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India.CNET.com: The Linux Gospel: Closing the Digital Divide in India

Oct 11, 2000, 13:56 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gautam Godse)

[ Thanks to Madhu Menon for this link. ]

"The recent surge in popularity of the Linux operating system in Third World countries like India is a sign that Linux is here to stay. The most obvious reason for Linux being so popular is its inherent "legality". The average computer user who uses pirated software is only too happy to use a full fledged operating system that is not only free, but comes along with a horde of extremely useful applications that come for free."

"A recent example of concentrated effort is by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in Philadelphia. The Puente Project launched in 1999 aims at closing the "Digital Divide" that threatens to be the next "caste-system". Puente hopes to make a difference by providing new technology and Internet access to everyone before the Digital Divide sets in. Funded by independent industry sponsors and spearheaded by UPenn, Puente has setup two Community Technology Center's (CTC) or Internet labs in two needy countries: Ecuador and India."

"In their most recent project, Puente set up a CTC Internet lab in Pune, India. ... The Community Technology Center lab will be available to underprivileged students and adult community members. ... Linux has enabled Puente to cut down the project costs drastically, since if they were using mainstream commercial operating systems, their budgets would be inflated unnecessarily."

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