Free software packages valued at 70 million rupees donated by Microsoft Corporation to the Government of India were distributed at a joint function hosted by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and BAPS at the BAPS Chhatralay campus in Atladra.
Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Shri Laxminarayanan, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology presided over the assembly.
The software was presented by Pramukh Swami Maharaj to representatives of 700 schools from Gujarat, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu and will benefit over 208,000 students from Standard 4 to 9 before an audience of 5,000 invited guests.
Addressing the audience, Shri Laxminarayanan described how he first came into contact with BAPS and Pramukh Swami Maharaj through a chance meeting with a driver in London and how his travels through Europe and America gave him further information on the wide-ranging work of the BAPS Sanstha. He added, "India can become the world leader in software development. By 2008 it will export around $50 billion worth of software. I pray to Pramukh Swami Maharaj that this potential is fulfilled."
In blessing the assembly Pramukh Swami Maharaj said, "Whatever progress science has made is due to the body and brains given by God. So God is at the root. Technology should be used within the guidelines of behavior specified in the scriptures. We pray that Gujarat and the whole of India make tremendous progress."