[fosscomm] Covering letter to FOSSCOMM position - for comments

Guru गुरु guru at itforchange.net
Sun Jul 12 04:50:54 PDT 2009


I am providing the covering letter to DIT that will be sent along with
FOSSCOMM position to DIT tomorrow. I request your comments on this 
covering letter by noon tomorrow and propose to email/fax the letter and 
the position statement to DIT by afternoon.

When we send this letter, we need to give a physical address to which 
Govt can reply mail if they want to. Can Raj (or any of the 3) give his 
address for this purpose?


13th July, 2009

Shri R Chandrashekar,
Secretary (IT),
Department of Information Technology,
Ministry for Communications and IT,
Government of India.

Subject: FOSSCOMM's position on the “Draft Policy on Open Standards for 

Dear Sir,

FOSSCOMM, as a civil society alliance of organizations and individuals 
working to promote use of free and open source software (FOSS) in India, 
would like to place on record its appreciation for the Draft Open 
Standards Policy for e-Governance that has been created under the 
leadership of DIT, MCIT, Government of India. We believe this promises 
to be a landmark policy that will have far-reaching impact on 
e-governance in India.

We understand that NASSCOM and MAIT in their latest comments on the 
Draft Policy on Open Standards for e-Government have sought the 
inclusion of multiple standards and royalty encumbered standards in the 
draft policy. We believe that these two recommendations, if accepted, 
will render the policy meaningless and nullify the two years of 
painstaking efforts taken by the committee to draft this progressive policy.

As a part of its mandate, FOSSCOMM seeks to engage with software related 
policies of the governments as well as support programs that adopt FOSS. 
Members of FOSSCOMM include various kinds of social activists – from 
technologists interested in social areas to those primarily with a 
background in areas like knowledge, education and social development. 
FOSSCOMM has reviewed Version 2 of the policy that was tabled at the 
Second meeting of the Apex Body on Standards for eGovernance held on 
17th June 2009 and strongly support its recommendations that standards 
be royalty-free in perpetuity and that for a single domain, only a 
single standard should be used. We therefore request you to ensure that 
Version 2 of the Draft Policy is approved at the earliest without any 
dilution on the above account. Our position on this issue is being 
provided in some detail along with this letter.

We also request that FOSSCOMM as a national civil society alliance be 
invited to be part of the Apex Committee that is drafting the policy. We 
would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Apex Committee 
does not have any representation from civil society but has multiple 
representatives from industry, on a issue that has very significant 
public interest implications. This goes against canons of participatory 
policy making followed by Indian Government and is also not in keeping 
with international commitments made by the Indian Government at various 
fora including at the World Summit on the Information Society.

Please let us know if you need any clarifications. Looking forward to 
your response.

With warm regards,

Mr Raj Mathur, <??>
Prof Andrew Lynn, Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University
Mr Kishore, Indian Linux Users Group – Delhi

on behalf of FOSSCOMM, India

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