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States » South

KITE releases latest Linux-based free Operating System

Thiruvananthapuram, May 12 (UNI) KITE (Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education) has rolled out the latest version of its Linux based free Operating System ''IT@School GNU/ Linux 18.04'' to be used in the thousands of computers in the state schools, an official statement said here on Sunday.
According to official statement, the new version of the Operating System is based on the Ubuntu OS LTS edition.
In addition to being the ideal OS for teachers and students in schools, this Operating System can also be used for home computers used for general purposes, government offices, DTP centers which uses office packages, Internet Kiosks, software developers, college students, other computer service providers as a complete computing platform which is free of cost.
The new version of the Operating System (OS) features several free applications which are not part of Ubuntu 18.04 repository.
Most applications have been updated to their latest versions and are customised as per the state school curriculum.
A key highlight of the OS it its vast collection of Malayalam Unicode fonts which facilitates Malayalam Computing.
The beauty of IT@School GNU/ Linux 18.04 is that it not only has a bunch of applications which are included in the school ICT textbooks, but also has a variety of applications which can be used for general purposes.
Office packages, language input tools, database applications, DTP- Graphics- Image editing software, sound recording- video editing- 3 D animation packages, IDEs for Programming, Geographical Information System, Database servers, desktop versions of Mobile Apps etc features in the new OS.
Internationally acclaimed free software applications used to teach various subjects using IT, such as GeoGebra, PhEt, Stellerium, Kalcium, Marble, RasMol, GPlates, ghemical, GCompris, pySio Game, JFraction lab, etc have been customised and localised before incorporating in the OS.
Educational resources sites such as KITE VICTERS channel, Samagra Portal, School Wiki etc can be directly accessed through the OS.
Had these applications been of proprietory nature, each computer would have cost a minimum of Rs 1.50 Lakhs towards license fee.
The cost for periodic updations for these proprietory versions would be over and above this.
''The deployment of the new OS in over 2 lakh computers in schools including 60,000 Laptops deployed as part of Hi-Tech school project and 55000 Laptops as part of Hi-Tech Lab project would be completed before the start of next academic year itself '', said Mr K Anvar Sadath, Vice Chairman and Executive Director, KITE.
The total savings is estimated at Rs 3000 crore considering Rs 1.50 lakh each in over 2 lakh computers.
More than the financial savings part, the biggest advantage of the Free OS is its ability to study and share without any restrictions and to make necessary modifications and publishing, which is of high relevance when it comes to education sector.
The ICT activities of KITE (erstwhile IT@School Project) has indeed become the world’s largest FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) deployment in education.
It is only because of the use of FOSS that IT activities at schools in such a magnitude is possible in the state of Kerala.
Government has already mandated the use of Free Software for learning and trainings for all institutions under General Education Department.
In continuation to the Free software based learning implemented from Std 1 to 10, in Higher Secondary level also (Std 11 and 12), subjects such as Computer Science, Humanities, Commerce etc were shifted to Free Software in 2017.
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