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This is one big contrast in the party’s manifesto and its actual practice. The BJP’s IT vision as mentioned in its manifesto and its implementation in Gujarat could not have been more different.

Written by Gaurav Sharma | Ahmedabad |
April 14, 2009 4:40:13 am

Party’s manifesto speaks of open source software; Modi govt signs pact with Microsoft

This is one big contrast in the party’s manifesto and its actual practice. The BJP’s IT vision as mentioned in its manifesto and its implementation in Gujarat could not have been more different.

The party has promised to standardise open standard and open source software in its IT vision,but by its own claim,the IT savvy state government has signed MoUs with Microsoft India Pvt Ltd in the Vibrant Gujarat summit. The aim: to enhance adoption and use of IT in the state education sector using the licensed software.

The recently released ‘BJP’s IT Vision for Transforming India,Empowering Bharat’,is an example of this contrast.

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The party has promised laptops at Rs 10,000 to one crore students with interest-free loans for anyone unable to afford it. The party has also admitted that Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is the only way out to reduce the price of the device from Rs 35,000 to Rs 10,000.

The BJP’s IT Vision says: “Our government will actively promote Free and Open Source Software,including the operating system,which will also introduce the habit of innovation in the student community.”

But this is in direct contrast to what the Gujarat government did during the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2009,in January. As per the agreement,Microsoft will extensively promote capacity building by establishing IT academies across 12 districts,train 20,000 teachers,prepare IT and Digital Literacy curriculum,build IT readiness under ‘MS Partners in Learning’ and implement a comprehensive education solution,including Education Management and Information System and Campus Management.

When questioned about the contrast,none of the party leaders had a straight answer for this seeming contrast.

BJP’s national IT cell convener,Pradyut Bora,said: “This should be asked to the state government. But,policies can always change.”

Meanwhile,state leaders of the BJP declined to comment on the issue. Yamal Vyas,BJP media cell convener,Gujarat,said: “Although I am not authorised to say anything on this,but if it’s mentioned in the manifesto,there must be some logic in it.”

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