Karnataka makes smart IT moves

CIOL Bureau
Updated On
New Update

BANGALORE: While the big fight is between Open Source and Microsoft, the end user is the beneficiary. A classic example is the state government of Karnataka. While the state government is promoting Microsoft application for its e-governance, it is swearing by open source and standards for education.

IBM is setting up a center of excellence in Hubli to assist the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Hubli branch to impart training to the students on open source applications. When questioned about IBM’s role in this effort, Sr Vice President and Group Executive, Software Group in IBM Corporation, Steve Mills informed, "we would be providing with educational material, software, hardware and financial investments to the educational institution."

In November 2002 during Bill Gates visit, the Chief Minister SM Krishna showed his commitment to the software giant by officiating an agreement to implement the .Net framework in one of the state government departments. Six months later, the chief minister had a close door meeting with IBM Corporation, Chairman-Sam Palmisano and convinced him to assist the single largest dedicated open source training facility in the country at Hubli.

When questioned about this swing by the government between open source and Microsoft, Vivek Kulkarni, Secretary of IT and Bio Technology, Government of Karnataka, commented, 'It is only one department in the state government that has been computerized on Microsoft application and framework. There are a lot other departments to be automated,' hinting probably at a permanent swing to the open source initiative by the government. He also candidly mentioned, "Students are always working on other platforms and technologies, we are making an effort to offer them the open source platform."