redhat_logo.jpg The Kerala government in India is going out of its way to demonstrate that open source software is a critical component to the future of democratic information. And toward that noble end, Red Hat has decided to help out.Red Hat, which recently started an online destination that pairs customers with pre-integrated open source business applications, has agreed to help train the technical staff of some organizations within the Kerala government. The end goal is to teach them how to maintain, and ultimately develop, their own open source applications. Karala plans to use open source software to manage and further develop its e-governance projects, according to a draft state IT policy released earlier this year. The state also began promoting open source software in educational institutions, but has decided not to make it a requirement. As part of its commitment, Red Hat will teach schoolteachers in Kerala how to use Linux desktop software under its "Train-the-Trainer" program. Microsoft is also conducting technical training in India. The company is running a nationwide program called Project Shiksha, whose purpose is to train teachers and students in government-run schools how to use information technology. The Indian federal government is mum about its preference between open source and proprietary software, but some government-run research labs do work on open source projects.