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Worldwide Celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is Here at Nepal

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Like every year, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal Community is going to organize Software Freedom Day 2016 on September 17, 2016. Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). The goal of this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business – in short, everywhere!

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In Nepal, FOSS Nepal Community has been regularly organizing and celebrating Software freedom day since 2005. From 2007 to 2009, for three consecutive years, FOSS Nepal’s SFD celebration was recognized as the best event in the world. For last three years FOSS Nepal had decentralized the celebration to meet local masses throughout the country by allowing the college FOSS communities and other individual organizations to organize individual event in their own places. This year FOSS Nepal is targeting to bring 5000 participants in Kathmandu in same hall to discuss, talk, interact and celebrate Software Freedom Day.

Benefits of organizing SFD Celebration

In a developing country like Nepal, it is almost impracticable to afford licensed proprietary software. Thus, most of the people have been using cheap pirated proprietary software at homes, offices and almost at every nook and corner. Using pirated proprietary software, we not only become culprits on a moral basis but also are forced to remain under constant trepidation that someday the software may actually crash and thus inflict huge loss of the valuable data. In such extreme cases, we will have nobody to complain to, other than sit and repent for having used unauthorized and unauthentic software. In contrast, the Free and Open Source Software is a software which grants liberal license to the user to legally use, study, change, and improve its design through the availability of its source code. It encourages its free distribution and redistribution among user. Besides being low cost, the benefits of adopting FOSS includes security; reliability and stability; open standards; vendor independence; reduced reliance on imports for software; developing local software capability; promoting local IT Entrepreneurship; respecting copyright law and enabling localization.

Objectives of SFD Celebration

The objectives of celebrating SFD are to:

  • Encourage, foster and celebrate adoption of free software, open standards, software freedom and the people behind it.
  • Promote the local IT ecosystem including IT Companies, IT user and Policy makers about the importance and benefits for Free and Open Source Software and Software freedom.
  • Demonstration, distribution, troubleshooting and expert advice on various Linux Distribution and Enterprises Applications.

Organizer of Software Freedom Day 2016 in Nepal

FOSS Nepal Community

foss-nepal-communityFOSS Nepal Community is a team of volunteers who believe in the usage of Free/Open Source Software (FOSS). The primary objective of the community is to promote and diversify the usage of Free/Open Source Software in Nepal. Our main objectives are:

  • To raise awareness among general public, government bodies, private sector, civil society, educational institutions and media for expanding the scope of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) via Free and Open Source Software.
  • To sensitize general public, government bodies, civil society and media for the implementation of e-governance by means of FOSS; the optimal solution for e-governance.
  • To advocate on alternatives in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) specific to ICT.
  • To enhance the capacity of IT professionals by promoting inclusion of Free and Open Source Software in educational system and providing platform for IT professionals to make them globally salable.
  • To develop, modify and localize Free and Open Source Software to address local software need.

FOSS in Nepal

The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement is changing the way people perceive software not only in Nepal but around the globe. Adopting FOSS has been integral in fighting issues like piracy, securing digital liberties, enabling productive computing, providing right to information and e-governance. This involves moving a step forward towards open standards and transparency, hence providing flexibility, and scalability. This in turn helps developing countries like Nepal to set up low-cost and effective ICT infrastructure to bridge Digital Divide and provide connectivity to large spectrum of people. It also promotes national economy by enabling local IT companies to compete in the world scenario. Utilizing this channel of FOSS properly will bring new innovation in the field of education, business, health and helps to uplift the life standards.

Event Highlights

  • Speeches from renowned guests from IT sector
  • Paper Presentation
  • Interactive Session (Game Play, Quiz, Musical Session etc)
  • Discussion Fora
  • Installation and Troubleshooting
  • Stalls from IT companies
  • Stalls for software demonstration
  • Stalls from IT communities in Nepal
  • Hackathon
  • Open Art

Keynote Speakers

  • Sashidhar Ram Joshi, Professor & Director, ICTC
  • Prakash Neupane, Entrepreneur and FOSS activist
  • Mahabir Pun

Paper Presentation

  • Natural Language Processing by NLP HUB
  • Virtual Reality by VR Developer Group
  • Knowledge Network by Open Knowledge Nepal
  • Nepali Content and Localization by LibreSoft/Mozilla
  • Big Data by Kamyu

Event Hashtags

  • #SFD2016NP
  • #SFD2016FOSSNP
  • #SFD2016

To find more information on the event visit the events Facebook page, Github page and Wiki page.

nikesh-balamiAuthor Bio

Team lead of Open Government Data and Open Development working group for Open Knowledge Nepal. Nikesh is currently pursing his bachelor degree in Computer Engineering.

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of TechLekh.)


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