GitHub launched its Indian subsidiary — GitHub India Private Limited — on February 12, COO Erica Bresica announced. Maneesh Sharma has been appointed the General Manager of the subsidiary and will focus on the company’s growth startegy. The software development platform also said that it would extend its GitHub Hackathon Grant to students in India. GitHub is home to world’s largest repository of open source code and was bought by Microsoft in June 2018 for $7.5 billion.
India has the third-largest number of active developers on the GitHub after the US and China. According to the announcement, GitHub saw a 22% growth in the number of Indian developers and a 75% growth in number of public repositories in India over the last year. Swiggy and ArisGlobal already use GitHub Enterprise to build software for their businesses. The company will build capacity across all verticals — community, engineering, sales, support, marketing, and services — in the coming months.
GitHub batted for safe harbour in India, criticised amendments to Intermediary Rules
In January, GitHub, along with Cloudflare and Mozilla, had written an open letter to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad criticising the amendments to the Intermediary Rules as they promote automated censorship, destroy competition, increase surveillance and fragment internet in India. It said, “The current safe harbour liability protections have been fundamental to the growth of the internet in India.” The letter had raised concerns the following concerns about the proposed amendments:
- The broad definition of the term “intermediary” would mean that that many unintended parties, such as software development platforms (like GitHub), operating systems (like Microsoft Windows), browsers (like Mozilla Firefox), caching services (like those offered by Cloudflare), etc., would be affected.
- The requirement for local incorporation of any service with more than 5 million users in India is a major operational obligation that can lead to closure of existing international companies and deter new entrants in the Indian market.
- Enabling traceability of the originator would lead to greater surveillance, undermine encryption, and harm Indian users’ privacy.
- Proactive monitoring of platforms for unlawful content is technically not feasible and would lead to over censorship.
- Short timelines (24 hours for content takedowns and 72 hours for sharing user data) are difficult to implement and curb freedom of expression. This would place disproportionate amount of burned on small and medium service providers.