Why Free and Open Source Software is Trending Now
A strategic plan is needed to bring together communities, businesses, academia and government to make India the world leader in open source software innovation. We have a unique opportunity to harness free software to become technologically “Atmanirbhar”, aka self-sufficient, and catalyze our digital growth. Innovation driven by open source software will drive the growth of new technologies such as 5G / 6G, microprocessor technology, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and others by strengthening local technological capabilities.
This is not a pipe dream: during the Covid-19 pandemic, various groups came together to build, locate and deploy crisis response solutions in India, showing that such collaboration is possible. One such popular application is COVID19India.org, a FOSS initiative that engages over 100 active contributors to create a timely interactive map to display live updates on cases, tests, immunization and more at the level of individuals. districts. Media, academia, and government have used COVID19India.org as the basis for their reports, and Economic Survey 2020-21 cited it as the source for the analysis related to Covid-19. We have also witnessed the collaborative development of a variety of open-source literacy applications related to Covid-19, genomics platforms, spatial analysis libraries, e-learning applications, etc. ., bringing together governments, businesses, universities and communities to tackle the health crisis.