The Indian Government has launched a dedicated platform that publishes code for e-government projects, encouraging all public sector agencies to use them in their own services.

The platform, called OpenForge “will enable [government] departments to collaborate and adopt open source development practices in a free manner”, according to an official statement.

The government believes that the platform will “significantly bring down the total development time and costs while promoting greater standardisation and reuse” of tech solutions, it said. Departments will be able to use ready built applications instead of developing their own from scratch.

Currently, many departments are not able to share software solutions “due to restrictions on the sharing of code [or] data on foreign hosted servers outside India”, it stated. The government wants to tap into open source communities to run innovative projects at low costs. This site may mark a change in how India procures and builds e-government systems.

Tech juggernauts like Facebook and Google use open source software extensively, and the government wants to “emulate some of these trends in the Indian e-governance space” by setting up OpenForge, it said.

In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Digital India, a nationwide campaign to boost internet connectivity and shift services online. Since then, the government has connected rural villages to the internet, and set up multiple digital platforms for citizen engagement and identification. With OpenForge, it will be able to connect these digital platforms and share findings to improve project execution.