About 96% of 4G subscribers in India have access to the digital world. This makes India a vibrant hub for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) innovations, primarily through Android. So, in 2015, the Government of India launched "The Digital India Programme", which included a Policy on Adoption of Open Source Software, recognising the enormous potential of FOSS. The Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) announced the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge.
What is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)?
The source code of a FOSS is open for all, and anyone is free to use, study and modify. The term 'free' does not mean that it is free of cost. Rather it implies that the software does not have any copyright restrictions. This, in turn, allows other people to develop and improve the software, as a community, without the need for reverse engineering.
What is FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
The "FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge" will harness the innovation potential of FOSS communities by calling upon FOSS innovators to submit different and unique open-source products and innovations. Candidates can submit such innovations in fields like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), with possible applications for GovTech in Agriculture, Healthcare, etc.
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How Will the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge Be Organised?
The FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge will be organised in five stages:
Stage 1 - Team Creation: The challenge is launched. Application of Teams and collection of Expression of Interest is made.
Stage 2 - Ideation: Teams will propose their innovations and ideas in CRM and ERP. All submitted ideas will be evaluated, and ten teams in each category will be shortlisted.
Stage 3 - Prototype: Shortlisted teams will develop a prototype of the solution within 30 days and provide a link/ apk file of their working prototype for evaluation. The top five teams in each category will be further shortlisted. Teams may also be offered mentorship.
Stage 4 - Presentation: Shortlisted teams will make final presentations to a Jury comprising experts from different fields.
Stage 5 - Productisation: The challenge winners will get to develop a marketable product that may be listed on a portal (GeM) for easy procurement by government agencies.
FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge - Awards and Recognitions
The participants of the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge are eligible for Incubation Support, Prize Money, Mentorship by Experts, and Institutional Support from organisations for listing solutions on the Government e-Marketplace. The winning team will get 90 lacs in cash reward as funding for their product and a certificate from the honourable Minister of Electronics and IT.
FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge - Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions of the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge:
- All participants should be Indian citizens and currently reside in India, OR Startups/Companies registered in India wherein the majority of stakeholders are Indians.
- Registration can be done as individuals or as teams, with at most two supporting team members, with the team leader registering on behalf of the team.
- The organiser reserves the right to select or reject any submission without assigning any reasons.
- The organiser's decision concerning problems posed is final and binding.
- The form should be submitted in English.
FAQs on FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge
Q1. Who can all participate in the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
Ans. FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge is open to all Indian entrepreneurs and FOSS enthusiasts like startups, students, etc.
Q2. Is there a fee to register for the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
Ans. No fee is required to register and participate in FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge.
Q3. On what criteria are the submissions evaluated in the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
Ans. The evaluation criteria for the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge are-
- User-centricity in the Indian context,
- Potential for rapid deployment,
- Scalability of the proposed innovation.
Q4. How will the participants know if they clear a stage in the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
Ans. The Team leaders and members will be informed via the registered email address if they clear a stage in the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge
Q5. Will the participants be given access to any datasets during the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge?
Ans. No, participants will not be offered any datasets. However, participants can use the open-source codes/datasets libraries available in the public domain, during the FOSS4GOV Innovation Challenge.