International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS)

ICFOSS is an autonomous institution under the Government of Kerala, mandated with the objectives of co-ordinating FOSS initiatives within Kerala, as well as linking up with FOSS initiatives in other parts of the world in order to push the agenda of promoting democratic access to information and knowledge through equitable models of production and distribution of software in particular and knowledge in general.

ICFOSS has been registered as a Society. The first Director of ICFOSS took charge from 1 March 2011. While ICFOSS will eventually be having its own international campus, its operations have begun from its current office premises in Thejaswini, Technopark, Trivandrum.

Forthcoming Events and Workshops

Please go to our events page to view more information on the forthcoming workshops and events.

Invitation to become Student Ambassadors of ICFOSS
(Submit online applications)

ICFOSS, in its endeavour to promote development efforts in Free Software, would like to formulate a pool of student ambassadors for working with ICFOSS. Click here to apply.

Economic Impact of Free and Open Source Software Usage in Government - A Report

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is increasingly being used by government departments around the world.FOSS provides access to high-quality software, with licenses to use and modify freely, and is usually available free of cost. When government departments consider developing egov applications to improve their services and reach to citizens, FOSS is often a powerful alternative to consider. When an organisation adopts a powerful technology, such as FOSS, there are both tangible benefits - such as cost savings, increase in efficiency, increase in accuracy, etc - and intangible benefits - such as increase in transparency, improvement indecision making etc.

Prof.Rahul De', Hewlett-Packard Chair Professor, IIM Bangalore is the Principal Investigator and Mr.Lewin Sivamalai, Ravi A. Rao (IIM Bangalore) Sharmila Chakravarty, Supriya Dey, Uma Bharath (Independent Researchers) etc are the Co-Investigators of this Report.

They have conducted a detailed field study over a period of seven months and the team members visited government departments in seven states - Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Jharkhand. The study involved interviews of officials, IT managers, IT vendors and NGOs. Two main departments were covered in the study - Education and Police. These departments were chosen because they had actively considered FOSS use and, in some cases, were using FOSS. Kerala stands out, amongst the states, for its adoption of FOSS for schools and the tangible and intangible benefits it has realized. Tangible benefits include massive cost savings, and intangible benefits include inculcation of a do-it-yourself culture amongst teachers and students and massive participation in the ICT education process. A detailed report can be viewed here.

FOSS Young Professional Meet 2015
21-22 Dec 2015, Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram

ICFOSS, organized FOSS Young Professional Meet 2015 on 21 & 22 December 2015 at Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum. The participants were students, fresh graduates, young professionals and start-up companies that are interested in FOSS-based tools and technologies. The lead theme for the FYPM2015 is "Internet of Things with Open Source Hardware", reflecting the importance of recent developments in this domain.

Software and the Law
(2:00 pm, 17 Aug 2015, Travancore Hall, Technopark)

SFLC.IN, in association with ICFOSS, GTECH and TiE Kerala, jointly organized a public lecture on the topic "Software and the Law". Prof. Eben Moglen, Columbia Law School and Ms. Mishi Choudhary from SFLC New York/Delhi were the resource persons.

Ethics and Emerging Technologies
(5:45 pm, 17 August 2015, CDAC Amphitheatre, Trivandrum)

ICFOSS, SFLC.IN, CDAC Trivandrum, IEEE Society for Social Implications of Technology (IEEE-SSIT) and Internet Society Trivandrum Chapter (ISOC-TRV) jointly organized a Discussion on the theme "ETHICS AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES" on 17 August 2015, at CDAC Amphitheatre, Vellayambalam, Trivandrum. The speakers were Prof. Eben Moglen from Columbia Law School and Ms. Mishi Choudhary from SFLC, New York.

Capacity Building Programme on IoT
(6-30 June 2015, Technopark, Trivandrum)

ICFOSS organized a capacity building Programme on Internet of Things (IoT) during 6-30 June 2015 at ICFOSS office, which included a 3-day Workshop (6-8 June 2015), followed by a live project. Thirty students selected from Engineering Colleges across Kerala participated in the Workshop. Please view the picture gallery here.

ICFOSS-SFLC.IN-CIS Consultation on OSS Policy of Government of India
(29 May 2015, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi)

ICFOSS, SFLC.IN - Delhi and and Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) - Bangalore, jointly organized a Consultation on the newly-published OSS policy of the Government of India, on 29 May 2015 at the India Habitat Centre, Delhi. Participants included members of the FOSS community from different parts of the country and the representatives of the Government of India.

CDAC-ICFOSS Consultation on OSS Policy of Government of India
(22 May 2015, Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram)

ICFOSS and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), Thiruvananthapuram, jointly organized a half-day consultation on "OSS Policy of Government of India" on 22 May 2015, at Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram, for Central Government institutions. Please see the Consultation Home Page for more details.

Workshop on Data Mining & Analytics with R
(5-7 May 2015, Technopark, Trivandrum)

ICFOSS organized an advanced workshop on "Data Mining & Analytics with R" during 5-7 May 2015, Technopark. Dr. Graham Hall, Togaware, Australia, was the resource person. Details are available at the workshop home page.

Net Neutrality: Bottom-up Perspectives
(22 April 2015, Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum)

ICFOSS organized a half-day Consultation on "Net Neutrality: Bottom-up Perspectives" on 22 April 2015, at Mascot Hotel, Trivandrum, jointly with Internet Society, Trivandrum Chapter (ISOC-TRV), Software Freedom Law Center, Delhi (SFLC.IN), Swatantra Malayalam Computing (SMC) and IEEE Kerala Section. The outcome document from the Consultation was forwarded to TRAI, as a part of the public comment process. Pls see details here.

JFSFK March 2015 Issue Released
(31 March 2015)

The March Issue of the Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge, the Open Access Journal published by ICFOSS, has been published here. The issue is largely a report of the Swatantra 2014 Conference organized by ICFOSS in December 2014.

Government of India releases FOSS policy

Government of India has released its new Open Source Software Policy for all e-Governance projects on 28 March 2015. The policy document is available here.

Draft Proceedings of Swatantra 2014 released
(2 Feb 2015)

The draft Conference Proceedings of Swatantra 2014 is now available for download here.

Swatantra 2014 concludes successfully
(20 December 2014)

Swatantra 2014, the Fifth International Free Software Conference - Kerala that was organized by ICFOSS, concluded successfuly after three days of deliberations. The conference, which was inaugurated by Dr. Richard Stallman, President, Free Software Foundation, was organized during 18-20 Dec 2014 at Trivandrum. Pls see the Conference Website for details.

Code Free for India ! (CoFFI) Initiative
(20 September 2014)

ICFOSS is launching a new initiative on Software Freedom Day 2014. Please see details here.

Software Freedom Day Message
(20 September 2014)

Software Freedom Day 2014 falls on 20 September 2014. Please view the media release here.

Kerala Assembly Transitions into Free Software
(17 July 2014)

ICFOSS played an important role in transitioning the complex workflow of the Kerala Legislative Assembly into Free Software. Read the media release here.

Applications invited for KAU-KSBB-ICFOSS Research Programme
(16 July 2014)

ICFOSS is assisting Kerala Agriculture University and the Kerala State Biodiversity Board in the creation of an inventory of organic farms in the state. Applications are invited for project staff for this programme. Please see here for further details.

ICFOSS brings out Handbook on Migration of Desktop Computers to FOSS platforms
(2 June 2014)

In continuation with the order of the Government of Kerala mandating the migration of Desktop PCs to Free Operating Systems, ICFOSS has brought out a Handbook to support the process of migration. The handbook, which is work in progress, is available here for use by practitioners, as well as for comments from the community (kindly mail your comments to The Malayalam version of the guide will be available shortly.

Kerala Government Order on FOSS Adoption (17 May 2014)

The Government of Kerala announced its intention to transition computers in the Departments, institutions and PSUs under it to Free and Open Source platforms, in the opportunity caused due to expiry of support period to Windows XP. Please see the order here.

Workshop on Free Mobile Platforms & Localization (11-12 March 2014)

ICFOSS organized a two-day Workshop on Free Mobile Platforms and Localization during 11-12 March 2014 at Technopark, Trivandrum. The workshop covered emerging platforms such as Firefox OS, Ubuntu Touch, Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and the Replicant Project. The workshop was inaugurated by Dr. B. Ramani, Executive Director, CDAC Thiruvananthapuram. On the occasion of the inauguration of the Workshop, Dr. Ramani also released keyboard layouts for 15 Indic languages for the Android Platform, developed jointly by ICFOSS and Swathanthra Malayalam Computing (SMC). For more details, please see the media release.

Visit of Dr. Richard Stallman (Jan 2014)

The President of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Dr. Richard Mathew Stallman, visited India in January 2014, and visited Kerala during 15-16 January 2014. Besides delivering a public address on the topic "A Free Digital Society" on 16 January, he also visited the Chief Minister of Kerala on 15 Jan 2014. The Director of ICFOSS held discussions with Dr. Stallman on 15 Jan 2014 wherein Dr. Stallman provided several suggestions on the promotion of Free Software in the State and outside. Dr. Stallman may be participating in the Fifth International Free Software Conference being organized by ICFOSS in December 2014.

Message on the occasion of Software Freedom Day (21 Sep 2013)

This year, Software Freedom Day is being celebrated on 21st September. Please see here for the Message from ICFOSS on Software Freedom Day.

ICFOSS-ASF Joint Mentoring Programme

ICFOSS and The Apache Software Foundation have launched a pilot programme for Joint Mentoring of Young Developers (June 2013). For more details, please go to the announcement page.

Beth Kolko visits ICFOSS

Professor Beth Kolko of the Department of Human Centred Design Engineering at the University of Washington, US, visited ICFOSS during 19-24 Feb 2013. Prof. Kolko conducted a 2-day workshop at Technopark on "Building Things That Think" that introduced participants to the emerging world of Open Source Hardware. She also delivered two lectures, the first at Trivandrum on the theme "User, Builder, Hacker, Thief: Creativity and Consumerism in a Digital Age" on 23rd Feb, and another talk at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), on "Human-Computer Interaction and Human Centered Design" on 25 Feb 2013.

Leslie Chan to visit ICFOSS

Professor Leslie Chan of the University of Toronto, Canada, is scheduled to visit ICFOSS on 18 December 2012. Prof Chan is a well-known champion of Open Access initiatives around the world. Prof. Chan would be accompanied by Prof. Subbiah Arunachalam, Chennai-based consultant and campaigner for Open Access. Prof Chan and Prof Arunachalam would be visiting ICFOSS as a part of their Trivandrum itinerary, and will hold discussions with ICFOSS on the emerging developments in Open Access.

ICFOSS Announces Startup Acceleration and Incubation Support Programme

ICFOSS announced its pilot programme on Startup Startup Acceleration and Incubation Support Programme for FOSS-based Enterprises. This programme aims at providing individuals and groups—including students and graduates—a set of non-financial support services that would help them to work first as part of the FOSS Community, and then as individual enterprises. For more information and for applying, please see the web page of the programme.

Call for a new legal Framework for Internet Technologies

The Director of ICFOSS, Mr. Satish Babu, also the President of the South East Asian Regional Computer Confederation (SEARCC) and the Computer Society of India (CSI), called for a new legal framework to address the emerging problems in the technology-society interface. He said that the legal frameworks of 19th and 20th centuries may not be able to address the challenges of the 21st century technologies. He was speaking at the Global Conference on Computing Ethics at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organized by the Malaysian National Computer Confederation. See press release here.

ICFOSS Kicks off R & D Project on Android Platform

The R & D project of the Dept. of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Govt. of India, jointly being executed by ICFOSS, CDAC-Chennai and CDAC-Delhi, officially started off with a kick-off meeting held on 14 August 2012 at ICFOSS Office, Technopark, Trivandrum. Representatives of CDAC Chennai, CDAC Delhi and ICFOSS took part. The two-year project has multiple research components aimed at enhancing the utility of the Android platform.

ICFOSS adopts GNU/Khata for promotion

ICFOSS has decided to adopt the FOSS-based Financial Acccounting System, GNU/Khata, for popularization as a public software resource. GNU/Khata has been developed by a group of programmers led by Mr. Krishnakant Mane, currently working at IIT Bombay, and has been supported by the National Mission on Education through ICT (NME-ICT). Click here for details.

IDSARI 1.0: ICFOSS-CDS Joint Training Programme (11-13 July 2012)

ICFOSS and the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, are jointly organizing the 3-day training programme on "Information Delivery Systems for Academic and Research Institutions (IDSARI Version 1.0)" scheduled for 11-13 July 2012, at ICFOSS, Thejaswini, Technopark. Click here for details of the programme.

First Issue of JFSFK Published

ICFOSS published the first issue of its Open Access Journal, Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge in March 2012. The journal was launched earlier by Dr. Ramachandran Thekkedath, Vice Chancellor, Cochin University of Science and Technology.

FOSSK4 Conference Organized

ICFOSS organized the Fourth International FOSS Conference, Kerala (FOSSK4), during 27-29 December 2012 at Trivandrum. The Conference was supported by Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), Delhi; IEEE Kerala Section; the Special Interest Group on FOSS (SIG-FOSS) and the Trivandrum Chapter of Computer Society of India (CSI); and FOSS Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA). The Conference marks the close of the Tenth Anniversary Celebrations of FOSS in Kerala and India. See the Conference site for more details and for the Conference Declaration.

Consultation on "ICTS and Climate Change"

ICFOSS, jointly with the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Trivandrum, and the International Non Governmental Cooperation Organization for Renewable Energy (INGCORE), are jointly hosting a Consultation on the topic "ICTs and Climate Change" on 19 Nov 2011 at Travancore Hall, Technopark, Trivandrum. The Consultation with bring together scientists, policymakers, NGOs and IT practitioners to discuss on the adapation, mitigation and monitoring applications of ICTs in the Climate Change. For more details or for participation, please call Susmitha at +91 471 2700014.


Tenth Anniversary Celebrations Launched

The Hon. Minister for IT of the Government of Kerala, Shri P.K.Kunhalikutty, formally launched the 10th Anniversary celebrations of FOSS in India by releasing the anniversary poster, on 27 July 2011 at his chamber at Secretariat, Trivandrum. The Tenth Anniversary celebrations of FOSS in India will take place during July-December 2011 and will be marked by a series of FOSS-centric programmes. The Anniversary comemmorates the Freedom First! Conference that took place in Thiruvananthapuram in July 2001 where the Free Software discourse was first introduced in India. More...

Open Access Journal Launch

ICFOSS is launching its Open Access Journal on 12 Sep 2011. Dr. Ramachandran Thekkedath, Vice Chancellor, CUSAT, will be the Chief Guest, and Dr. C. Rammanohar Reddy, Editor, EPW, Mumbai, will deliver the keynote address. More...

Blender Workshop

ICFOSS is organizing a two-day introductory Workshop on the popular Open Source 3D Graphics and Animation platform, Blender, during 16-17 Sep 2011 at Technopark. More...


Following the State Government approval by law on the setting up of The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), the institution will be set up at Thiruvanthapuram...


Vision and Mission

The vision of ICFOSS is to become a leading research organisation in Free and Open Source model of knowledge development...



Identify and quantify the political, cultural and economic benefits for India as a result of FOSS. This would not just be restricted to software ...