Swatantra 2014

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Swatantra 2014
Logo of the event
Date18 December 2014 (2014-12-18) to 20 December 2014 (2014-12-20)
VenueHotel Hycinth
LocationThiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Organised byICFOSS

Swatantra 2014 (from the Indic word Swatantra meaning 'independent', or 'free' as in 'free will') was the fifth international free software conference organized by the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), an autonomous organization set up by the Government of Kerala, India for the propagation of FOSS. It was held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India during 18–20 December 2014. Among supporting organizations of the conference were the Free Software Foundation of India, Centre for Internet and Society (India), Software Freedom Law Center (India) and Swathantra Malayalam Computing.[1][2][3]


Richard M Stallman at Swathantra 2014

According to Satish Babu, Director, ICFOSS, free software is capable of offering a freedom-enhancing, robust and reliable alternative, with additional economic advantages, compared to proprietary software, and therefore that free software could find application in the public and private sector organizations in the field of, inter alia, education, arts, and culture.[1]


Nina Paley (left) and Smári McCarthy during a session in the event

The theme of the event was "Free Software for a Free World".[2] Over 200 delegates attended the conference.[4] The inaugural speech was delivered by Richard Stallman, founder of the free software movement who was of the view that this software should enable access without compromising the security of one's identity. He also told that cameras installed on streets was a threat to the privacy of the public.[2][5]

Other than Stallman, notable personalities like Smári McCarthy and Nina Paley attended the event.[6]

Prof. Rahul De of IIM Bangalore, a speaker at the event, reported during his presentation that over 8,000 crore (US$1.0 billion) could be saved in India, if free software was used for ICT in Education in the 320,000 schools across the country.[7]


The following parallel sessions were held:[8]

  • Indian Language Computing
  • Wikipedia/Wikimedia activities
  • Computational Biology & Sciences
  • Free Culture
  • Freedom on the Cloud
  • Free Mobile Platforms
  • Education & Spoken Tutorials
  • Surveillance, security and privacy & Internet Governance
  • Mapping & OpenStreetMaps
  • Computing for the Differently-abled
  • Free Software in e-Governance
  • Open Hardware & IoT

Supporting organizations[edit]

The following are the organizations that supported the event:[9]

  • Centre for Internet and Society
  • SFLC.IN, Delhi
  • Swathanthra Malayalam Computing
  • FOSSEE, IIT-Bombay
  • SPACE, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Kerala University, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Spoken Tutorials, IIT-Bombay
  • IEEE Kerala Section


  1. ^ a b "Free software activists launch Code Free for India initiative". India IT News. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Street cams pry on privacy: Richard Stallman". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  3. ^ "FOSS meet from Thursday". The Hindu. 17 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Huge savings from free software highlighted". The Hindu. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Richard Stallman to address ICFOSS meet". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  6. ^ "ICFOSS Conference from Dec 18". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Using free software in education can save Rs.8,000 crore". Business Standard. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Swatantra 2014 sessions". ICFOSS. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Swatantra 2014 Supporters". ICFOSS. Retrieved 30 December 2014.

External links[edit]