January 29, 2004

Richard Stallman meets the President of India

Dr. Richard M Stallman, world-renowned software guru and founder of the
Free Software Foundation (FSF), had a meeting with His Excellency the
President of India, Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at 2:15 pm

The meeting took place at the Rashrapati Bhavan, official residence of
the President of India. At the meeting, Dr. Stallman explained to Dr.
Kalam the ethical issues related to the use of proprietary software. The
President was impressed by the issues raised by Dr. Stallman. It is
understood that the President has instructed for the use of free
softwaree for his IT facilities. Dr. Stallman also discussed the issues
of using proprietary software in schools, which prevents children from
sharing and learning to share. Implications of IT@School project in
Kerala also got mention.

Stallman's meeting with the president took place in the backdrop of
support for free and open source software extended by the president at a
public speech recently.

Dr Stallman has been in India from January 16th. His programmes included
the World Social Forum in Mumbai from January 16 to 22, lectures at
Thrissur, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, and meetings with
various government officials in the state regarding the use of free
software in government initiatives.

Further information on the Free Software Foundation and its Indian
chapter can be obtained from the web sites: http://www.gnu.org and

Free Software Foundation, India.


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