India mandates Open Source for all central govt depts; states encouraged to follow suit

New Delhi April 1 2015: The Indian government    has announced a new policy to "encourage the formal adoption and use of Open Source Software (OSS) in Government Organizations." 
This is part of its declared intention to implement a Digital India programme as an umbrella programme to prepare India for a knowledge based transformation into a digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy.
The Objectives of the“Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India” are:

  • To provide a policy framework for rapid and effective adoption of OSS
  • To  ensure  strategic  control  in  e-Governance  applications  and systems from a long-term perspective.
  • To reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of projects.

Government  will endeavour to adopt Open Source Software in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government organizations, as a preferred option in comparison to Closed Source Software (CSS). OSS is defined like this: The source code shall be available for the community / adopter/ end-user to study and modify the software and to redistribute copies of either the original or modified software.Source code will be free from any royalty.
The policy  will be applicable to all Government Organisations under the Central Governments and those State Governments that choose to adopt this policy for e-Governance systems.  
You can find the full policy document here