Chief Minister to inaugurate conference on the campus on November 15
Kochi: Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), in collaboration with the IT@School Project of the State government, Alternative Technology Promotion Society (ATPS) and Open Software Solutions Industrial Cooperative Society Limited (OSSICS) will hold a two-day national conference on free software at its campus here in November. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will inaugurate the conference on November 15.
“It aims at spreading the message of free software, free knowledge and free humanity,” said Joy Jacob Kulavelil, CUSAT syndicate member and conference general convenor at a media interaction here on Saturday. Besides experts in the fields of free software, industry and research and development; administrators, political leaders, free software developers, students and service providers will participate in the conference in which 150 speakers will talk on 50 topics.
There will be seminars, open forums, workshops, demonstration of products and tools by developers, service providers and users; exhibitions and contests for school students as part of the conference.
It is considered to be a preparatory ground towards establishing a centre of excellence in free software in the city.
Conference convenor Joseph Thomas, working chairman Ignatius Kunjumon and vice-chairman N.K. Vasudevan participated in the media interaction.
There is a proposal to convert the Centre for Information Resource Management (CIRM) under CUSAT into a State knowledge hub. Said Mr. Kunjumon, who doubles up as CIRM director: “The centre has identified four major areas of action. Building of knowledge in the public domain by digitising the large collection of books available with the Bhasha Institute besides other public documents and study material, with preference to Malayalam, is a priority. The centre can also help computerise government offices using open enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.”
Another area that requires utmost attention is biotechnology, as developed countries are busy designing drug modules using the computer and converting them into private property utilising the provisions of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). “There is an urgent need to build human resources in this area and trigger research making use of the bio-technology (BT) packages developed by free software movement.
Further, it can help enhance educational qualification of IT and BT professions by way of distance education courses in free and open source software,” said Mr. Kunjumon.