[Fsf-friends] Microsoft to set up university in (Bangalore)city

Vikram Vincent vincentvikram@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Sun Jul 15 19:43:03 IST 2007

Is this a sign that the Free Software Movement is growing in Bangalore???
I think that we need to seriously reassess our Movement and work to build it
further and faster. Bangalore has a *huge* potential to build the Movement
and it only needs us to put in our 2 drops of sweat.

"BANGALORE: Microsoft Corporation has chosen Bangalore for its first-ever
exclusive and independent educational venture in the world. The company will
set up a university in the city to impart high-end computer education. The
university may well be India's first run by a multinational company."

Continuing I have some observations on the issue.
     With education becoming a multi-billion dollar industry and India
occupying a huge part of that pie the proposed entry of a "University of
Microsoft" assumes a huge significance particularly since the effects of
rampant commercialisation of education is becoming more and more obvious.
So how is this argument significant on a Free Software list?
Well, while the Supreme Court declared that the 112 private universities set
up under the Chattisgarh Private Universities Act were illegal, this was
only on technical grounds. It was on the grounds that the UGC was not
consulted, nor were the guidelines to set up a Pvt University followed.
However, we are witnessing efforts by the Govt. to remove these hurdles and
allow FDI(foreign direct investment) in education.
Now personally I have experienced the effects of commercialisation of
education with my college where I started my Engineering studies being
forced to close shop due to the lack of basic facilities. While a
"University of Microsoft" may provide ideal conditions for "education" it
will set a precedent for other fly-by-night operators to come here and set

The Kothari commission of 1964 correctly elucidates the basic objectives and
functions of universities and their role in national life: "A university
stands for humanism, for tolerance, for reason, for the adventure of ideas
and for the search of truth. It stands for the onward march of the human
race towards even higher objectives. If the universities discharge their
duties adequately, then it is well with the nation and the people... Their
principal object is to deepen man's understanding of the universe and
himself - in body mind and spirit, to disseminate this understanding
throughout society and to apply it in the service of mankind... They are the
dwelling places of ideas and idealism, and expect high standards of conduct
and integrity from all the members.. Theirs is the pursuit of truth and
excellence in all its diversity"

Now IMHO this captures the essence of the "University of Free Software".

The FSF needs to act immediately and come out a detailed stand on the issue.
Perhaps the FSF-I leadership could throw more light on the issue.

Vikram Vincent
Project Engineer,

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