The study, set to be completed in 18 months, will cover the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
In a statement issued here Monday, ICFOSS said the study would bring out the extent to which free and open source software is used in government projects, and assess the economics of its use.
"There is still wide variation between different states in the deployment of free and open source software. Kerala leads the nation in adoption of such software," said Rahul De, Hewlett-Packard Chair professor in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Sustainable Economic Development, IIM - Bangalore, also the lead researcher of the joint study.
Besides a cost advantage, free and open source software comes with other advantages too -- user licenses are liberal, and users are free to customise software.
"With the 2012 Government of India Software Policy providing explicit support for free and open source software, it becomes imperative for e-government applications to consider it," Rahul De said.