Catch Them Young, Says Open Source Enthusiast

by Julia Fernandes    Oct 08, 2004

While the world still debates on the pros and cons of Open Source, a small band of patriotic Indian Open Source enthusiasts have plunged into action by forming a group dedicated to spreading awareness about Open Source among young Indian minds.

Sharing the details with CXOtoday, Chandraprakash Loonker, founder of Open Source Movement India, said, “One of the core objectives of this group is to facilitate creation of one crore jobs in IT, ITES and related sectors for Indians within and outside India by 2010. And one of the measures of achieving this objective is to ’catch them young’, by introducing them to the concept of Open Source at a fairly young age.”

“The idea is to reach out to impressionable minds between the age of 12 and 20, who have access to computers and bring about awareness of the vast opportunities waiting to be tapped in Open Source,” reasoned Loonker.

Among its other objectives is to persuade institutes like Aptech, NIIT, SSI and BITS to include Open Source modules in their curriculum. However, is it as simple as it appears? “No,” admits Loonker, “we would first have to justify a viable business model to them before we can expect them to do something like this.” However, an optimistic Loonker feels that even one of the major players introduce Open Source modules, the rest will follow suit.

In pursuit of its goals, the group has already initiated talks of working together with institutions like National Informatics Centre (NIC)’s Open Source Forum (OSF) group. They are also engaged in talks with several private computer institutes, engineering colleges and management institutes, etc.

Launched last month, the group currently has 17 members on its rolls and is aiming for a target of 100 members by the end of this year and around 1000 members by mid next year. Though not yet registered as a legal entity, Loonker claims that they would register as and when they grow in strength.

Meanwhile all those interested in being a part of this radical group can click here.

While movements like these, begin well, what remains to be seen is how far they succeed in maintaining the momentum of their ideals and in realizing their goals in letter and spirit!