IT for Change, in collaboration with the e-Governance Department, the Department of Public Instruction and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Government of Karnataka), Karnataka State Knowledge Commission, ICT for Development Community/ Solution Exchange, UNESCO, organised a workshop on 'Software principles for the public sector, with focus on public education', held in Bengaluru (India) on 1-2 February 2010.
The conference assembled policy makers, scholars, practitioners, civil society and IT enterprises' representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to conceptualise the principles of 'software for the public sector' and as a part of this, discuss the challenges and possibilities in adopting Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the public sector on a large scale, particularly in schools programmes.
Debates were based on the concept that the architecture and design of software for public sector must be determined by principles of social justice and equity, universal access to resources, the need to produce public goods, transparency, accountability, and participation. Sessions addressed issues such as the popular perception about the use of FOSS, the demand to work in local languages, the inclusion of persons with disability as part of the universal access, the need of a 'Knowledge Society' (knowledge from everyone, to everyone, for everyone), existing and future policies designed and implemented in India, including educational and public health policies.
More information about the workshop and public software principles are available here.