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Government to launch India’s own open source collaboration platform

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Months after rolling out a policy to support open source software development, the Indian government is now all set to launch its own collaboration platform for hosting open source projects. The new move is apparently aimed to encourage software developers and various government bodies to let them start sharing codes of their major projects under one roof.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) released a policy related to the adoption of open source software in April 2015. Called “Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications”, the policy is targeted to provide a comprehensive framework for archiving government source code in repositories. The framework is primarily designed to open software repositories to enable reuse, sharing and remixing of new and existing codes.

“While the policy is in place, it needs to be supported by appropriate technology infrastructure to create and grow a thriving open source community around Indian e-governance,” a source told Open Source For You, suggesting the launch of the open source platform.

Two edges to cover nationwide open source development

Similar to some of the popular repositories such as GitHub and SourceForge, the new offering will enable not just some government bodies but also a large number of software developers and corporates to develop and publish their code at a single place. The team behind the ongoing development is planning to divide the platform into two different segments; while one of its parts will be exclusive to government departments, another one will be open to the public.

A role model for the US

Taking a cue from the policy designed by the Indian government, the US government also recently announced its Federal Source Code policy. But the US agencies will not get a distinct place like their counterparts in India to archive source code. This would make the Indian platform unique and a role model for some developed regions including the US where the government is already embracing open source technologies.

Moreover, the new initiative by the Narendra Modi-led government would improve the efficiency of existing code that different departments are already using for various public programmes. Software developers and academic institutions would also help contribute to application testing and platform enhancements to deliver effective solutions.