#FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge

The Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) announced the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge to accelerate the adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in the Government.

On April 22, 2021, a virtual roundtable discussion on ‘Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Government’ was organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in collaboration with Omidyar Network India to increase awareness about the usage of FOSS in governance and Government functioning, and adoption of FOSS.

In this article, we shall discuss at length what is Free and Open Source Software, the objectives of #FOSS4GOV, brief background and its significance. IAS Exam aspirants must refer to the information discussed further below as questions based on the same might be asked in the upcoming Civil Services Exam. 

#FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

What is the #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?

Objective: The #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge aims to harness the innovation potential of the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community and start-ups to solve critical issues in GovTech. 

It calls upon FOSS innovators, technology entrepreneurs and Indian Startups to submit implementable open-source product innovations in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) with possible applications for Govtech in Health, Education, Agriculture, Urban Governance etc.

The innovation challenge is a key component of GovTech 3.0, which is about building secure and inclusive Open Digital Ecosystems (ODEs) that harness the potential of social innovators to help solve India’s toughest problems. 

The participants shall be eligible for:

  • Incubation Support
  • Prize Money
  • Mentorship by domain experts
  • Institutional support from eminent organizations for incubation of ideas and listing of solutions on Government e-Marketplace (GeM)

Candidates can visit the linked article and know more about the Startup India Scheme, an initiative to develop over 75 startup support hubs in the country. 

What is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?

The source code of the software is open for all and anyone is free to use, study and modify the code. This principle allows other people to contribute to the development and improvement of software like a community.

The term ‘free’ does not imply that it is free of cost, rather it indicates that the software does not have constraints on copyrights. A few examples of FOSS include MySQL, Firefox, Linux, etc.

Significance of #FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge

  • India is well-positioned to become a vibrant hub for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) innovations, due to the large number of 4G data subscribers in India, 96% of whom access the digital world via open-source-based mobile operating systems
  • Some of India’s largest government projects (including Aadhaar) and many technology start-ups have also been built using FOSS
  • Acknowledging the huge potential of FOSS, the Government of India had issued a Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software in 2015

Candidates can also read the In-Depth discussion on Innovation Challenge: Is IT Sector Ready: RSTV- Big Picture at the linked article. 

#FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

IAS aspirants can get the detailed UPSC Syllabus for the prelims and mains examination for the upcoming Civil Services Exam at the linked article.

For the latest exam updates, study material and preparation tips, candidates can turn to BYJU’S for assistance. 

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