the prioritization of the application areas and illustrative list of OSS & OSS Stacks etc, required for various functional areas.
ii) All future Requests for Proposals (RFPs) of e-Governance projects shall include a mandatory clause for considering Open Source Software (OSS) as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS). Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response.
iii) Government Organizations shall ensure compliance with this requirement and decide by comparing both OSS and CSS options with respect to capability, strategic control, scalability, security, life-time costs and support requirements.
iv) GoI shall establish suitable support mechanism for the available OSS that includes Institutional Mechanism, Partnership with Industry, Academia and OSS Community.
v) GoI shall actively collaborate with OSS communities in India as well as at the International level and contribute wherever appropriate.
9. Review of the Policy
GoI shall have the right to review the Policy as and when required.
10. Point of Contact
All queries or comments related to the “Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India” shall be directed to
JS (e-Governance), DeitY (firstname.lastname@example.org).
PDF (8 Pages): policy_on_adoption_of_oss
Phi Beta Iota: This policy has been under discussion for many years and represents a major step forward. Now it is time for India to take the lead in recognizing the need to embrace all nine of the open sub-categories in Open Source Everything as listed below: