Shouldn’t Linux Foundation be Officially Present in India? 

India, which is one of the largest countries when it comes to a number of developers, is yet to have an official presence of The Linux Foundation
Linux Foundation In India
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A lot has happened at the Linux Foundation over the past few days. First, Meta CEO-co founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that its PyTorch project will now be part of the non-profit foundation as a newly launched PyTorch foundation. A few days ago, the organisation announced OpenWallet Foundation (OWF). Built on an open-source platform, this new collaborative initiative supports interoperability across different digital wallets.

Further, the Linux Foundation recently announced the launch of Linux Foundation Europe to build on its growing presence in this part of the world. The announcement was made during its first survey of Europe’s open-source community at the keynote addresses of Open Source Summit, Europe.

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This makes one wonder why India, one of the largest countries in terms of number of developers, is yet to have an official presence of The Linux Foundation. The Indian market is in focus in the backdrop of the recent launch of OpenWallet. In a comment, Pramod Varma, the chief architect of Aadhaar and India Stack, said, “India has been at the forefront of it and is going all out to convert all physical certificates into digitally verifiable credentials via the very successful Digilocker system. I am very excited about the OWF effort to create an interoperable and open-source credential wallet engine to supercharge the credentialing infrastructure globally.”

The Linux Foundation’s growing reach

Enterprise tech is undergoing rapid transformation and open-source software is the turbine driving the transformation. The Linux Foundation has benefited greatly from this boom and has created a shared value of $54.1 billion from its community’s collective contributions. Linux Foundation has outdone its competitors like Eclipse Foundation and Apache Software Foundation in terms of budget and reach.

The foundation is currently handling over 100 projects across sectors, including artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle, networking, and security. The organisation has further branched out to form Cloud Foundry Foundation, Open Source Security Foundation, and Cloud Native Computing Foundation. 

What about the Indian market?

In several interviews, Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, has said that he sees a tremendous opportunity for developers in India. In a 2015 blog, the foundation said that India was second only to the United States in inquiries regarding Linux Foundation training and certification but ranked among the lowest in Linux certification exam enrollment. Owing to this, the same year, Linux Foundation announced the availability of country-specific pricing for its Essentials of System Administration course and Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam for individuals in India. India had then become the first country to have region-specific pricing. 

Further, several India-based companies like Wipro, Hasura, HCL, Reliance Jio, Tata Communications, and Tech Mahindra are member companies of The Linux Foundation.

India – leading contributor to open-source

GitHub was launched in 2020, and within a year, there were close to 2 million new developers on the platform. The company representative then said that the platform would be adding 10 million developers by 2023. GitHub has credited India as being the fastest-growing country in the world in terms of developers contributing to open-source projects. The company announced an Open Source Grant for Indian developers and said that it would be offering Rs 1 crore to select developers.

Open-source software development has great potential in India, and it could become the best in the world given the right circumstances. The Indian government is also giving open-source tech the necessary push. In 2015, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, rolled out three major policies related to open-source.

These stats and reports prove that India has a large base of developers and a lot of companies are turning to India for coding talent. As mentioned earlier, the government is also pushy when it comes to open sources. The Linux Foundation should truly consider launching a dedicated arm for India.

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Shraddha Goled
I am a technology journalist with AIM. I write stories focused on the AI landscape in India and around the world with a special interest in analysing its long term impact on individuals and societies. Reach out to me at shraddha.goled@analyticsindiamag.com.

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