The institute will be introducing Spoken Tutorial Project, developed by IIT Bombay, a series of audio-video tutorial on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), launched as a part of the Talk To a Teacher project funded by the National Mission on Education through ICT of the Ministry of Human Resources Development of the Government of India during the current academic year for training its students in FOSS.
Under this project, the audio-video tutorials – a unique set of instructional materials developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay – on ways of using a number of FOSS such as Linux-Ubuntu, LibreOffice, Writer, Calc, Impress, Base, Draw, Math, PHPMySQL, C/C++, Java, Netbeans, Python, Scilab, LaTex, OpenFOAM, Oscad, Firefox, GIMP, Q CAD Blender etc. will be made available at the labs of SMVITM and the students will be trained in mastering their uses.
The FOSS covered under the project includes software like scripting software, application software, computation software, computational fluid dynamics software, utility software, programming software, animation and graphics software, EDA Tools, Chemistry/Chemical software etc.
The Spoken Tutorial materials would provide a systematic and comprehensive set of instructions as how to use the FOSS efficiently and with ease through a series of workshops / software training incorporated into the regular lab hours of the students. The project also provides for an online test for the trainees to get a certification of their skill levels in using the software after they have attended a number of audio visual trainings held over a period of two to three months.
Competence and efficiency in using FOSS would also enhance the employability of the trainees as they could take up jobs in government, semi government and private sectors, where the use of FOSS for technical solutions is likely to be on the rise within a few years.
The importance and utility of FOSS in a world that is getting more and more digitally divided due to the unaffordability of licensed software, which has been monopolized by big businesses, are steadily gaining global attention. The initiative undertaken by SMVITM in training its students in FOSS and popularising it, will go a long way in achieving the millennium goals of making the citizens of the country digitally empowered and technologically aware and competent. This is yet another step that underscores the institute’s commitment towards the social uplift of weaker sections of society by making them technologically empowered and providing them with sustainable and profitable employment.