[Fsf-friends] RGF-Sarai CSDS programme for short-term FLOSS fellowships

Frederick Noronha fred@[EMAIL-PROTECTED]
Fri Jun 1 02:23:36 IST 2007

Gora Mohanty gora at sarai.net
Fri May 25 13:34:49 CEST 2007

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 floss at sarai.net.

                        Call for proposals:
              RGF-Sarai, CSDS, short-term FLOSS fellowships

1      Introduction

The Sarai programme of the Centre for the Study of Developing
Societies, Delhi (http://www.sarai.  net) 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

     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 (http://newsrack.in), Hindawi
       (http://www.indicybers.com), 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

     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 favourably on
projects aimed at eventual deployment, rather than
development per se.  Please mail your application, along with
a resume, to floss at sarai.net , 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 https://mail.sarai.net/mailman/listinfo/prc, and post a
copy there, failing which your final proposal will be
forwarded there by one of us.  Enquiries are invited at floss
at sarai.net , 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 licence approved by the Open Source
Initiative (OSI). Please see under
http://www.opensource.org/licenses 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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