India has its own chatting messenger app ‘Sandes’, under testing by the government
India now has its own messenger app, Sandes, which is currently being tested with use limited to certain government officials of few ministries. The public roll out is possibly on cards.
The GIMS (Government Instant Messaging System) is reportedly being used by selected government officials as an alternative to WhatsApp and is being called ‘Sandes’. In 2020, the government of India had revealed its plans of developing a social messaging app similar in function to WhatsApp.
GIMS website’s (gims.gov.in) opening page shows ways on accessing the app, including sign in LDAP, sign in with Sandes OTP, and Sandes web. On clicking any of the above options a message is displayed on the screen that reads, “This authentication method is applicable for authorized government officials.”
The current use of this application is limited to transferring government officials from social media platforms to this indigenous platform to prevent security breach. Sources report that the Sandes app can be used in both Android and iOS platforms, and also supports voice and data messaging.
Application is being handled by NIC (National Informatics Centre) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The development of Sande’s application comes at a critical time when cybersecurity is a blistering issue globally and it’s crucial to safeguard issues pertaining to national security. WhatsApp has already revealed its change in security policy for users. This makes it all the more important that the base is shifted from public networking platforms.
The indigenous app is currently in the testing phase and upon launch would be available for iOS as well as Android users. The launch details however haven’t been disclosed by the government yet. The logo of the app has Ashoka Chakra inside two messaging icons which are in orange and green color.