Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Community of Nepal (FOSS-Nepal)
observed the fifth international Software Freedom Day today. The day was
celebrated by over 500 different volunteer groups in 120 countries. The
theme for this year's celebration of FOSS-Nepal was "Create, Share,
Collaborate." Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ganesh Shah
started the proceedings at Yala Maya Kendra in Patan, Kathmandu by
unveiling a compilation of Free/Open Source Softwares in a CD named
"Nirvikalpa." Honourable Minister also announced the launch of a
web-portal named "Prasfutan." "Prasfutan" which means "blossoming" in
English aims to provide a collaborative environment to a vast number of
local talents in Nepal whose creativity has a reach only up to a limited
audience comprising of their acquaintances. This is in sync with the
theme of "Create, Share, Collaborate."
Programs were also conducted in Dharan and Chitwan by FOSS-Nepal local
1. Candlelight Vigil and Solidarity Rally on the eve of SFD.
2. Documentary Shows
3. Signature Campaign
4. Demonstration of Free/Open Source Softwares
5. Demonstration of FOSS Educational and Scientific Packages
6. Open Art
7. Experts' Session
8. Open Hardware and Robotics Workshop
Officials of the Government of Nepal representing the High Level
Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) and National Information
Technology Center (NITC), journalists, teachers, students, professionals
and other individuals were present in the packed auditorium at
BaggiKhana in Patan Dhoka.
Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Ganesh Shah
Mr. Shah shared his own experiences as a Freedom Fighter. He talked of
the struggle for freedom in various fields and was very glad to learn of
a similar movement in the field of technology. He pledged his unfettered
support and commitment to the Free Software movement in Nepal. "I will
do all I can in my capacity to prioritize and promote FOSS in the policy
and government level of Nepal", he said.
Senior Journalist Kanak Mani Dixit
He pointed out the necessity of Free/Open Source Softwares to minimize
the digital divide that's building up in developing countries. Talking
on how Free Softwares can help achieve Free Media, he pointed out the
need for Nepalese press to vigorously advocate the proliferation of such
Member Secretary of HLCIT, Dr Madan Pariyar
Full Time Member of HLCIT, Manohar Bhattarai
Executive Director of NITC, Dr. Subarna Shakya
President, FOSS-Nepal, Subir Pradhanang
The speakers expressed concern for brain drain happening from Nepal.
They unanimously recognized FOSS as the medium that could generate
employment and develop a vibrant IT industry in the country.
During the formal official session of the day's events, a "Kathmandu
Declaration" was signed by the volunteers of FOSS-Nepal in Kathmandu.
Context and Background Information
The declaration talks about the right to information, especially in the
context of electronic exchange of information. The context and
background information for the Declaration being categorical about the
"Right of Information" is explained by Prabin Gautam in his blog.
The official statistics and result of Nepal's recent historic
Constituent Assembly Election, that turned Nepal into the world's
youngest republic and in a rare event, brought a warring party of
Communist guerrillas into mainstream democratic process can be accessed
only by using Microsoft Internet Explorer. The website is run by the
government's Election Commission.
We pledge our commitment to this declaration, signed on the 20th of
September 2008. We will work whole heartedly towards implementing it.
1. Apart from the usual connotation of the term "information",
entities like technology, procedure, results and statistics related to
any study, research or implementation that involves partial or complete
participation or investment of government or public bodies will also be
treated as "information."
2. Everybody will have an equal right and access to information. This
shall be called the "right to information."
3. Even while making use of the technologies available today or that
might be available in the future, the right to information will be
4. Proper standards will be used to safeguard the right to
information while exchanging data electronically.
The Free/Open Source Software Community of Nepal. Posted on behalf of