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Free and Open Source Software

Bharat Operating SystemFOSS Initiative Cell, Department of Information Technology, welcomes you to the world of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). FOSS is stipulated by a liberal licensing policy that makes it possible to be obtained free of charge along with the source code, which can then be modified by the user as per requirements. Advantages like increasing interoperability, developing local capacity/ industry, reducing costs, achieving vendor independence, enabling localization, reducing piracy/copyright infringements and increasing growth of knowledge-based society are among the compelling reasons for adopting FOSS. The power and reach of free and open source software can be judged from the fact that most of the internet functions today are mostly grounded on it including the all pervasive e-mails and Web Servers. In many cases it has been observed that FOSS is functionally and qualitatively equivalent to or even superior than the proprietary products.

Department of Information Technology is committed to developing, supporting and promoting Open Source to create an eco-system for an all round promotion of Free/ Open Source Software in India. The notable initiatives toward offering a low cost computing, flexibility and choice to the end users include BOSS desktop and server versions and EduBOSS for schools. BOSS – Bharat Operating System Solutions External website that opens in a new window is a GNU/Linux based localized Operating System distribution that supports 18 Indian languages - Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telegu and Urdu. BOSS is numero uno choice for supporting Government and educational domains with NIC and Indian Navy among its notable users. BOSS has been certified by Linux Foundation and is expected to meet the stringent demands of e-governance.  Currently BOSS is being used for e-governance applications in Chattisgarh and Kerala. Desktop and Server versions are available for free download from External website that opens in a new window

NRCFOSS - National Resource Centre for Free & Open Source Software External website that opens in a new window was initiated in March 2005 by DIT to contribute to the growth of Free/ Open Source Software and serve as the nodal point for all FOSS related activities in India. AUKBC Research Centre, one of the constituents of NRCFOSS, has made giant strides in HR development in the sphere of FOSS. A pool of FOSS trained teacher and student community has been generated across India through awareness campaigns, training programs and workshops. FOSS elective courses are now part of curriculum in several higher institutes of technical learning. Efforts are also on to develop SaaS (Software-As-A-Service) stack delivery model based on FOSS and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for Kernel services. In addition, setting up of GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) Resource Center at IIT Bombay, Centre of Excellence for Mobile Internet devices jointly at C-DAC Chennai and DIT, Open Source e-Learning Solutions Laboratory at C-DAC Hyderabad, setting up knowledge banks for FOSS tools and applications for extensive use in the realms of education, scientific processes and e-governance and creation of test-beds to ensure inter-operability among various FOSS distributions are also among the objectives. The details of the project are available at External website that opens in a new window

To make BOSS Linux popular, BOSS Support Centres are being set up throughout India. In addition, creating awareness through training and workshop, distributing free BOSS CDs/DVDs among end users are all part of the proliferation efforts.

For more project details please visit: Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

For Further Information

Mrs.  Neeraja Atri
Scientist G,  Head of Division
FOSS Initiative Cell, R&D in IT Group
Telephone : +91-11-24363107, +91-11-24301353 (Office)
Fax: +91-11-24363123 (Fax)
Email: natri AT

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Page last updated on July 25, 2014
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