AICTE cancels its decision to make Office 365 mandatory in technical institutions

AICTE cancels its decision to make Office 365 mandatory in technical institutions

By | May 11th, 2013
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After an uproar against its decision to make Microsoft Office 365 mandatory

in technical colleges across India, AICTE has now agreed to take back its

decision after representatives from Free Software Movement of India opposed

this move.


														               
							 	 						

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All India Council for Technical Education or AICTE has finally taken back its decision after the uproar against its recent announcement related to the mandatory deployment of Microsoft Office 365 in all technical institutions in India. According to a report published in The Hindu, P. Rajeev, Rajya Sabha member of the CPI(M) was quoted as saying, “A group of parliamentarians met AICTE Chairman S.S. Mantha and spoke with him… They have agreed to remove it and change the original notification. They have also agreed to incorporate any free software that could be of use.”

This decision has come after representatives from the Free Software Movement of India had opposed the original announcement asking all Institutions to deploy the software latest by 30th June of this year. Y. Kiran Chandra, General Secretary of FSMI said that this announcement was in violation of the National Information Technology Policy, 2012 and this is precisely the reason why AICTE was forced to revert its decision.

While this announcement would have been useful for many colleges, it was a forced vendor lock-in for many others who preferred open source software due to it being cheaper in the long run. While Microsoft Office 365 Suite was being offered for free, open source enthusiasts argue that it would still have cost more in the long run. The main drawback being that Microsoft Office 365 apparently only supports online editing of proprietary formats i.e. docx, xlsx or pptx, which would have been a deal breaker for people who do not use Microsoft Windows Operating System.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet:
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