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06.24.12

Microsoft Attacks Software Freedom in India With EDGI/MoU Manoeuvre

Posted in Asia, Microsoft at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apparent EDGI deal in India, signed by LS Changsan

FROM India comes another story which smells like EDGI and a tinge of MoU [1, 2, 3], as we explained using Microsoft’s own internal documents a few years ago (Comes vs. Microsoft). To quote the latest alleged incident:

The government of Assam and Microsoft have signed a memorandum of understanding that is aimed at improving readliness of educators by integrating technology in classroom. The one year alliance will support Assam School Education System to use technology for improving quality of learning in schools. The agreement was signed by LS Changsan, Director of the Assam government’s Asom Sarba Siksha Abhijan Mission, and Ranbir Singh, Country Head (Government Engagements) of Microsoft India on Wednesday in Guwahati.

[...]

The move taken by the Assam government is surprising as the India has seen a shift towards open-source technologies in governance and education for the past few years. Technology in Education needs to be vendor independent and accessible freely to all. Arguably this is going to have an impact on students as well as their education.

Here is should be noted that Government of Kerela has taken major steps to use FOSS in education. IT@School project is a Free and Open Source initiative by the department of general education, Government of Kerala. This is a state wide FOSS-based ICT in education project which has been running successfully for the last five years. Since its inception the state has witnessed nearly 2,738 high schools operating on Free and Open Source Software.

This is anti-competitive and regulators should look into it. But thanks to companies like Canonical, it becomes less likely to happen. Congratulations to India for getting a backdoor controlled by foreign countries. Citizens ought to sue, but they probably won’t.

“There’s no incompatibility between free software and capitalism… now Extreme Capitalism, the empire of the corporations… extreme capitalism means that in each area of life, the businesses interested in that area rule society, control the government… control policy” ~Richard Stallman

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