Public Sector Software, Participatory Communications and Social Change

By Pradip N. Thomas - 2012

This article explores the role played by public sector software (PSS) in social change in India. Viewing public sector software as a public good, it explores its potential as well as the challenges that it faces in a context in which proprietoral software is an established and dominant force. Using both theory and examples, it argues that state investment in this public good makes infinite sense in the context of e-governance and commitments to access and affordable use of information resources for all its citizens. Based on the principles of Free Open Source Software (FOSS), PSS offers not only possibilities of access but also adaptation and use by a variety of ‘recursive publics’. Using the example of PSS in the Southern Indian state of Kerala, it offers insights into the practical benefits of software deployed for the common good.

Nordicom Review 33 (2012) Special Issue, pp. 77-90. PDF.


By Pradip N. Thomas| 2012


Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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