Free Software Movement of India Arrives on the National Scene!

The ongoing movement in various parts of the country for free software, as against monopoly proprietary software, got a major impetus with the formation of an all India organisation, Free Software Movement of India (FSMI) here on Sunday.

The conference was attended by 286 delegates from all over the country. The total participants in the conference, including the delegates is 1826. This is the highest number of participation in a free software event in the country. Eighteen parallel sessions have been conducted that dealt with policy issues, free  software models and more.

After extensive debate, the conference adopted a document describing the aims and objectives of the organisation, the scope of activities and structure of the organisation. The conference unanimously elected a General Council of 69 members, an Executive Committee of 28 members and 9 office bearers to finalise constitution, and other formalities.

The founding conference, attended by 275 delegates from all over the country, after extensive debate, adopted a document describing the aims and objectives of the organisation, the scope of activities and structure of the organisation. The conference unanimously elected a General Council of 69 members, an Executive Committee of 28 members and 9 office bearers to finalise constitution, and other formalities.

The office bearers are -

President Joseph Thomas
General Secretary Kiran Chandra
Vice Presidents Prof. Gopinath, IISc
  Prof. Debesh Das
  Prabir Purkhayastha
Secretaries Jaya Kumar
  Dr. Nandini Mukherjee
  Siddhartha
Treasurer Dr. L Pratap Reddy

The 275 delegates, who were elected at the state conferences of the respective organisations, met at Shikshakara Sadana, Bangalore and formed the all India network organisation, FSMI.  Among the organisations taking part included state-level FSMs such as Swecha (Andhra Pradesh), FSMK (Karnataka), Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF), FSFTN (Tamil Nadu), FSMWB (West Bengal) and Sectoral movements such as Knowledge Commons, Academics Initiative, National Consultative Committee of Computer Teachers (NCCCTA) etc.

Some of the major aims and objectives of the FSMI are:

  • Take forward free software and its ideological implications to all corners of our nation from the developed domains to the underprivileged
  • Creating awareness among computer users in the use of free software
  • Work towards usage of free software in all streams of sciences and research
  • Take forward implementation and usage of free software in school education, academics and higher education
  • Work towards e-literacy and bridging digital divide based on free software and mobilizing the underprivileged.
  • Work among developers on solutions catering to societal & national requirements
  • Work towards a policy change favoring free software in all walks of life
  • Stop any penetration of software patents and methods which restrict the development, usage and percolation of knowledge

The general secretary of FSMI, Kiran Chandra, in his address to the delegates stressed that the new body considers all organisations working for free software, free knowledge, free science & technology and free society as its allies and intends to working with them closely. He also invited such organisations to join FSMI to further strengthen the free software movement in the country.