LINUXWORLD - Indian agency to deploy Linux across 30,000 school desktops

Indian IT services organization ELCOT is deploying Linux on desktops and servers in schools in a state in southern India.

The Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd. (ELCOT) is deploying Suse Linux Enterprise across 30,000 desktops and 1,880 servers in schools in southern India.

ELCOT is a government-owned agency that provides IT services to Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. It has already migrated its own IT infrastructure from Microsoft's Windows operating system to Suse Linux Enterprise Server and Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop, Novell said Tuesday.

ELCOT said in January that its IT projects in Tamil Nadu will be deployed around open-source software, including Linux. ELCOT decided in favor of open-source software because it costs less than proprietary software, said C. Umashankar, managing director of ELCOT, in an interview in January. Open-source software is also easier to operate and has better security, he added.

ELCOT has worked with teachers to design a preloaded set of applications for the 30,000 new PCs.

A number of Indian organizations have adopted Linux. In another south Indian state, Kerala, the communist government of the state has said that it will promote open-source software.

The Indian federal government has, however, not taken sides in favor of either Linux or proprietary software. Microsoft is working with some states to train teachers to use computers running Windows.

As more companies in India and abroad are starting to use Linux, familiarity with Linux will help students get jobs, ELCOT said.

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