[OSGeo-Discuss] Fwd: [fsug-tvm] Violation of IT Policy - Kerala, India.

Jaisen Nedumpala jaisuvyas at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 10:04:56 PST 2009


The Kerala State IT Mission is going for proprietary softwares,
against the IT policy of the hon'ble Government of Kerala. Current IT
Policy of the state, is accessible here:


In order to set up a child organization named KSDI ( Kerala State
Spatial Data Infrastructure ), the Kerala State IT Mission need closed
source proprietary software, clearly violating or ignoring the
sections 2.10,  6.7,  7.6,  8.2, and 13.1.3.b, in the IT policy of the
government, in which the IT Mission is only a fraction of.

The request for proposals released by the Kerala State IT Mission can
be accessed in the link:


Again, the attempt by KSITM is against the essence of the "Policy on
Open Standards for e-Governance" (still in draft stage), by the Govt.
of India, which is accessible here:


We the free software community of Kerala are going to bring out the
matter in to the attention of the Hon'ble chief minister of Kerala.

We request solidarity from the OSGeo community on our efforts on the issue.

CC-ed to OSGeo India mailing list also.

Freedom matters.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ashik S <aashiks at gmail.com>
Date: 2009/12/8
Subject: Re: [fsug-tvm] Violation of IT Policy
To: ilug-tvm at googlegroups.com

Hi all

The tender expires tomorrow so inorder that the CM might take some action, I
sent the letter via registered post as well as email today morning itself. The
following were the contents.  I thank everyone for pitching in with ideas, a
translation and edits to the original letter.

"We, the Free Software Community in Thiruvananthapuram, understand that the
Kerala State IT Mission is setting up a new organization called KSDI ( Kerala
State Spatial Data Infrastructure ). They have put up a Request for Proposals
(RFP), on the IT Mission's website, for selection of total solution providers
for setting up a Geoportal and Clearinghouse for the Kerala State Spatial Data
Infrastructure (KSDI). The tender document available for download in the above
link describes an infrastructure that could be completely supported by Free
and Open Source Software, but it calls for using proprietary solutions. The
state's IT Policy mandates the use of Free Software for government agencies
and the tender document is a blatant violation of this policy.

Specific points that we wish to point out:

   1. A clear violation in the stated IT policy : The tender document
specifically calls for the purchase of proprietary software (pages 109-110)

       Microsoft Windows XP Professional
       ERDAS imagine
       ERDAS Vector, autoSync, VirtualGis,
       ERDAS Map2PDF, MosaicPro
       LPS Core, LPS Stereo, LPS Automatic terrain
       Editor, Terrain Extraction
       ArcGIS 3D Analyst, Network analyst
       Oracle 10i, SQL Server, .net

   2. In several sections in the RFP, support for some proprietary
technologies like Active Directory Services are being demanded. These are
neither requisites nor irreplaceable as per the requirements in the RFP. No
free software solution will be able to provide support for these proprietary
technologies fully but there are many that might effectively replace them.

   3. The RFP does not necessitate that the software developed for the
government is to be under free software license. Nor is it asking for handing
over the copyright to the government so that the government can release it and
maintain it under free software licenses. This is serious since this makes the
government dependant on the service provider forever and effectively bars any
future move by the government to change the service provider and switch over
to a better or self supporting scheme.

   4. The RFP demands that proprietary geo data formats have to be supported.
This leaves a loop hole for usage of proprietary software to be used. This
also prevents usage of free software to access and manipulate data in such
format, limiting the current as well as future scope for free software usage.

We do not know how this document with such blatant violation of the state's IT
policy has come through from a government which is actively promoting Free
Software. But we are sure that if the government goes ahead with the purchase
of such expensive proprietary software it is only the third party proprietary
software providers who are going to benefit for as long as the project stays
alive. We believe that it is our responsibility to bring this to your
attention and to bring to your notice that the requirements could be satisfied
using Free Software without risking vendor lock in and without wasting public

We, the Free Software Community in Thiruvananthapuram, request the Honourable
Chief Minister to look into the situation and take necessary steps to avoid
this violation and save the state money amounting to crores of rupees. We also
request the government to invest money that is being held for these purposes
to build reusable free software components for this project so that similar
future endeavours by the government as well as the community might benefit
from it. Such move also guarantees employment generation at the local level
and the money the state spends will remain in the state itself instead of
going out to foreign software monopolies. "



"Freedom is the only law".
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