Use Free Software for Higher Studies

A three-day national conference on ‘Free Software and Education’ organised by the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, (NIT-C) in association with the Free Software Foundation of India (FSF) and the Society for the Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment (SPACE) concluded on the NIT-C campus on Sunday with a call to use free software in all higher educational institutions in view of the freedom, stability and economy of using the same.

Students and faculty of the NIT-C along with representatives from other institutions took part in the conference. Seminars and exhibitions were organised which focussed on helping the participants realise the freedom offered by the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

The conference illustrated the use of Octave, Maxima and GNU which are useful for researchers. There were six technical sessions on various aspects of free software.

Sessions on ‘What is Free Software’ by V. Sasikumar of SPACE Thiruvananthapuram and ‘Why Free Software in Education’ by Prasanth Sugatan from the Software Freedom Law Center, Delhi, were also conducted.

Live video conferencing with Marco Ciurcina of Italy on free software licensing and video presentation by Renzo Davoli, president of the Free Software Association, gave insight to participants on the topic.

‘Software Vendors’

Professor Nagarjuna, president of the Free Software Foundation, in his speech ‘on the need for free software’ pointed out that users of proprietary software were simply consumers of software vendors.

‘Free software for differently enabled persons’ by V. Sasikumar described the INSIGHT project undertaken by SPACE for the differentially abled.

Moudgalya of IIT Mumbai, Prabhu Ramchandran, Krishna Kanth Mane, a visually challenged person, Prof. Srivatsan and the Pro Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University were among those who presented papers.

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