The term ‘Open Source’ was coined in California on 3rd February, thus completing 20 years of a strong and increasing presence in the Digital world.
This initiative has indeed come a long way in the past two decades. It was a very welcome deviation in the Microsoft-Apple dominated “close” industry. In simple terms, Open Source upholds the idea that a license shall not restrict free distribution and that the source code should be included along with the program. Many a times, Open Source is misunderstood as ‘free’ software or program. It may be true 99% of the times, but there are certain exceptions too. To imagine a world without Open Source would be like to think what would happen without the likes of MySQL, PHP, Firefox, Android, Ubuntu etc.
In India, we are seeing the government increasingly use 'open source', it has already started to disseminate more information and offer more services online in the past few years. The initiative of ‘Digital India’ demands that open source be used more widely not just to save costs and time but also to ensure implementation of some of the ambitious plans effectively. This trend is seen in various other countries too. There is a shift from product purchase towards innovation. In this phase, it is crucial that awareness about ‘Open Source’ is created in an orderly and well-planned manner.