The National Resource Centre for Free & Open Source Software (NRCFOSS) has been established to provide design, development and support services to the FOSS community in the country and also strengthen the global FOSS ecosystem by contributing to the open source pool. Several milestones have been achieved including indigenized GNU/Linux Operating system distribution “Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS)” with Indian languages support, National Help-Desk for FOSS, National FOSS portal and Human Resource development in FOSS. The participating agencies in this consortium mode project are CDAC (Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi), AUKBC Research centre, Chennai and IIT (Bombay, Madras). Research and development has been undertaken in the areas of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) stack delivery, Service oriented architecture (SOA) design, Service oriented kernel for Linux, GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), mobile applications on Android platform, enhancing accessibility of FOSS Desktops for disabled persons, Human Resource development and On-line courses & certification. The outcomes have been presented in national/ international conferences and a number of research papers have been published.
BOSS, Bharat Operating System Solutions, is a GNU/Linux based localized Operating System distribution that supports 18 Indian languages - Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. BOSS has been certified by Linux Foundation and is expected to meet the stringent demands of e-governance. Desktop and Server versions are available for BOSS. Also an educational variant EduBOSS has been brought out for schools. All versions are available for free download from https://www.bosslinux.in/. BOSS offers a low cost computing platform, flexibility and choice to the end users.
To make BOSS Linux popular, BOSS Support Centres are being set up throughout India. In addition, creating awareness through training and workshops, distributing free BOSS CDs/DVDs among end users are all part of the proliferation efforts. Pan-INDIA BOSS Support Centres provide hand-holding support to users for installations as well as maintenance support. BOSS has been deployed in e-governance and education domains.
CDAC Mumbai has developed number of tools and applications for enhancing accessibility of FOSS Desktops for differently-abled users. Software based assistive technologies for differently abled users have been developed, named as, Accessible Linux for Visually Challenged (ALVIC). Gestures with Mouse (GeM) have been developed exclusively for physically challenged users. It is intended to mainly use gesture-based input mechanisms for various ‘navigation and input related tasks’, thereby facilitating physically impaired people, easy interaction with the system. Also, enhanced ORCA developed by CDAC Mumbai has been released; and Anumaan- a predictive text entry system has been developed and deployed. Training programmes and pilot testing sessions for visually challenged users have been conducted;
Technology development for Mobile Platforms, using open source software, is being pursued at C-DAC Chennai. A variant of BOSS titled NetBOSS has been developed for Netbooks which has a fast booting time and supports touch screen displays. The features of NetBOSS include multilingual support, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Android application development for mobile platforms has been undertaken by CDAC Delhi. The team has developed an open source voice enabled information retrieval system named as Swar-Suchak. The voice gateway successfully integrates the mobile telephone network with automatic speech recognition, text to speech for Hindi & English and web navigation system based on open standards using open source software only. Applications for live weather information, daily vegetable prices, current flight information, real-time currency exchange rate information and BSE Sensex information have been developed. Research papers have been published in leading international journals.