All the central ministries and departments will have to put in public domain the source code of software and applications developed by them, primarily for e-governance projects, to avoid duplication and cut costs.
"The Government of India aims to make public the source code of various software applications/ components/ products as it may consider suitable and whose Intellectual Property Rights are held by various Government entities," a new IT policy on application development said.
'The Policy On Collaborative Application Development by Opening the Source Code of Government Applications', approved by the IT Ministry last week, is applicable on union ministries and departments under them.
"State governments can choose to adopt it," an IT ministry official told PTI. The ministry is nodal point for the Centre's IT related works.
The objective of policy is to increase the pace of e-governance application development and rapid roll out or implementation by adopting an open-source development model.
Government departments and agencies both at the centre and states are engaged in developing software applications in their own premises.
However, there has been repetition of work and many applications are being re-developed from scratch without using the code already written by other departments, the official said.
"Lack of sharing of the source code prevents the code from scrutiny, thus denying the opportunity for further improvements.
These inefficient practices may lead to wastage of time, efforts and public money, which could have been put to more productive use alternatively," the policy document said.
The new policy has been formulated with the objective of promoting reuse, standardisation, innovation, quality improvement and cost savings through collaboration and avoidance of duplication.
The source code will also be made available to software or application developer registered or recognised by government agencies, the official said.
Under the policy, all Government application source code to be developed will be shared on a 'Collaborative Application Development Platform'.
The government will have full rights to custom-built software source code for any application developed by a government agency or by private agencies funded by it.