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Instill FOSS culture in higher education: Dr. Madhu Belur 25-January, 2012

Dr. Madhu N Belur, Control and Computing group, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay was the chief guest in the National Weekly Discussion through A-VIEW envisaged by MHRD. The topic of the session was - FOSS Advantages over Proprietary Software in Higher Education.

While interacting with the Universities Dr. Madhu from his Mumbai office said lack of awareness about FOSS delays implementing it in higher education sector.

What’s FOSSEE?

FOSSEE means Free and Open source Software for Science and Engineering Education. The goal of the project is to enable the students and faculty of Science and Engineering colleges / institutes / universities across India to use open source software tools for all their computational needs, thereby improving the quality of instruction and learning.

Benefits galore

Dr. Madhu emphasized that the advantage of FOSSEE is the users can see and modify the code. “Then redistribute, improve the source code and use the software for any purpose.”

FOSSEE @ IIT Bombay

IIT Bombay, the leading institution in the country, has introduced a semester-long course in Software Development Techniques for Engineering and Science (SDES) education. “IIT Bombay also has developed 46 Spoken Tutorials, Online test interface to auto-check codes and Lab Migration and Virtual Labs using FOSSEE,” he added.

Answering to a question raised by Indian Naval Academy, Dr. Madhu said FOSS packages are available for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Participants

Around 20 Universities including Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Open University, IASE University, Jayoti Vidyapeeth Women University, KIIT UNIVERSITY, SV National Institute of Technology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalayatan University and U. V. Patel College of Engineering attended the session.

A-VIEW is an E-Learning platform, developed by Amrita University's E-Learning Research Lab, which is a state-of-the-art software for distance education and collaboration. It is available for free to all the educational institutes across India, and can be downloaded from the website address, www.aview.in or by sending an email to aview@amrita.edu.