RFC - FOSS United Letter to Telangana Government on FOSS Policy

Our good friends at T-Hub, Telangana have helped connect us to the Information & Technology Department, Government of Telangana. Continuing the previous work with the Union Government and the State Government of Tamil Nadu, we are reaching out to the Telangana State Government on FOSS Policy issues.

We are requesting policy enthusiasts in the FOSS United community to send in their comments on this letter by next week. We intend to send this letter to the Telangana government folks on the Saturday, 29th of July, 2023.

In drafting this letter, we reviewed the IT initiatives of the Government of Telangana.

Rahul & Venky.


Shri Jayesh Ranjan,
Principal Secretary (IT),
Government of Telangana.

10th July, 2023

Subject: Growing Telangana’s IT ecosystem rapidly through Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Dear Sir,

  1. We note with sincere appreciation the strides that Telangana has made in the industrial and IT sectors, and its aim of realising the Vision of Digital Telangana by leveraging Information Technology for effective and efficient governance, sustainable economic development and inclusive social development. We have reviewed your IT policies and feel that a policy/guidelines on FOSS in Telangana will help your state’s enterprises and government agencies promote innovation, reduce costs, grow Telangana’s startup ecosystem, and encourage skill development and capacity building. In the next sections, we elaborate on these points.

  2. Transforming Telangana into a talent hub through FOSS: Availability of affordable talent is the #1 factor that determines where startups and IT enterprises set up their base. Today, FOSS forms between 50-90 percent of the IT infrastructure of most enterprises, and this number will keep increasing. Therefore, Telangana can become an attractive talent hub through targeted initiatives that increase the pool of FOSS talent.
    The Telangana Academy of Skill and Knowledge (TASK) initiative can add training on FOSS alongside existing training on proprietary tools. FOSS United can help the Telangana Government create the relevant training programs and find the relevant providers/FOSS training vendors. In addition, the TASK initiative should consider making the training materials itself public through FOSS licenses, making the material easy to access for a larger audience and ensuring that Govt money is being spent on creating public goods.

  3. Growing Telangana’s startup ecosystem: As India’s largest incubation centre, T-Hub can enlighten the community of startups, corporations, governments, academia and investors on the advantages of FOSS usage. Towards this end, FOSS United has already partnered with T-Hub to launch HydFOSS, a conference to bring the community together to discuss FOSS. FOSS United is committed to being a T-Hub partner and providing FOSS expertise to the community in Telangana.

  4. Deploying FOSS for effective and efficient governance: India’s Policy on Open Source in eGovernment has ensured that our country’s biggest eGov projects are built on FOSS. National IT projects like UPI and GST have been built on FOSS, ensuring huge cost savings, avoidance of vendor lock-in and greater control over the technology stacks. A similar policy at the state level can help the Telangana Government deliver better, faster and more affordable e-government solutions to its residents.

  5. Encouraging Innovation and the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) initiative: FOSS powers Science and Technology. Scientific breakthroughs like the Discovery of Gravitational Waves and the First Image of a Black Hole were created using FOSS. To foster innovation and catalyse the ecosystem, the Govt should promote the use and creation of FOSS within Academia.

  6. Our Recommendation: FOSS United recommends that the Telangana Government set up a FOSS program office that coordinates closely with the IT Department and its various initiatives to enable skills development, capacity building, deployment of FOSS in Government and coordination with academic institutions to make Telangana a FOSS leader in India and the world. At FOSS United we are happy to extend our support for Telangana Government’s initiatives for attaining leadership in FOSS technologies.

  7. About FOSS United: FOSS United Foundation is a registered non-profit founded in 2020, dedicated to the cause of building Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects and communities in India. The foundation aims to provide grassroots support to FOSS projects and events, and evolve into a community-industry collaboration with a diverse group of members and patrons.
    The foundation’s goals are:
    a. To enable and evangelise the use of FOSS in academia, social sector, industry and government.
    b. To promote the spirit of hacking and tinkering.
    c. To build quality FOSS for public good.

We look forward to working with you to make Telengana a leader in FOSS and IT. We request a 30 minute meeting with you on the sidelines of Hyderabad FOSS on 29th July, 2023, to discuss the above points.

With warm regards,
Venkatesh Hariharan,
Public Policy Director,
FOSS United.


Awesome to see this! All the best for your meeting later this month :muscle:

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Great to know this. Though I am a newbie to FOSS , I would love to catch up with fellow FOSS folks in HYD. Any plans for HYD FOSS Meetup in the coming months.

Hey @Saurav , HydFOSS is happening this Saturday (29 July 2023) at T-Hub. Do join us if you are able to!

@rahulporuri Thanks for the invitation. I would love to join a FOSS meetup in HYD but unfortunately, I won’t be there in HYD this weekend. Does it happen every month on a specific day or occasionally once in 2-3 months?

We’re yet to schedule the monthly meetup but we’re hoping for a date in September. We also need to find a place to host the monthly meetup. Could you/your employer give us space to host the meetup?

Update: We had a positive meeting with Sri Jayesh Ranjan, the Principal Secretary of the Dept of IT, Govt of Telangana on the sidelines of the HydFOSS conference. Jayesh sir responded positively about FOSS in Telangana Digital Initiatives. He specifically mentioned the TASK initiative (Telangana Academy of Skill and Knowledge) as a potential first step in incorporating FOSS into the Digital Initiatives.

We will follow up with Jayesh Sir regarding the next steps. We have already made him aware of the https://mon.school/ platform during the meeting and we will highlight the fact that the course material (along with what is being taught) is also openly available. We intend to have a followup meeting with Jayesh Sir or people from the TASK initiative during the month of August.


@rahulporuri I am primarily from Bangalore trying to make Hyderabad our 2nd home in our growth journey. Yet to set up an office here! But I can check with my limited network here if anybody can provide a meeting space for 50 people (approx) once a month. I’ll keep you posted if I get any leads for the space.

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Thanks @Saurav . We have a couple of leads for the meetup space but we would love to get more leads.