After Koo for taking on Twitter, here comes Sandes to take on WhatsApp

sandesh - made in india app

In the search for creating an equivalent ecosystem to beat the Big Tech companies’ monopoly, Indian companies and the government are stepping up big time. The latest to join the bandwagon is an app named ‘Sandes,’ which is dubbed as an Aatmanirbhar after Koo did a coup by taking on Twitter. This app is a “Made-in-India’ alternative to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

The Indian government unveiled its plans some time back to work on a WhatsApp-chat-like feature app called ‘Sandes.’ It appears that ‘Sandes’ is now ready as ministry officials are testing it.

According to the Business Standards report, some ministries officials have already started using the GIMS or short form for Government Instant Messaging System. Several reports claimed that the government-developed chatting app might be called GIMS. However, the app has now got a desi name – ‘Sandes.’

At the homepage of the government portal www.gims.gov.in, you will see the app’s name and a logo bearing Ashoka Chakra. At the same time, the sign-in option specifies that Sandes is presently available only for all authorized government officials.

This instant messaging platform on the lines of WhatsApp called ‘Sandes’ was launched by ‘The National Informatics Centre’ under the Central government’s MeitY.

The government still has to make any announcement regarding its official launch. But it is expected to roll out soon because of WhatsApp’s deteriorating reputation after the platform forced its revised privacy policies down its users’ throat in January.

According to Whatsapp’s updated user policy, Mark Zuckerberg will get the right to share user’s information with Facebook and other third-party apps. Even worse about this new policy, the latest update comes with the condition that if users refuse to share data with Facebook, they will have to quit using WhatsApp. Thus, in other words, the messaging application is forcing the users to accept a policy that exploits their private data.

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There is always a fear of state secrets and other confidential information leaking out in the public domain — despite WhatsApp boasting about its end-to-end encryption. Thus, it is expected from the Sandes app to remove that problem and help the government officials and the public to chat freely and securely without any strings attached.

The government’s Koo app, launched earlier to take on Twitter, has already been download by more than a million times. It boasts of several high-profile Cabinet ministers and ministries that have shifted to using this app within no time. Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Electronics and IT Minister, and Union Minister Piyush Goyal are the few notable faces with several government departments such as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs MyGovIndia has also taken the plunge. 

Why was the ‘Sandes’ App launched?

The COVID-19 pandemic made the Indian government imposed a nationwide lockdown to prevent its spread, resulting in the ‘work from home concept. At this point, the government realized the need to build a platform like ‘Sandes’ to ensure secure communication between its employees.

Written by: Mannat Manuja || LinkedIn

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