The government has launched an instant messaging platform called ‘Sandes’, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. The new platform is seen as an Indian alternative to the popular global messaging service WhatsApp which is owned by Facebook.
The National Informatics Centre, the Information Technology wing of the government, has launched the platform which works on the lines of WhatsApp. The platform can be used for all kinds of communications with a mobile number or email id. Sandes is currently being used internally among government employees and those agencies linked to the government.
In response to another query, the Minister on Wednesday said the National Informatics Centre under MeitY, has developed an indigenous solution ‘Sandes’ for instant messaging communication.
“Sandes is an Open source based, Secure, Cloud enabled platform hosted on Government Infrastructure so that the strategic control remains with GOI. It has features like one-to-one and group messaging, file and media sharing, audio-video call and e-gov application integration etc. The solution is being used by the government and is available at Google Play Store and App Store,” Chandrasekhar said.
Sandes is a part of the government’s initiative to push for use of India-made apps and software to develop an ecosystem of indigenously developed products. Notably, WhatsApp and the government are at loggerheads over end-to-end encryption and the new IT Rules for the last several months.
Earlier, the government launched ‘Koo’ — an Indian version of the microblogging platform Twitter. Koo positions itself as a microblogging platform meant for local language users. Twitter has been facing flak from the government for refusing to comply with new IT rules.