Don’t give Microsoft back-door entry, warns Achuthanandan

July 4th, 2012 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 4 (IANS) Kerala’s Leader of Opposition and veteran CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan has warned Chief Minister Oommen Chandy against IT giant Microsoft getting a back-door entry into the sectors of e-governance, education and development of IT in the rural areas.

In a letter to the chief minister, released to the media here Wednesday, Achuthanandan has expressed his opposition to the proposed entry of Microsoft after Chandy met with Microsoft officials in Delhi last week and announced they have shown interest in these fields.

“At no cost this would be allowed to happen and it would be opposed tooth and nail,” warned Achuthanandan.

“During 2001-06, Microsoft along with Intel had entered into our education sector and it was after four years of hard work that we got them to go. And now, this government is trying to bring them in again through the back door,” said Achuthanandan.

He also pointed out that Chandy is trying to give Microsoft some space even while the Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has wholeheartedly welcomed the ‘Kerala model’ of free software-developed education programmes.

“Sibal says that the Kerala model should be replicated in other states also. We wish to know why other companies should be allowed entry when our present system is fool proof. We wish to know what are the flaws in the present system in the education sector,” asked Achuthanandan.

Achuthanandan warned that dangers are imminent if one opens up e-governance to multinationals and that is why the Left Democratic Front kept companies like Microsoft out of the domain when it was in power 2006-11.

“We have no issues in Microsoft looking towards Kerala as an investment option. But at no cost will we allow their entry into crucial sectors,” added Achuthanandan.

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