Why Income Tax department is promoting Microsoft and Oracle

Open source vs. proprietary software.

Govt of India has reiterated its policy to prefer open source software over proprietary software as part of its Digital India Initiative which is available here. However when it comes to application, different department behave differently. For over ten years income tax department forces citizens of India to use Window and Excel which is a proprietary software of Microsoft. Few years back they brought out an alternative and introduced a Java version of ITR as well. Though it does not work at all, never the less look at the choice. This time they picked Oracle proprietary version of Java. Why not pick open source? No body seems to know anything. Few months back, I had posted a grievance ticket too on their website. The officer who called up, knew nothing and kept on trying to convince me that I should borrow somebody’s window lap top to do the needful. Arrogance in stupidity.

Now I have asked following questions from Government of India under RTI Act

Kindly provide following Information under RTI Act:

1. Who is officer responsible for checking the functioning of ITR 3 Java Version, Please provide his name address and phone Number? If an entire team is responsible please provide the details of team leader.

2.If the aforesaid Officer is in the service of Govt. of India, please provide the name, designation, address of the disciplinary authority over him.

3. What is policy of Income Tax department about using open source software ? If no policy has been formulated please do state so. Continue reading

Photo editor, image viewer, size compression, manipulation or organization in Linux for free!

Pictures, Photographs or images are the second most important data after documents. For professional photographers, documents are secondary. Handling of images in Linux is very simple matter with a variety of open source programs and all are absolutely free. Image organizers, in Linux are far more superior to any other comparable system. Unfortunately there is no comprehensive guide at one place for the beginner or new user. Over years I have been trying various image processing software and here I have attempted to include as many as possible. These can be installed on Ubuntu and its derivatives and all Linux systems (with ‘apt-get’ command or Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager) or by downloading from the source given at the wiki page.

Photo editing and image manipulation Linux softwares Continue reading

Ubuntu as smartphone OS?

So it is now in the open. The David (Android) who killed Goliath (Blackberry), is going to face his David in Ubuntu? I can not wait any longer. Following was the first clue:

Canonical, a company behind the Linux-based Ubuntu desktop OS has put up a job opening on its website for a Business Development Manager (Ubuntu Phone OS). It hints that the company might be at advanced stages of developing the smart phone version of the popular open source desktop operating system.

Added in 2013.

Now it is clearly in Open. Ubuntu has already come out with its tag line “Ubuntu now fits your phone Introducing the superphone that’s also a full PC.” For more details see “http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone”

Government of India’s gift to Microsoft

On-line filing of Income Tax Return in India

For past many years filing of Income tax return is compulsorily on-line. But the method adopted to do this appears to be favoring Microsoft. The Excel sheet (with ActiveX code) is required to be filled, which generates a xml file which is to be uploaded. There is no support or alternate to use open source software thus compelling the people to either buy Microsoft products worth about 15K or to use pirated ones. This is contrary to the practice resolved by the Government itself in 2009. The link to draft policy of Government of India favoring Open Source is
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=1NjL6hHvi9HiGR6owE8vPiNoT0A3agUdNdayzia88aCBJtzqqJuxwWCrpRXgh&hl=en

I would like to know if this has been adopted and notified under Income Tax Act or any other law.

Checking these sites:
http://egovstandards.gov.in/index_html
http://stqc.nic.in/

That doc is still in the process of review. But this one appears to be more relevant:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B2o3KazWtVCvZTAxOTFkYjMtZTgzOS00NjM2LTljYTUtNDIyMWU4ZmFiYjk3&hl=en
It is available at following link as well:

http://egovstandards.gov.in/approved-standards/qaf-care/egscontent.2010-07-07.8550172117/at_download/file

Despite this policy, Income tax Department of Government of India, compels a person to patronize Microsoft’s Software i.e. Microsoft excel. I really wonder that Mr. P. Chidambaram who is himself such a brilliant lawyer could miss this. Perhaps it is the disinterest (or ignorance?) towards computers. Who knows?