MeitY Announces #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge

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  • Participants to be eligible for incubation support, prize money, mentorship by domain experts, institutional support from eminent organisations for incubation of ideas and listing of solutions on GeM
  • The Government of India had issued a Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015

To increase awareness about the usage of FOSS in governance and Government functioning, and adoption of FOSS, a virtual roundtable discussion ‘Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Government’ was organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in collaboration with Omidyar Network India on 22nd April, 2021.The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology also announced a #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge to accelerate adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) In Government. The #FOSS4GOVInnovation Challenge calls upon FOSS innovators, technology entrepreneurs and Indian Startups to submit implementable open source product innovations in CRM and ERP with possible applications for Govtech in Health, Education, Agriculture, Urban Governance etc.

Participants to be eligible for incubation support, prize money, mentorship by domain experts, institutional support from eminent organizations for incubation of ideas and listing of solutions on GeM.Further details about the challenge and how to participate will be shared soon by the Ministry through MyGov and MeitY Startup Hub.

Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015

India is well positioned to become a vibrant hub for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) innovations, due to the large number of 4G data subscribers in India, 96 per cent of whom access the digital world via open-source based mobile operating systems (primarily Android). Some of India’s largest-government projects (including Aadhaar) and many technology start-ups have also been built using FOSS. The Government of India had issued a Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015.

Ajay Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, appraised the steps taken by MeitY like Policyfor Open Source Software in 2015 to Open Source Collaborative development of Aarogya Setu. “I am delighted to see the interest in further advancing the adoption of FOSS in Government among a wide range of Government leaders, Academia and FOSS innovators. MeitYwill continue to play a key role in this journey. We are also pleased to announce the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge, which will harness the innovation potential of the FOSS community and start-ups to solve for critical issues in GovTech. More such efforts will be forthcoming.”

The roundtable provided a forum for eGov leaders of States, Central Ministries and Agencies to share their experiences, best practices and learnings in using FOSS in GovTech platforms and applications. Participants shared perspectives on the way forward to drive adoption of FOSS in Government, and the announcement of the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge was welcomed as an important step forward in this direction.

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