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For a list of pages see Category:India.

Original contributions mostly from Frederick Noronha.

For updates, see the Delicious tag at


A P2P Interview of Michel Bauwens in Malayalam, conducted by V. Sasi Kumar, at English version

See also:

  1. Free software status in India, extensive directory of Linux and other FOSS related projects
  2. Intellectual Property discussions in India are reviewed here
  3. Very complete directory page at
  4. Recommended reading: The history of Free Software in Kerala



Creative Commons

  • Creative Commons India

  • "Creative Commons-India's project head Shishir K Jha,

assistant professor at the IIT's Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, said the [Creative Commons] project would focus on three specific areas in India. These are -- centres of higher education like the seven IITs, regional technology institutes and management and other institutions. "These are increasingly taking recourse to creating video and web-based courses such as the National Programme for Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and distance education courses such as C-DEEP and eGURU. And all would benefit from keeping content sharable," Jha told IANS. Creative Commons-India also plans to focus on non-profit and non-governmental organisations and corporates keen on adopting easier-to-share licences for the dissemination of their documents. Jha said that there were many independent creative artistes working with film, documentary, music and text who would like to explore the possibilities of reaching out to a wider audience with the use of Creative Commons licences." (


  1. Freedom in Technology and Software,, promotes freedom in technology, software and other related fields, such as personal privacy
  2. Creative Commons India
  3. Docuwallahs2 [1], a network to share information and build P2P links, mainly among documentary film-makers (and those appreciating it) in India, and South Asia.
  4. Free Software Foundation (India): [2] [3] The FSF-I's goal is to ensure the long term adoption of free software.
  5. Alternative Law Forum: working on Open Licenses
  6. List of Indian Free Software and Open Source groups, at


CREATIVE COMMONS INDIA SHORT FILM CONTEST: On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of India's independence, Creative Commons India organised a short film contest, on 'Better governance through Right To Information'.

Home - FOSS.IN/2007 One of the world's largest FOSS events, held annually in India. The event is highly focussed on FOSS development and contribution.


Sunil Abraham, free software activist for nonprofits

Lawrence Liang, specializes in open source and culture, intellectual property developments

Frederick Noronha, digital divide activist based in Goa, and editor of for All newsletter.

Knowledge Exchange Resources

General Resources

  • Portal:India - Wikinews, the free news source

  • OPENITIS: Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds.

User-posted content, unless source quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.

  • Design for India: Design is a powerful force that

shapes culture and it is a professional activity that is beneficial for both community and business alike. This blog is for all those who are interested in exploring these wider manifestations of design as a critical human activity and would like to shape its application across all human cultural and economic activities. India needs design today across all 230 sectors of our economy.

This blog is a space to explore and articulate some of the issues and perspectives that can contribute to a better understanding of these opportunities. This blog is managed by Prof. M P Ranjan, NID, Ahmedabad. You are invited to also look at the design education blog called "Design Concepts and Concerns" here for a contemporaneous documentation of the DCC courses at the NID, Ahmedabad.

Bytes for All

BytesForAll mailing list [4] Sharing ideas and information of how ICT (information and communication technology) can be deployed for a pro-people purpose. [5] [6]

GoaNet [7]: Network building 'social capital' through free news and discussion

Free Mapping Projects

Mumbai Free Map,

Vasai Virar Free Map,

Traditional Knowledge

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, aims to protect Indian traditions such as ayurveda, yoga, etc.. from misappropriation by commercial patents.

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) Director Dr. V. K. Gupta said at the conference: "TKDL deals with traditional knowledge and the issue of patents. We're not focused on getting patents, but on preventing its misappropriation." "Knowledge from the fields of [Indian systems of medicine like] Ayurveda or Siddha are very well documented. But the problem is that of language. This knowledge is documented in languages like Sanskrit, Hindi, Arabic, or Persian. Books about them are not available at international patent offices. So, there's no understanding [about how ancient this knowledge really is]," said Gupta. Gupta pointed out that if anything is pre-known, then existing intellectual property rights (IPR) laws do not allow it to be patented. "A majority of the patents [taken on Indian knowledge] is by expatriate Indians or multinational corporations. There are about 2,000 patents which have been wrongly issued, in our view. Each takes 11 years to fight. How do you resolve this problem?" he asked. So TKDL's approach is to document traditional knowledge. We've done it for around 70,000 formulations in Ayurveda, and some more in the Unani and Siddha," he added. TKD's team of a hundred persons have been working on this for the past five years.


Open Word, publishing initiative of CACIM around 'openness'

Solution Exchange India, a UN country theme initiative for collaborative projects around development and the Millenium Goals

List of Indian mailing lists

Open Access Initiatives in Science and Medicine

Summary by Subbiah Arunachalam:

ON OPEN ACCESS: Subbiah (Arun) Arunachalam [email protected] is one of the most prominent campaigners for Open Access in India.

He outlines the strengths, for journals: Many leading journals published in India are already open access. These include the journals published by the Indian Academy of Sciences [8], the Indian National Science Academy [9], Indian Council of Medical Research [10] and the Calicut Medical College [11]. Besides, both National Informatics Centre [12] and MedKnow [13] publish open access journals on behalf of about 75 societies.

Says he: "Thus India publishes about 100 OA journals. Actually these are hybrid journals (print + electronic, with the print version sold against a subscription). No Indian journal charges a fee from the authors for publishing papers. MedKnow [14] model is win-win all the way."

At the level of repositories: About thirty institutions have set up their own interoperable institutional open access repositories using open source software such as EPrints [15] and DSpace [16]. Indian Institute of Science [17] was the first to set up and the IISc EPrints archive [18] has over 8000 records. NIT Rourkela [19] is the only Indian institution to have mandated open access for all faculty and student research publications.

There are three subject-based central repositories one each for library and information science (DRTC, medicine (NIC and catalysis (IIT Madras,

At the level of course ware: The NPTEL programme (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning,, jointly mounted by IITs and IISc is a world class open course ware programme. IIT and IISc faculty prepare the course material and these are recorded in real life teaching situations for transmission over the web or as a video film or as both.

The National Knowledge Commission [20] has recommended mandating open access to all publicly funded research and the recommendation is now with the Prime Minister. The topic was discussed both in the Libraries Working Group and in the Open and Distance Education Working Group of NKC [21]

Says Arunachalam: "Before laying down office of President, INSA (Indian National Science Academy, Dr R A Mashelkar, invited me to address the Council of INSA on the pros and cons of open access. My presentation was circulated to all Fellows of INSA, but I am yet to hear from INSA about their plan of action. Indian Academy of Sciences is planning to place all papers by all Fellows, past and present, on an open access archive."

But, he concedes, they are going about it rather slowly. A number of workshops have been held on topics such as open access, EPrints, DSpace, Digital Libraries, Open Course Ware, etc. DSIR (Govt. of India's Department for Scientific & Industrial Research. has supported some research and advocacy at IISc-NCSI.

  • Engineers India Org: Engineer Portal

India's own Engineer Portal for engineers. Come write for us and get involved in the most ambitious online project ever in India! We will pay a token amount, though not much, but your involvement is appreciated. The articles of this weblog are licensed under a Creative Commons license.


ENVIS Wetland Ecosystems This work is licenced under Creative Commons Licence.


in 2005 and since then they have over 1100 registered members and it is being used by medical professionals to archive their publications. It claims to be the only archive in the world in the area of medical/biomedical sciences and the only one that uses Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for keywords. The Indian Journal of Tuberculosis is available from December 1953 and again this is the first archive that has publications from 1952! Says those involved with the archive, "Please feel free to browse through the contents and add your publications in the archive to enable access to health information to all." Source: Naina Pandita, National Informatics Centre, New Delhi Email: [email protected] Received via: [email protected]

  • MEDKNOW: Medknow Publications calls itself "the largest

publisher in India for academic and scientific biomedical journals." It says it is a publishing house committed to the improving the visibility and accessibility of the science from the developing world. Medknow also says it "pioneers in 'fee-less-free' model of open access publishing and provides immediate free access to the electronic editions of the journals without charging the author or author's institution for submission, processing or publication of the articles." Currently Medknow, with over 40 print + online journals, is "probably the largest open access publisher of print journals in the world which does not charge author or author institution for submission, processing or publication of articles." Each journal published by Medknow has its independent website. The websites use the OpenURL standard, making it easy for libraries to link users as directly as possible from citation to the full text of the article. The open access policy has resulted in more than a half a million article downloads in a month all the journals, according to Medknow. Medknow has successfully put in place an original electronic manuscript submission and peer review system [23] for the first time in India. This system has been in use since 2001 by authors and peers across the globe and over 15,000 manuscripts have been processed through it. Eliminating use of postal or hard copy submissions, this online submission and processing of articles has resulted in considerable decrease in the submission to decision (turnaround) time. Most of the journals published by Medknow are archived at multiple places included OAI-compliant e-print repositories [24] and sites such as Bioline International [25], thus, ensuring the long term archiving and accessibility of the published content.

  • Indian says at

[26] that it currently have five open access journals: * Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (Professor Anil Aggrawal) B) Fire Engineer (Institution of Fire Engineers (India)) * Journal of Neonatology (National Neonatology Forum) * Journal of Research, SKUAST-J (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu) and * The Journal of Bombay Veterinary College (Bombay Veterinary College Alumni Association). There is also a sixth journal freely available from today. The publishers have yet to decide definitively how they would like to proceed in the longer term, but currently their intention is to keep it under open access. The journal in question is * Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology (Indian Society of Medical and Paediatric Oncology).

  • Sukhdev Singh says: "Many of the Indian journals provide Free

Access to their online content. We also provide free access to 38 Indian Biomedical Journals - However most of them do not differenciate between Free Access and Open Access. According to various definitions - Open Access goes beyond Free Access by also granting "distribution rights" to the end user. Those who understand the difference make it clear that they are Free Access only. Take for example -- "Open access: To be or not to be"? an Editorial in Indian Journal of Pharmacology - "IJP will continue to be a Free Access journal and insist on copyright transfer. Readers may make a few copies of any article for personal use and distribute a limited number of copies for non-profit, non-promotional academic activities (such as workshop or lectures) without prior permission."

Sukhdev Singh of NIC is connected with and and

  • Jan Swasthya Abhiyan: People's Health Movement - India

The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan is the Indian circle of the People's Health Movement, a worldwide movement to establish health and equitable development as top priorities through comprehensive primary health care and action on the social determinants of health.

The Jan Swasthya Abhiyan coalition consists of over 20 networks and 1000 organisations as well as a large number of individuals that endorse the Indian People's Health Charter a consensus document that arose out of the Jan Swasthya Sabha held in December 2000 when concerned networks, organisations and individuals met to discuss the Health for All Challenge. This site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

Open Content for Travel and Tourism

  • India: 2,038,945 photos on

  • India travel guide - Wikitravel

Open source travel guide to India, featuring up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more.

  • "Google has been sending GPS kits to India that

enable locals to make more detailed maps of their area. After the data has been uploaded and then verified against other participant's data it becomes a part of the map. The process is very reminiscent of what Open Street Map, the community map-building project, has been doing. The biggest difference is that the data (to my knowledge) is owned by Google and is not freely available back to the community like it is with OSM."

  • 13,000 copyright-free (non-commercial) photos from western

India and elsewhere.



Free Software and Open Source: General

Skoch Consultancy Services has recently published the first knowledge repository of Open Source Technologies in India, this lists over 50 such applications covering most of the areas mentioned by you and more. This is currently available as a hard copy publication only. Skoch Development Foundation can send a few to some of the interested members of the community on a complimentary basis. The interested members may email us with complete contact details and mailing address at [email protected]

FOSS: Specific projects

BOSS- Bharat Operating System Solution, at

This is a GNU/Linux operating system consisting entirely of Free/Open Source Software. It has been developed with the vision to enhance the use of Free/Open Source Software in the country. Made specifically for the Indian environment, it consists of a pleasing Desktop environment coupled with Indian language support and other packages that are most relevant for use in the government domain. Subsequent versions will support the educational domain as well. It is an initiative of CDAC (Center for Development of Advanced Computing), a scientific society of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology

SELF Platform (gnowledge lab of HBCSE, TIFR is a collaborator and the collaborative authoring system is developed by the gnowledge lab. ) This application is not an LMS, but meant for authoring SCORM complaint courses. Also see a fresh instance which is waiting for the community to build free courses.

GNOWSYS, Gnowledge Networking and Organizing system. This is the heart of the SELF Platform mentioned above, also developed by the gnowledge lab of HBCSE, TIFR. GNOWSYS is an official GNU project,

Local Information

  1. The story of free softwre in Kerala


India At The Forefront Of Knowledge Commons Debate

[3 September 2006] By Frederick Noronha for Intellectual Property Watch: NEW DELHI - What do seeds have in common with software? Or age-old medicines with copyright lawyers? And, what's the link between ayurvedic medicines and techies talking free software in Bangalore? Such issues are getting closely enmeshed in a deepening debate on how knowledge is shared or controlled in this new information-dominated century. This is a debate of vital relevance for a country that is making an increasingly visible global impact through its brain power, and yet has among the most impressive collections of traditional medicines and knowledge. Diverse views surface on how such issues should be tackled, as was strongly obvious at a 24-25 August 'knowledge symposiu' held at New Delhi. The invite-only meet was organised by the open source software firm Red Hat (India) and the Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi. The event brought these diverse strands together while focusing on what it said were alternative ways of looking at sharing knowledge and concepts like intellectual property. India has big stakes in this debate. It is home to vast amounts of traditional knowledge - traditional systems of medicine and healthcare, like Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha (both systems of medicine), traditional agriculture, and more. But the planet's second-most populous country also faces the dilemma of getting global acceptability on intellectual property issues as it integrates growingly with the global economy.


  1. India At The Forefront Of Knowledge Commons: overview of issues