Free Software Movement of India

Free Software Movement of India

Free Software Movement of India
Abbreviation FSMI
Formation March 21, 2010 (2010-03-21)
Type Coalition of Organisations
Purpose To take free software and its ideology to all computer users and to all sections of society.
Region served Indian Union
President Joseph Thomas (ATPS, Kochi)
Main organ General Council

Free Software Movement of India (FSMI) is a national coalition of various regional and sectoral free software movements operating in different parts of India. The formation of FSMI was announced in the valedictory function of the National Free Software Conference - 2010 held in Bangalore during 20–21 March 2010.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] FSMI is a pan Indian level initiative to propagate the ideology of free software and to popularize the usage of the free software.[10][11] One of the declared aims of the movement is to take Free Software and its ideological implications to computer users “across the digital divide”, to under-privileged sections of society.[11][12]

Free Software movements in different states such as Swecha[13] (Andhra Pradesh), FSMK[14] (Karnataka), Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF)(Kerala), Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu (FSFTN)[14] (Tamil Nadu) and FSMWB (West Bengal) are partnering with the coalition. Sectoral movements such as Knowledge Commons,[15] Academics Initiative, OSGEO India and the National Consultative Committee of Computer Teachers (NCCCTA) joined the national coalition at the very initial stage itself.

FSMI differentiates itself from other organisations, forums or user groups in the free software domain by the method of movement building which is primarily grass root and mass movement.[16][17]


  • Interventions 1
  • Governance 2
  • Aims and objectives 3
  • Member Organisations 4
  • Activities 5
  • Controversy 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had made mandatory the use of the proprietary Office 360 in all engineering colleges in the country. This mandatory mandate was rescinded after intervention by several groups led by FSMI.[18]


The founding conference of FSMI elected a General Council having 69 members, an Executive Committee with 28 members and the following office bearers.

  • President : Shri. Joseph Thomas (Appropriate Technology Promotion Society, Kochi[19])
  • General Secretary : Shri. Kiran Chandra (Free Software Activist, Swecha[20])
  • Vice Presidents : Prof K. Gopinath[21] (IISc, Bangalore), Prof. Debesh Das,[22] Shri. Prabir Purkhayastha[23]
  • Secretaries : Shri. Jay Kumar (FSMK[14]), Dr. Nandini Mukherjee (Jadavpur University, Kolkata)(FSMWB), Shri. Siddhartha Malempati[24] (Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu[25])
  • Treasurer : Dr. L. Pratap Reddy[26] (Swecha[13])

Aims and objectives

The founding conference, which was endorsed by several noted Kannada writers,[27] of the FSMI adopted the following aims and objectives for the movement:[11]

Member Organisations

  • Swecha
  • Free Software Movement Karnataka (FSMK)
  • Free Software Foundation Tamil Nadu (FSFTN)
  • Democratic Alliance for Knowledge Freedom (DAKF)
  • Free Software Movement West Bengal (FSMWB)
  • Knowledge Commons
  • National Consultative Committee of Computer Teachers Association (NCCCTA)
  • Appropriate Technology Promotion Society (ATPS)
  • Muktdhyaan (Maharashtra)
  • Swadhin (Orissa)
  • Rajasthan Free Software Initiative
  • Free Software Movement Himachal
  • Free Software Movement Maharashtra [28]


  • National Convention for Academics and Research was organised by FSMI in December 2011. The conference was inaugurated by former President of India Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. The concept of Free Software, wherein knowledge is created by the community for the community, without being driven by commercial interests, must be extended to research to solve problems in health care, agriculture, energy and safe drinking water, the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, said.[29][30]


A report in the

  • Official website

External links

  1. ^ News in OneWorld South Asia: "National Free Software Coalition Formed in India". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  2. ^ News in"National Free Software Coalition Formed". Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  3. ^ News in  
  4. ^ Website of National Free Software Conference - 2010: "National Free Software Coalition Formed". Retrieved 5 April 2010. 
  5. ^ News in Communications of the  
  6. ^ News in  
  7. ^ News in  
  8. ^ News in  
  9. ^ "Free Software Movement Karnataka". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  10. ^ The Hindu: Deepa Kurup (22 March 2010). "National Free Software coalition formed". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "Free Software Movement has arrived on the National Scene!". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  12. ^ News in  
  13. ^ a b "Website of Swecha". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Website of FSMK". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Website of Knowledge Commons". Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  16. ^ Article in  
  17. ^ Article in  
  18. ^ Mukunth, Vasudevan; Srivas, Anuj (10 May 2013). "AICTE rescinds Microsoft Office 365 mandate". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  19. ^ "Appropriate Technology Promotion Society". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "Kiran Chandra, director in FSF-I board". 
  21. ^ "Home page of Prof. K. Gopinath". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Profile of Prof. Debesh Das". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Profile of Prabir Purkhayastha". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Profile of Siddharth Malempati". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu". 
  26. ^ "Profile of Dr. L. Pratap Reddy". Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  27. ^ News in  
  28. ^ Vincent, Vikram. "Free Software Movement Maharashtra - Outcome of preparatory meeting". mailing list. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Inaugural Address". Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  30. ^ Kurup, Deepa (22 December 2010). "News Report in Hindu". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  31. ^ News in  
  32. ^ Article in  
  33. ^ News in website of National Free Software Conference - 2010: "Mathrubumi fabricated report". 
  34. ^ "List of current patrons of FSF". Retrieved 24 March 2010. 


See also

[34] report, FSMI follows a policy similar to FSFI of accepting funding from corporations while not endorsing them.Mathrubhumi Contradicting the [20] article stated that the general secretary of FSMI, Kiran Chandra was a representative of Novell while the FSFI website showed that he is on the Board of Directors.MathrubhumiThe [14]