The text written below was a result of a hurricane in my mind !!


some insights from me:
1. What is the current situation of OSS at JIIT?
Situation is bad(maybe pathetic!), but there are some positive signs of interest. this discussion is one such example.
Students don't use open source technologies. 99% pupil(including faculty/administration) are fully dependent on Windows.
Very few enthusiasts: lack of torch bearers. therefore, lack of interest among everyone.
Some students are interested but they don't know how to act.
Open Source doesn't find a place in our curriculum. No course!! except a so-called Unix&shell in 2nd semester. its near to zilch.
Lack of exposure to faculty as well. God, they are so very reluctant to change. Just finish off the work in whatever possible way. This attitude gets induced in students as well.
Resource(human mind) and time wasting projects. That is where a lot of time is literally wasted. All of us are aware from where the projects are picked by more than 70% of the population.
People are here only for a B.Tech degree, that's it!! Turst me guys, >70% students vying for MBA. Their immediate reply: "I'm not interested. I'm preparing for MBA" (Can we really address this issue?)
In a nutshell, we can really count number of guys interested, on our fingertips. that hurts!

2. Why is it so (why are people not interested? why are they interested in other colleges?)

Even if we convince someone to use linux/solaris, they are bound to come up with questions like ".doc", ".ppt" files: compatibility issues.
OAT, Park benches, Cafeteria, JAM: I don't need to explain this.
Very few options(people) one can look upto for guidance/support/motivation-- This precludes students from trying anything new.
Self created time constraints. Shipra is much more important than any event in college.(as i said, their B.Tech degree will not be held-back if they skip such event)
Lack of clearity in student's minds regarding their aim of life.(this is very serious matter)
Not all can be enthusiastic like us and explore the world: they lack interest to explore
"Peers are within the campus only" : students don't compare themselves with their counter-parts in other universities doing marvellous work. We need to make them realize what the students of their age(or less) doing presently. For this, we don't need to look at US/or any other country; southern states of India are nearest example. We need to tell them on their face that they are diong injustice to their degree, their college and themselves irrespective of the fact that they might feel abashed. Let them have this feeling. We have to make them understand the real computer engineering.

3. Where do we want it to be heading (college FOSS projects? increasing awareness?)

Exactly, FOSS projects, that would let the students do self-study, and while they explore, they are bound to get into some trouble (bugs, issues), so they need some help! Where do they get help? From our OSS group, through mailing list and by attending trouble-shooting sessions, tech talks and various events.

Why not get the students involved in real FOSS projects itself, rather than lets say, 90 students making 90 projects on same subject?? That's too much wastage of human resource/labor/time.
We would like our group to be One-Stop-Shop for all the Open Source needs, simple!
Everyone can teach everyone about anything. Teach newbies about how to teach newbies. Learn,  collaborate and grow. A healthy community for healthy minds.

4. What can we do to improve it (barcamps, workshops, tech talks, monthly meetings, participation on a mailing list, installfests, etc.)
Refine the attitude(teacher's and students). Teachers are here to make students' career and should religiously work towards that instead of giving a sheet of rules/guidelines to be followed in a particular course.
Some prerequisites can be:
a website with forums/mailing lists/wiki  etc.. that connects to every open source information on web. Connect to as many sites as possible. This will provide a very strong Knowledge Base for our newbies.
an IRC channel,
Various User Groups(LUG/FUG/PUG/<any other>UG)
Weekly Install-fests,
Media lending system(can we have this on the website?). it will facilitate rotation of installation media among students if there's a shortage.
We are lagging in our efforts, therefore we need to have a formal meeting atleast twice a month.
If we can get hold of some merchandise(stickers etc..), that will add the required oomph! factor
More points mentioned below.

5. How will we do that (exact plan of action - lets give in our individual inputs and frame a solid plan which will *work*)
Target Audience : Everyone.

OpenInfo - Hold info sessions to spread the word and strengthen open source existence.

OpenCamps: For teachers(Lecturer-to-VC, everyone) first. Tell them our aim, ask for their support, teach them various open source technologies, make them sit in front of terminals, let them use their senses and let the students have a view of this beautiful scene. Then see what a huge impact it will make on students. Inhibitions, if any, will get kicked in a second.
But, who will be the teachers' teachers? WE. we have to do it.
This single step can lay a firm foundation for our OSS group. Everything else will eventually follow.

- Lets get the systems running on open source. Provide media, manuals, tweaks etc..System configuration and other cool stuff.

OpenLabs - Workshops onsite/online via IRC.(we need to get IRC port unblocked)

OpenTalks - Technical Talks, any new/interesting technology to be showcased. Make the students participate through some lucrative measures. Let them learn something new and give a talk/hold a workshop.

OpenCompetitions: Organize competitions related to a particular technology. Prizes!

OpenReviews - Let the students use a particular technology and ask them to write up their experiences/reviews. This will help others students who wish start using that tool. For example, I write a review on a particular Linux Distro. A student reads that and tries it himself. This whole document might turn into a "HowTO".

OpenHelp - Provide guidance to newbies. We won't have to address the same issue again n again, one newbie can help other newbie. But, if problem persists, head to our Open Source Club.

OpenParties - Let's enjoy!

Question: What is required to be a part of this group?
Answer: Attitude to learn and change!