March 8, 2008
Indian State shuts Windows, schools to use only Linux
India’s southern state of Kerala will be the first in the country to completely switch from Microsoft Windows to only GNU/Linux free software. Linux will be used in the mandatory IT test at the state SSLC examinations that half a million students will appear for from next week. Till last year, they could take the exam using either free software or the Microsoft platform. Not anymore. The move came after the Government formally ordered that only free Linux-based software should be used for IT education in high schools, using new the Linux text books developed by the state’s educational research body. The huge cost of maintaining a Windows infrastructure and the State’s anti MNC policies are the main reasons behind completely abandoning Windows solutions and moving to Linux applications.
Since last September, some 15 lakh students have been busy training on or migrating to free software on 40,000 computers put up in 2,832 high schools watched over by over 60,000 IT trained school teachers (some 86 private training institutions train the teachers) besides 161 master trainers and 5,600 school IT coordinators. “We checked. It’s the world’s biggest mobilisation of its kind,” says K Anwar Sadath, executive director of the state government’s [email protected] mission.