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Drupal and Open Source in Government and Education


  1. To discuss the awareness, adoption, and efforts to proliferate open source technologies, with an emphasis on the Drupal platform and web development in Government and Educational Institutions in India.

  2. To share the challenges Gov and Edu institutions face in each of the above phases.

  3. To propose possible ways to overcome the challenges and to engage with Drupal businesses in building a healthy ecosystem of FOSS.


Sharat Chandran, Head ASC, IITB

Prof. Sharat Chandran heads the Application Software Center in IITB, that is responsible for providing web based solutions to various core and critical processes of IITB.  He has held academic or engineering appointments at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay; University of Maryland, College Park (USA); Stanford University (USA), Oracle Corporation (USA), NTT (Japan), and Schlumberger (USA).

Prof. Sharat's current research interests are in computer graphics and vision, and in high performance computation. In these fields he has made noteworthy contributions in the form of archival journal articles and peer reviewed conference publications. About 40 students have graduated at the Masters level or higher under his supervision; a similar number of students have graduated with an undergraduate "honors" degree. 11 research scholars (doctoral students) have worked with him so far.

Prabhu Ramachandran, FOSSEE, IITB

Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Bombay

Prof. Prabhu Ramachandran has deep interests in open source software.  He leads the FOSSEE (Free and Open Source Software for Education) project in IITB.  He has  contributed to the advancement of SciPy in India.  He develops and maintains a range of open source engineering software. He is the creator, author, and lead developer of the Mayavi Python package.  He is an active member of the SciPy community, and has been a fellow of the Python Software Foundation since 2010. He was the managing director of Enthought India between 2011 and 2013 and currently serves as a director of the company.


P Balasubramanian, OTG, NIC, Chennai


Dr. P. Balasubramanian is a “Scientist-G” in “Open Technology Group (OTG)” of National Informatics Centre (NIC), DeitY, MCIT, Govt. of India at Chennai. This Centre works to provide support services on Open Source Software & Open Standards for the adoption in e-Governance applications; leading technology-areas in Open Technology are also explored.

Dr. P. Balasubramanian received his B.E.(Honours) from P.S.G. College of Technology, Coimbatore (University of Madras, Madras) in 1980, M.E. from College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras (Anna University, Madras) in 1982 and Ph.D from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras in 1987.

Earlier, he worked in CAD Group, NIC, New Delhi since 1986. He worked extensively in various Engineering Consultancy projects in the area of Standards, Quality Assurance and Assessment, Software Development Projects, Analysis of Engineering Structures, Open Source Software, etc.

Open Technology Group, National Informatics Centre (NIC), (DeitY, MCIT, Govt of India)

NIC-Taramani,  STPI Campus, First Floor, No. 5, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Taramani, Chennai-600113.

Venkatesh Hariharan (Venky), ABS and OIN


Venkatesh Hariharan is Director of Alchemy Business Solutions LLP, and Outreach Lead (India) for the Open Invention Network (OIN). Alchemy is an organization that focuses on leveraging technology for development, while OIN is a defensive patent pool and community of patent non-aggression which enables freedom of action in Linux. He is also a member of the Governing Board of the Software Freedom Law Center.

Hariharan has served as Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs with Google, and as Corporate Affairs Director for Red Hat in the Asia-Pacific region. He has worked on key policy issues like Internet regulations, open standards, software patents, open source in government, and Indian language computing.

He is a former Executive Editor of Express Computer and the first Indian to be selected for the prestigious Knight Science Journalism Fellowship (1998-99) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During his fellowship at MIT, he investigated technologies that can be deployed for bridging the digital divide. He has written for leading Indian and international publications including MIT Technology Review, Upside, Slashdot, Economic Times, Times of India and many others.

Hariharan also co-founded of, one of the leading localization groups in the India subcontinent. has translated the GNOME and KDE user interface of Linux to Hindi. The organization has helped localization groups in India, Bhutan, Nepal and other countries localize Linux and other open source software to their native languages.

He has delivered talks on technology and policy issues at World Foresight Forum, Open World Forum and at leading academic institutions like MIT, IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIIT-Bangalore, IIM Bangalore and many others. Hariharan is interested in the intersection of technology, society and policy, with a specific focus on democratizing access to knowledge.

Vishal Mehrotra, TCS


Vishal is Senior General Manager at Tata Consultancy Services and brings with him 22 years of rich IT experience in Solutions and Quality Assurance.  

In his current role, his primary responsibility is to help customers adopt and implement Open Source based IT solutions and Software Assurance solutions. He also works closely with the leading technology provider and is responsible for creating impactful business solutions.

In his previous role, he has been instrumental in driving strategic alliance relationships, with end-to-end responsibility for ideating, incubating, managing and monetizing solutions.  

An engineer by profession from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, he is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Vishal likes to travel and read.


Varun Rattan Singh, E-Gov Entrepreneur

Varun, has worked in the field of e-Governance since 2007. He has worked with IL&FS e-Gov team, offering consulting services to Government of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. He was instrumental in setting up more than 3000 Common Services Centres in Himachal, providing Government to Citizen services in the state. The CSCs in the state offer transactional services like electricity bill collection, land records and banking transactions. He played an important role in designing the operating procedures for the services, institutional agreements and eventual roll out of services in these centres.

He setup Development Logics in 2009, thus starting his entrepreneurial journey. The idea was use IT as a tool to create employment opportunities in remote regions of the country. In 2011,  he co-founded Srijan in Dharamshala, which eventually grew to be a 25 people Drupal team. In 2013, he setup Vayudoot which is providing last mile Internet connectivity across Kangra valley, covering an area of 900 Sq Kms. Internet connectivity is helping drive new businesses in these areas and adding to the economy of the small mountain villages. His intiaitves have helped seed new software companies, BPO’s and ancillary businesses in the town. His dream is to make Dharamshala a world class IT hub by enabling infrastructure, skill building of local youth and driving the policy environment in the state.


Thomas P Thomas, Zyxware


Thomas is the C.E.O. of Zyxware Technologies, an 8 year old IT Solutions company focused on Drupal, based out of Kerala. He has been at Zyxware Technologies since 2011 and has been instrumental in driving its strategy and expansion into Australian markets. In Free Software in Kerala, his contributions include guiding the implementation of Free Software migration at the Kerala Legislative Assembly in association with International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS).

Prior to this, he had been with Social Initiatives Group of ICICI Bank (later, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth). He managed its project in Chhattisgarh with the SCERT around Text Book Development and Teacher Education Curriculum Reform. He had managed ICICI's financing of two research projects and the long term institutional development  activities of three education resource centres. He has also been a member of Joint Review Missions of MHRD, Government of India to Chhattisgarh (2013) and Karnataka (2014) to review the expenditure of the state governments on Plan funds in Teacher Education. He is an electronics and communication engineer with a post graduate diploma in rural management from IRMA.