IBM promotes open source in India

IBM Corp. has partnered with a computing and an educational institution in India to promote the development of open-source software in the region, the company said Thursday.

Big Blue has partnered with India’s Center of Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), in Pune, and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), in Mumbai, to set up an Open Source Software Resource Center (OSSRC).

The centre will be funded with US$1.2 million over three years and will try to promote open source software by establishing a portal for exchanging information on the subject and initiating proof of concept projects. It will also develop training programs for open source and related certifications. Several educational and government research organizations in India are working on open source projects. But the Indian government has so far remained neutral, with some government agencies working with Microsoft Corp. and other proprietary vendors on e-government initiatives and projects to bring PCs to poorer users.

The OSSRC will help to expand the open source segment of the Indian software industry, according to Shanker Annaswamy, managing director of IBM India.

IBM will provide hardware, software, and project management resources for the OSSRC, while C-DAC, a research and development organization of the Indian government, will provide the physical infrastructure, Indian language technologies, and open source application frameworks to help kickstart open-source projects. IIT in Bombay, one of India’s leading educational institutions, will focus on teacher training and educational content.

IBM, C-DAC, and IIT will jointly manage the centre, which will be located at the C-DAC facility in Pune, near Mumbai, according to a spokeswoman at IBM India. IBM expects other education institutions and research organizations to join the initiative, she said.

Earlier this year, IBM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chandigarh Union Territory to set up an ‘IBM eGovernance Solutions Center For Linux’ for the Chandigarh local government. The centre will help Chandigarh develop various e-government applications using open standards and IBM’s development frameworks for e-governance applications.

IBM has also set up a Linux Center of Competency in Bangalore, which provides facilities and consulting services to its clients to develop, test and certify their Linux applications.

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