Friday, May 25, 2007

Proposal for free open source fellowship called

If you are perusing any personal software project that comes within the range of FLOSS (read on further for clarification) then here is good chance for recognition as well as a small financial support.

I am producing a mail received from Mr. Gora Mohanti, Sarai-CSDS in the subject:

Hello all,

Below is an invitation for proposals for the RGF-Sarai CSDS programme for short-term FLOSS fellowships. Please feel to circulate this far and wide.

The deadline for submission of proposals is the 25th of June. Please feel free to address any queries with regards to this to

Regards, Gora


Call for proposals:

RGF-Sarai, CSDS, short-term FLOSS fellowships

1 Introduction

The Sarai programme of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi ( is pleased to announce fellowships for projects related to Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) activities. This year, we have partnered with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) who are providing support for work in the specific area of computing, and localisation in five Indian languages, namely, Assamese, Hindi, Kashmiri, Oriya, and Urdu.

We also invite proposals from projects in other FLOSS areas, especially ones that are relevant to educational, social, and community needs. Any project that meets the criteria given below is eligible for the fellowships, but we are particularly interested in:

o Indian language computing, including work on fonts, rendering, locales, input methods, spell-checking, etc., as well as in advanced technologies like OCR, handwriting recognition, and speech-to-text.

o Localisation into Indian languages of user interfaces, and translation of help documents for FLOSS applications. o In the interest of sustained development, we would like to see the enhancement of, and extensions for projects funded as part of past Sarai FLOSS fellowships.
In particular, we draw attention to NewsRack (, Hindawi (, and ApnaOpus (

o Documentation for users of FLOSS tools, particularly in the area of Indian language computing. The production of video tutorials would be welcome.

o Development of graphics, multimedia, and publishing tools. This would include applications for audio/video editing, animation, and desktop publishing. Enhancement of existing FLOSS tools is especially encouraged.

o Putting together, distributing, and supporting a complete Indian language distribution, using FLOSS operating systems, and tools.

o Collaboration software, and groupware solutions. o Writing Linux device drivers, and front-ends for common hardware, such as wireless cards, graphics cards, scanners, and printers. The other significant difference from past practice is that we will be asking for more of a collaborative approach from the fellows, both among one another, and with people at Sarai. The collaboration need not be in the actual development, but can consist of an ongoing conversation about one's work, its direction, and current status. While this has been an implicit expectation in the past, this time we are making the requirement explicit.

The exact details of these will be worked out with the selected fellows, but will include things like discussions over IRC, email, and postings on the Sarai Project Resource Centre (PRC) mailing list. Fellows will also be asked to prepare a timeline for the projects, with intermediate milestones, and will be expected to adhere to them.

2 Applying for the fellowships

We invite students, developers, researchers, and practitioners interested in the FLOSS arena to apply for the fellowships. While there is no prescribed format for the applications, we expect them to be in sufficient detail for a reviewer to sensibly evaluate them. Attention to details, such as a plan of work that addresses what is possible to accomplish within the limited project period, a projection of how the work might be continued after that, and a discussion of the possible impact of the project, is strongly recommended.

In particular, we will look favorably on projects aimed at eventual deployment, rather than development per se. Please mail your application, along with a resume, to , with the subject line of "RGF-Sarai FLOSS fellowships". As this information is intended to be public, also subscribe to the PRC mailing list at, and post a copy there, failing which your final proposal will be forwarded there by one of us. Enquiries are invited at , and on the PRC list, including questions on how to frame proposals. The last date of submission is midnight IST on Sun., June 25th, 2007.

The projects will run for a total of about six months, with a final workshop to be held at Sarai, CSDS, Delhi, where the fellows will be expected to present a summary of their work. Besides this, as part of our engagement with the RGF, we will be holding workshops in regional locations, and the FLOSS fellows will be asked to be present at events local to them. The total amount of the fellowship will be Rs. 70, 000.

3 Conditions

Applicants should have a valid bank account in any bank operating in India. These are support grants, and the fellows are free to pursue their primary occupations in parallel, as long as they keep working on proposed projects. The fellows must be willing to make a release of their final work under any open-source license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Please see under for a complete list. Proposals from teams, partnerships, collectives, and faculty on the behalf of a group of students are welcome, so long as the grant amount is administered by a single individual, and the funds are deposited in a single bank account in the name of an individual. ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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