FSMI delegation gave a representation to the AICTE appealing for a revision of AICTE - Microsoft deal by enforcing the usage of Office 365 in all engineering colleges. This decision is in contrary to the Government of India's policies and against the interest of the Nation.
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The concerns are :
1. As a publicly funded body, AICTE cannot reach a private agreement with a particular company and make it mandatory for all its institutions to partner such a program. This would promote vendor lock-in and would be against all government policies.
2. AICTE as a public body, is required to follow certain norms for any agreement to partner or choose any particular services or software. We are anaware of any such open and transparent policy that AICTE has followed in choosing Microsoft as its partner.
3. Indian government has already adopted an open standards policy vide National Information Technology Policy 2012, which explicitly seeks to promote open standards and promote Free, open source and open technologies. The AICTE decision to use Microsoft Office 365 is in violation of this policy.
4. Similarly, the government has also adopted Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance, which has mandated what are the characteristics of open standards. Office 365 does not meet this standard.