This is indeed good news.
Keep up the good work. [Keep fighting mandatory implementation of expensive

On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 12:24 AM, Vikram Vincent <>wrote:

> Free Software Movement Maharashtra - Outcome of preparatory meeting
> The preparatory meeting for formation of 'Free Software Movement
> Maharashtra' was a success. The meeting was held at the Indian
> Institute of Technology Bombay on 4th May 2013. 44 people participated
> in it.
> The agenda of the meeting was:
> 1. Discussion on the importance free software and knowledge as a commons
> 2. Discussion about the need for a movement in the free software domain
> 3. Forming an organising team to take forward activities in Maharashtra
> 4. Listing and approving of action items for the next few months
> The participants were welcomed by Vikram Vincent, Member, General
> Council, FSMI and Prof. Puru Kulkarni moderated the session.
> Prof. Kannan Moudgalya inaugurated the first agenda point by talking
> about the FOSS initiatives at IITB and the efforts to connect with the
> teachers and students from all over the country.  Prof. D.B. Phatak
> explained about the role of Aakash and the need for large scale
> efforts to localise knowledge. He raised several points of importance,
> two of which are the need to create strong business ecosystems in the
> FOSS domain and the need for the end users to have the freedom to
> choose the products and services they want.  Dr. T. Jayaraman of TISS
> highlighted the efforts of TISS in opening up knowledge and the
> challenges that arise out of such initiatives. He extended support
> both from himself personally and also of his colleagues at TISS for
> furthering the free software movement. Dr. Vivek Monteiro spoke a few
> words on the universalisation of knowledge. Venkatesh Hariharan of
> Knowledge Commons intervened in the discussions and provided the
> theoretical framework for knowledge as a commons. Kiran Chandra,
> General Secretary of FSMI, detailed the need for a strong people’s
> movement in the free software domain. He emphasised on the guiding
> principles of FSMI which allowed it to take up issues of human concern
> and society.
> The recent mandate of AICTE (to all its institutes) to implement
> Microsoft's
> Office365 suite of collaboration tools was discussed.
> A link to AICTE's announcement is here:
> Kiran Chandra pointed out FSMI's response to this, which is available at
> the
> following link:
> The possible effects of the implementation of the mandate to use
> Office 365 were discussed and there was unanimous agreement towards
> demanding reasons for the same from AICTE, through legal means and
> using RTIs etc., along with an agreement to oppose such an initiative.
> The meeting then called for volunteers to form a core team who would drive
> the
> activities for the next few months towards initiating the Free
> Software Movement Maharashtra. A team of 18 members was created, and
> Dr. Puru and Vikram will coordinate the same.  The members of the
> organising team are Dr. T. Jayaraman, Mrunmayee Tayade, Rajesh Kumar,
> Nikita Belavate, Rahul Maganti, Deepak Pacha, Arun Khan, Siji Sunny,
> Kiran Eranki, Prof. Shishir Jha, Dinesh Jain, Rahul Muttu, Pradeep
> Mohandas, Krutikaa Jawanjal, Karthik Nadar, one for ERP-next. The
> meeting had representation from several organisations such as IITB,
> TISS, FSMI, Wikipedia, Knowledge Commons, DA-IICT, ILUG-BOM, Somaiya
> and other colleges.
> The ‘Free Software Movement Maharashtra' with the domain name of
> was declared functional.
> The following points were chosen as action points in near future:
> 1. FOSS sessions in colleges and schools
> 2. GNOME Marathi popularisation and supporting respective groups
> already working in this domain.
> 3. Office 365
> 4. Any other that may be feasible as and when opportunity arises.
> Photographs of the meeting. Courtesy of Venky
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Srikanth Ramakrishnan
Wikimedia Chapter [India]

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