Indian Government Launches Its Own Messenger, Sandes
Is globalization good when it comes to confidential information? The government of India says no and replies with its own software solutions. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, was the person to represent Sandes, the official messaging app issued by The National Informatics Centre.
The name of the app, Sandes, means simply “message” The app is quite similar to WhatsApp, the most serious difference being that it does not store or share its data outside of India. Its features include private and group chats, photo and video exchanging, voice and video conferences or private calls, and – the most important for its audience – integration with official e-gov applications.
It has some differences from other popular messengers, like WhatsApp. While WhatsApp requires a phone number to register, Sandes can be used with email only. Your email as a part of your identity should be confirmed by the officials, though.
So far, Sandes is only used by government and government-related agency employees. Though it’s available on Google Play and App Store, it can only be installed by Indian citizens. The software is open-source, with its source code available, which ensures there are no backdoors or suspicious modules. It’s been in testing since at least February, and in July 2021, it becomes available for public access.