Kannada, Kannadiga, Kannadigaru, Karnataka,

Kannadigarella ondaagi Kannadavannu ulisona, kalisona and belesona

Sri. K. P. Poornachandra Tejasvi letter to GoK MoU with Microsoft on PROJECT SHIKSHA

Press Note

Free translation of Letter dated: 02-12-2004

Written by 

Sri. K.P. Poornachandra Tejasvi in Kannada
 

Sl. No. ED 97 MPE 2004

Respected Shri Chiranjeevi Singh Ji,

Received “PROJECT SHIKSHA” M.O.U.  Sent by Secretary Educational Department on your direction. I was shocked after a complete study of M.O.U.  It is totally wrong that Govt. has singed such an Agreement, which has scope for deeper long term effects on Kannada Language and Education, without discussing issue widely. I feel it is my duty to inform you regarding my objections and reasons for it, hence writing this letter.

It seems that the earlier Government programs, which are in force for Kannada Software Development, have not been brought to knowledge of IT Secretary, E governance Secretary, Education Secretary before the M.O.U. is signed. It also seems signatories to M.O.U. have become responsible for unnecessary controversy, without bringing all the background on the subject in the knowledge of above-mentioned secretaries. The officials of I.T. Department are directly responsible for this I.T. Department has earlier developed Kannada Software “Nudi” after spending Rs.  30,00,000/-. IT Department also issued a G.O. making it mandatory for all the departments to install and use “Nudi”.

How is it possible for secretary department of Education to sign a M.O.U. with Microsoft company for providing Education in Windows –98 Version when above mentioned a G.O. is in force?
       

The IT Secretary while purchasing “Nudi” Software has clearly mentioned that the Government shall purchase any Software with source code only. Accordingly the “Nudi” source code is in the proprietorship of Govt. of Karnataka. But this Govt. Rule has been given an exemption in the M.O.U. with Microsoft. Microsoft has stated that it will not give support service for Winodws-98 version. Then, What is the purpose of Microsoft in installing such Software in all Computers, which will be used for training under the M.O.U., without giving source code? It is highly objectionable that the Microsoft has come forward to give training using Crores of Tax Payers money in a software which it itself has intended to throw to dustbin.

            What we need most importantly is use of Kannada in Computers. Microsoft doesn’t have its own Kannada Software, which runs on Winodw-98 version. There are Kannada Softwares like NUDI, SURABHI, WIN KEY, Etc., but their use will be maximized if the training part is handed over to the Software developers themselves. Hence there is no need to sign a M.O.U. with Microsoft.

            We have earlier requested to Secretary, E-Governance & Secretary, IT Department through Shri Chandra Shekar Kambara MLC that Source code of ‘Nudi” may be made open to all and we all can contribute to its development. Since Nudi Software is distributed free of cost the Government. Could not have incurred any loss by making the source code open to public. Also there would not have been any legal problem in making it open to public as it has been developed with taxpayer’s money. We have doubt that our request has been ignored intentionally to grant special favors to Microsoft Company. Sri. Kambara met Chief Minster and submitted a memorandum in this regard. The Chief Minister has directed to take immediate action. But even after the direction of Chief Minister we have not received communication from IT Secretary. Meanwhile I feel sad to inform you that certain unilateral decisions taken by IT Secretary have taken Kannada Language to the edge of the danger.

            I wish to bring a few historical developments, which have contributed, to this sad situation in two sentences. Certain mistakes done by the govt. in its enthusiasm for giving encouragement to Kannada Software Development have resulted either in closure or stoppage of Languages Software Development by 22 companies of total 25 companies engaged in Kannada Software Development. Now there are only 3 companies is left Kannada Software Development. Now it’s very clear, that even these 3 companies will close down, as the Govt. itself has taken to sponsoring of Microsoft. We have no objections that Microsoft is developing Software for Kannada. But it is a great mistake that Government being the biggest customer is favoring the Microsoft. What will happen if the Government, which has duty to protect indigenous companies against MNCs, itself is bent upon destroying the local Software developers who have been developing language software for last 20 years?

            Kannada has been developed by Kannadigas for last 2000 years without anybody’s control or Mercy. It is a sad situation that we are handing over such Kannada Language to a foreign private company, which has profit as its only motive. There will not be any locals left for Kannada language software development. Giving a contract worth Crores of Rupees to Microsoft Companies, when the local software developers working for 20 years have been thrown to road has raised Questions on the Sincerity of Karnataka Government bureaucracy.  The details of the M.O.U. of Project Shiksha are a symbol of carelessness of Government. The Microsoft is not investing anything except installing Windows-98 free of cost. Where as Government of Karnataka has to supply trainees and incur all their expenses. Govt. of Karnataka has to give Microsoft site measuring 1000 square feet at 3 locations, suitable building for education, water electricity connection, security staff, etc. This is nothing but a project designed to provide advertising facilities to Microsoft at cost of 90 Crore Rupees!

            Apart from this the Microsoft has also been given the responsibility for preparation of curriculum and training material. The danger of move is it creates a monopoly for Microsoft the giving an impression that computer means Microsoft. The free software’s based on open source code like LINUX, TEX, REDHAT, etc., which are available in Internet are not given to the knowledge of trainee and he /she will be handicapped by knowing one software in a globally competitive IT Environment. It is surprising that people are silently tolerating such a scrupulous happenings in front of their eyes.

            Respected Chiranjeevi Singh Ji, Kindly stop the “Project Shiksha” immediately. And implement it only after the removal of contradictions, after wide discussion are held in appropriate forums. I also request you investigate who all are behind this project specially designed to favor of Microsoft and initiate suitable disciplinary action against them.

            Because you should not think that language is just a lifeless communication media for people speaking that language. Kannada Language symbolizes the self-respect, the self-confidence and prestige of Kannadigas. I request you to exercise this delicate subject with same responsibility.

 

Yours truly,

 

(K.P. POORNACHANDRA TEJASVI)

April 8, 2007 - Posted by | EKAVI Activities, Project Shiksha and Microsoft

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