IOTA visit to NIT Durgapur

October 22, 2008 at 8:08 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Finally the wait was over and we had the pleasure of being the host to Prof. Shankar Sen (Chairman, IOTA), Prof. Nandini Mukherjee (Secy, IOTA) and Mr. Indranil Das Gupta aka IDG aka indradg.By the way, those who do not know what IOTA stands for, it is Institute for Open Technology and Applications. Our college has been selected as a seat for one of the prospective Nodal/Resource Centers in West Bengal to promote Linux and FOSS in West Bengal. This is an initiative of Dept. of Information Technology, Govt. of WB. and IOTA is the interface for this.

The Meeting took place in the Senate Room of the Institute and was preceded by a working lunch at Durgapur House. The Meeting was steered by our honorable Director, Dr. S. Bhattacharya, who welcomed the distinguished guests, all the faculty members and us, the students. Prof. Sen, then briefed us about IOTA while Prof Mukherjee told us about the three distinct plans of IOTA which are:

Training,
Development and
Awareness

It is Prof Sen’s view to make everyone Linux literate, moreover Computer literate. So, he was of the opine to start at the grass root level, i.e., schools. Because it is the school students, who after 4-5 years from now would be in the various colleges like ours and when they come they would already have a sound knowledge of Linux and would not face the problems that we face now. So, as it is not possible to go and teach all the students of the schools, it is best to train some teachers from various schools and make them understand how the use of computers would benefit them in their curricula. The teachers could then pass the knowledge to the students, thus, fulfilling our aim. Teaching Engg students of various private Engg colleges is also a part of the plan.

The development aspect is to develop various softwares and applications which could be used in the schools and Govt Offices and which would remove many hassles which these places currently face. We need to organize seminars and workshops on QA.

The third, being awareness, to make Linux more popular among the students of schools and colleges and also among the White Collar people.

The members were then divided into two factions, senior faculty members looked into the administrative affairs and we the students sat with IDG to get an idea as to what can be done. IDG talked of the various things which could be done to promote use of computers in schools like using flowcharts in history, mail merge for english practicals. Then he told us about Project Gutenberg and gave us some idea about making an application for it. He told us to focus on producing the end product and selling it. We discussed about having a newsletter which would talk of the activities of LUG. We discussed about LTSP AND LDTP.

It was an inspirational talk. We have a mammoth task ahead of us and I am sure that we will not let them down.

Signing off..

Originally written by Mayank Daga at http://lug.nitdgp.ac.in/?q=node/60 .

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