Inaugurating the two-day national conference on free software at Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), Baby said Kerala was the first in the Euro-Asian region to fully embrace free software. 'The government's decision making make it mandatory to use free software in school curriculum has resulted in exams being held for 16 lakh students using open source platform,' he said.
Through the IT@School Project, the state had achieved commendable gains in expanding the usage of free software and open source software. He added that thanks to the association with the BSNL, broadband connectivity was ensured to all state high schools. 'Thus we are moving from the IT education and training to ICT-enabled education,' said the Minister. He congratulated ISRO scientists led by its chairman G Madhavan Nair and Mission director Annadurai on the success of Chandrayaan I. Delivering the keynote address, Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac explained how the problems of the global financial system were caused by low productivity and rampant market speculation. West Bengal IT Minister Dibesh Das said free software was not an additional option, but the only option. He suggested that the country try to be self-reliant in software as it was difficult to become independent in hardware.