I have been talking to several of my friends within the Free and Open Source community on the issues around open standards etc. So far, we have been reactive rather than proactive. However, the Open Source community has a positive agenda of democratizing technology and deploying it to improve the lives of people. The access to source code and the freedom to modify it are extremely relevant to developing countries like India.
India has everything to gain by using open source and open standards. Policy makers from the National Knowledge Commission to the advisors to the Kerala Government and many others are realizing that open source is the fastest and most effective way of bringing the benefits of IT to the people of India. We will do everything we can to accelerate this change. In the next one year, the Free and Open Source Software community will be more proactive in bringing the benefits of open source to the people of our country.
The Kerala Government's decision to migrate 12,500 schools to open source is one such example. There are projects like Vigyaan CD (www.vigyaancd.org) that aim to empower engineering students with a wealth of open source software. There are people within the FSF who are doing some brilliant work on user interfaces for the blind. Instead of being reactive and defensive, we will work on scaling up such initiatives that improve the lives of people. Through open source we can create a just and equitable information society.