Petition Visveswaraiah Technological University to use Free Software

56. Zabil C.M, Bangalore (Alma mater NIT Calicut) I use Linux at work. The introduction to linux happened at my college, where we used linux for practically everything. Now we have recently made the switch to linux at our workplace also. The benefits are inherent higher productivity, excellent community support, virtually all kinds of applications at absolutely no cost. For colleges and university Linux should be de-facto.

57. G. Sivakumar, Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay.

I fully endorse this petition. Along with CDAC and IBM, IIT Bombay is working towards a

Resource Centre (OSSRC – http://ossrc.org.in/) that will help in such efforts.

58. Shailesh Mathur, System Administrator. We are using Linux at work for both servers and desktops. We feel more powerful when doing administration of Linux as it gives us complete freedom for making changes in any package according to our need and that also without paying anything to anyone. Whereas in Windows environment, we need to pay everytime, whether we are going for a new package, for its upgradation and even for their maintenance. Due to power of Linux most biggest companies have migrated and we have a good example of Om Logistics with us, who have saved around INR 200 crore per annum by migrating to Linux completely.

59. Anish Mathew, System Administrator, I have been using linux for the past 4 years both at work and at home. I struggled very hard to learn the nuances of this flexible OS. No one was there to guide me except the online support from websites and mailing lists. Thanks to Free Software Foundation and the world wide developer/user community for the extraordinary support and development of good competitor for windows applications. Let the coming generation get the chance to learn and grow with this huge software community.

60. Ajay Pal Singh Atwal, Lecturer, BBSBEC, Fatehgarh Sahib, Punjab (http://www.bbsbec.org): We use GNU/ Linux and related software for teaching and learning and for our various servers for our internet proxy (squid), websites (Content Management Systems: Drupal, Post-Nuke, PHPNuke, PHP-BB etc), email (sendmail, qmail, squirrelmail, courier), filesharing (samba) etc. I personally use DevC++ (a GNU GPLed S/W) for teaching Windows Programming, and ethreal and tcpdum for teaching Computer Networks. I am very much satisfied and recommend the use of GNU GPL software.

61. Sameer Niphadkar, BE-CSE KJSCE Mumbai and SCLP Novell Inc : I have been using and advocationg to use GNU/Linux for the last 5 years now. I am myself very much satisfied by the performance of the OS as well as other FLOSS products. It would really be a positive step if the government and particularly the academicia adopts Free Software.

62. Ajit N. BE-CSE (RCETM, Madurai,TN) Using GNU/LINUX nurtures the engineering spirit. It is an industry grade operating system.It allows the user to learn about Operating systems and computer programming. Free software development projects enable a student to gain hands on experience in developing software. The guidance available is plenty and the Industry is already moving along the Free(as in Freedom) software way. It would be very helpful and a matter of pride to the students of this university if they are allowed to practise their trade in GNU/LINUX instead of the technically inferior, socially disruptive and market greedy MS WINDOWS and other restrictive licensed software in general.

63. Aveek Bhattacharya, BE Electronics, Final Year (RVCE Bangalore). I believe GNU/Linux is the epitome of the spirit of engineering. It allows you to tinker with the OS internals, as well as understand how it works. Besides, Free/Open Source software is generally available for a large variety of platforms, including MS Windows. A first step would be to move from commercial packages, costing quite a lot of money, to equivalent Free/Open Source software packages, while retaining the OS. This phased transition allows the system administrators, faculty and students to get familiar with the software. Incidentally, I run only GNU/Linux on my PC.

64. I insist using free softwares at centres, which also helps the student in his career and work place to use free softwares which also reduces his individual expenses

65. I have benefitted from open source. I am a student and i cannot afford to pay exuberant sum for a proprietory software. Please sir do consider open source/free software also in our curriculum. Jenkin(http://holyghostexpress.com)

66. V. Sasi Kumar, Scientist, Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram. Proprietary software prevents society from taking full advantage of this wonderful technology. It could seriously threaten our freedom in other aspects of our lives also, in its attempt to prevent people from freely copying and using the software. Free Software empowers people, helps society make full use of IT for its benefits.

67. A.Sivakumar B.E. CSE (KLNCE, Madurai). 68. Terry Machado,Scientist, Centre for Earth Science studies, Thiruvananthapuram

69. Shiju Paul N., Quality Controller/Electrical Engineer, ASC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I think our public institutions need not act as the marketing personnel of any particular company.

70. Zaheer Mohamed K., native of Kochi, Kerala, currently pursuing M.Tech Automotive Engg. at VIT, Vellore, Tamilnadu. Strive for Software Freedom! Go for the GNU/Linux OS and Get GNUing!

71. ND, IMHO – FOSS completely fulfils the definition of democracy – of the people, for the people, by the people! Today the support you can get for FOSS is terrific – comparable and sometimes even better than most paid software. All you need is to join good FOSS groups on the internet – and the FOSS supporters are more than willing to help with your queries/problems. I support FOSS – & I feel everyone should too!

72. Hemanth.G, student (ECE- 6th sem) BTLIT, bangalore- FOSS has provided an every alternative tool for most liscenced tools, in a college like ours we have seen the difficulties in labs, any slight problems in the liscenced tools the company has to come and rectify till then no labs, in case of opensource tools any student well worsed with the tools can rectify it, using liscenced tools mean a less no of systems with the tools installed, that means the whole batch has to work on limited no of systems, no freedom in lab to experiment your ideas due to time constraints that others are waiting for their turn. my PC runs only GNU/Linux and tools i use are mostly Open source tools.

73. Arun K. Khan, B. Tech (IITM, 1979), M.S. (Univ. of Illinois, 1981). I have been using Open Source Software (GNU tools and Linux) since 1994. I have implemented Linux solutions in the Small/Medium Enterprise market with satisfied clients. While *big* enterprises have taken advantage of this technology, most small/medium businesses shy away from adopting Linux in their IT department with the excuse “It is hard to find trained Linux developers/administrators.” I firmly believe that educational institutions such as yours can play a very *significant* role by introducing OSS/Linux related courses and *remove* this major “road block” excuse to Linux adoption. I strongly urge educational program directors to introduce this technology into their curriculum. From a business perspective, if one can find an OSS/Linux Administrator/Developer as easily as the guy who can write VB programs or develop sites using FrontPage, I am sure he/she would be more receptive to OSS/Linux solutions. Besides, not having to pay for licenses would be a thick icing on the cake. The other significatnt advantage of OSS/Linux is that students have access to source code and can experiment with their ideas and gain insight into concepts of software design. For a country like India, the more qualified/trained OSS/Linux graduates we have, the better it will be for the software development industry, e.g. coming up with new concepts in s/w desgin, in the country. Thank you.

74. Sanjay Arora, Managing Director, Transcontinental Impex Pvt. Ltd, Amritsar. I am owner of a North Indian SME. I am using Linux/FOSS Software since last six years. As a businessman, I don’t give in to emotional issues, such as trying to promote anything due to idealogy. Franky, FOSS makes Economic Sence. Today I use a FOSS Intranet, an Extranet, Inhouse E-mail Servers and many other FOSS Softwares. Had I used expensive propritory systems, it would have broken the back of my IT deptt. To me, FOSS means empowerment. However, we need talent to augment implementation of FOSS Systems. That’s why I whole-heartedly endorse this issue. As a nation, we cannot afford to ignore this issue.

75. Nijanand Mathur,Software Engineer,Hyderabad( Ex- Student of VTU,2003 batch)

76. Rashid Kunhi R.H.C.E.

77. Toby Joseph, B.Tech(IT) India simply cannot afford the licensing costs associated with proprietary software. The only solution is to use free software, which is no way inferior to proprietary software, if not superior. As a technologist, haven’t you yet noted the fact that the students who use Linux are more well versed with operating system concepts and the programming language C/C++? Is that such a bad thing to be avoided? Please encourage the use of Linux and other free software and ensure that VTU sets an example for other engineering instutions and universities throughout the length and breadth of the country.

78. G Karunakar, Project Coordinator, IndLinux.org ( http://www.indlinux.org ) . Students should not be just users of software, they should creators. Even if they are not in Computer Science stream, there is a lot they can do with computers. Using free software, makes a big difference here, it helps them learn how things work and allows creativity , to make useful derivatives out of existing software. Also it helps a lot in skill building, since one can go through well written code of others & learn from it faster, all live software than just dummy demo ones. It would also help them learn to think different, and not just follow the usual route of just study to get a job. Being in free software world gives you more than just a job.

79. Ajith B. Use of FLOSS in educational institutions makes a lot of sense – lower costs, flexibility and above all, it allows the students to learn from the source code.

80. From Richard Stallman : Schools of all levels should insist on Free Software, because proprietary software prohibits learning and builds dependency. See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/schools.html

81. Anand Babu (http://freedom.freeshell.org): “Learn, Improve and Share” is very fundamental to the education system. With proprietary software, students can only learn how to use it but can never learn how it works, can never improve it or share it. They need free software. Visit http://www.gnu.org for more info.

82. Ragavan S — India would do well to take a leaf out of Brazil’s notebook in adopting and encouraging the use of and contributions to free and open source software. Educational institutions need to play a leadership role in helping to raise awareness of free and open source software.

83. Rohit Patil, California, USA: The petition and comments above spell it out clearly. Here’re my comments – FOSS (Free Open Source Software) is good for India, period, and the VTU adopting it would be a step in the right direction. I wish we had access to this software and documentation when I was in college, besides access to some useful/helpful lab assistants of course! I hope this Open Source trend spreads to the rest of the scientific fields as well, especially energy research, bio-technology, and the medical and pharmaceutical industry, at least to some extent. Technology is pretty much useless if it doesn’t reach the common man, and it’s not reaching the common man as of now, not in India, and not in the rest of the “developed” world either. Extremely greedy monopolies aren’t good either; most of them are into making money for themselves with very little to zero contribution to the field, which has brought us to the state we are in today – hogging off off research done by very few in the in the 19th & 20th (until the ’70s and ’80s) centuries, and hyping up the rest (remember the dot com fiasco and the mess the Wall Street & Co. has created?). FOSS allows people to go after how-things-work instead of accepting this-is-how-it-works-take-it-or-leave-it. FOSS allows people to make it work better instead of this-is-how-it-works-take-it-or-leave-it. FOSS reduces software piracy => less pressure from the “developed” world on such matters. And FOSS doesn’t cost a paisa! All it requires is the right attitude. FOSS IS the right attitude.

84. Nagarjuna G., Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India (Free Software Foundation of India, nagarjun at gnu.org.in): Schools and colleges are social and cultural institutions helping in the process of social inheritance from one generation to the other. It is therefore required that knowledge transmission must be kept free from any proprietary agencies. Free software development, like sceintific development, happens as a cultural and social process. All knowledge must be encoded in an open standard and must be kept away from the evil proprietary agencies. Educational institutions are mightier and have a more important social role to play than any multi-national agency, therefore they should not be subjugated by the selfish corporate agencies. It is a pity that a govt organization tries to engage in private contracts with a multi-national agency whose motivations are clearly to further only their business. Let us recall that education is a state subject, and not a corporate subject. People who are trying to make room for such agencies are slapping on the face of independent India. Let us defend our swatantram. Please revoke this MOU and keep education free. http://www.gnowledge.org/.

85. Laxminarayan Kamath Ammembal [ http://www.geocities.com/kamathln/ ] , deeprootlinux [ http://deeproot.co.in/ ] , Bangalore, India : I believe, Free Libre and Open Source Software and the *ideology* behind it being implemented in educational institutions is one of the crucial tasks for India in order to reach our beloved President’s vision “2020”. And my request goes not just to the Vice-Chancellor of the VTU, but to every person involved in the development of the nation, be it education or otherwise, to accept and uplift the spirits of FLOSS as a means to help develop this great nation, and truely stand on its own feet. Till now, It has shown lots of promise to me. But I suggest you dont wait for others to, but, set an example, yourself.

I can say being in the FLOSS world has helped me realise my responsibilities towards the society. It has taught me true Social Science, in a practical way. And I would like to emphasize an important point: There is a huge difference between *just using* Open Source Software and being involved in it as a part of the FLOSS community.

I always was sad that current education standards completely lacked moral and practical social science. But it has come from an unlikely source – the world of software development in the form of FLOSS!

Some people might have voiced in this petition that the quality of the softwares available as Open Source for engineering students are not up to the mark (I am referring to comment no. 98 in particular). I see this not as discouragement, but as an oppurtunity. An opportunity for the engineers to get involved in the projects, try to improve them and in the process, learn a lot more. This way,the benefit of the new ideas the Engineers might get in the process will not be restricted to those who get them. They will be passed on from generation to generation.

Ask the really enthusiastic students If they had got some new ideas they wanted to be implemented in the propreitery S/w currently being used. You might surprise yourself by the number of ideas you get from them. But with those proprietery software, you cannot implement the new ideas, even if you have paid thousands of rupees to the vendor.

With open source software, the student can try implementing the idea by himself, and self motivate in the process by what he learns. If the student does not know programming, he can team up with a computer science student and implement it. They both will learn teamship in the process!

A very good book to read is The Cathedral and the Bazaar

86. Vimal Joseph, Kochi, Kerala.

87. Chandrashekhar Mullaparthi, India. I fully endorse the use of Free and Open Source Software in schools and universities.

88. Aaditya Sood, Bangalore, India. Whole heartedly for free software!

89. Atul Chitnis, Bangalore, India. Goes without saying that FOSS is the only way to learn about software. Learning about software by using proprietary software is like learning to drive a bicycle by reading a book.

90. Arpit Sud , BE ECE Thiagarajar College of Engg., Madurai. You must lead the way, so that others will follow suit. Adoption of Free Software in schools and colleges is favourable to both the administrators and the student community.

91.Madhavi Ramarao

92. Vaibhav Bora, Bangalore Great institutes like the IITs are majorly into Linux and free software. I really don’t know what is stopping so many colleges today to go for more expensive proprietary software which actually curtails learning by abstracting so much.

93. Guys the market in in open source lets go for it – Murali Sriram

One more suggestion, please make this petition to all the universities in India and the world.

94. Mahesh T. Pai, Advocate, Ernakulam.

It is important that students learn to use Free Software, because Freesoftware gives them freedom, and frees their minds from the clutches of vendors who seek to lock in minds of future developers and users.

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