The National Resource Center for Free & Open Source Software (NRCFOSS) was govt. funded initiative housed at the AU-KBC Research Center in Chennai. Their goal was to solve the “human resource and skills” problem regarding the availability of FOSS skills.
DeepRoot was an early contributor to the project. We did two significant things as a part of this project:
We helped train more than 120 teachers in engineering colleges under the Anna University and also helped write the text book and lab manual for the “FOSS Elective” course
We built a “FOSS Lab Server” that aimed to solve the accessibility and Internet problem in colleges. Since most colleges has restricted Internet access, it was a severe limitation for students to participate in and learn about free software.
The FOSS Lab Server offered a searchable 1 TB mirror of binary packages for Debian & Fedora, mailing list archives, cross-indexed source code, documentation and man pages and so much more. By way of a user interface, it offered a local search engine - a student could enter their query and it will show up results across software, source code, mailing lists and documentation. No need for Internet access at all!
A partial website pulled up from archive.org:
We published an elaborate FAQ about free software for the conference:
It feels good to update and maintain your product. Unfortunately, we don’t do that anymore.