State varsities to switch to free ICT software

State varsities to switch to free ICT software

The Higher Education department will soon issue a circular asking all government universities in the state to switch to Information Communication Technology (ICT) software, which is developed by National informatics centre (NIC).

This software is available for free and has been approved by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The varsities will be asked to use the software for the current academic year.

Rajkumar Khatri, principal secretary, Higher Education department told DH, “We have found out that there was an unnecessary expenditure from the universities by awarding the e-governance contract to outsiders, which will shift the burden on students. Higher Education Minister G T Devegowda has formed a committee to look into the issue. The committee is expected to submit the report by next week, after which we will send the circular to all the universities to compulsorily use the ICT software, which is available for free. It is not right to go for private players when the software developed by a government agency is available.”

The department will also ask the universities to cancel all the agreements they have entered into with the private parties. It was found that most of the tenders were given to an Andhra-based company. However, the official refused to reveal more details about it. “The committee is expected to submit the report by next week. The universities should cancel all agreements made with whomsoever. This is an UGC-approved software, which is being used by many universities across the country. The minister has asked us to bring the uniformity in this system,” he added.

A Higher Education department official told DH, “The universities have nearly spent crores by awarding the tender to outsiders. Also, this is a security breach. The details of students cannot be handed over to a third person. So minister has strictly asked to implement ICT software from the current academic year.”

Recently, the newly established - Bangalore Central University (BCU) and Bangalore North University (BNU), along with Gulbarga and Davangere universities had invited tenders for the e-governance and examination related services.