NEW DELHI: An Indian company with mentorship from IIT-Madras has come out with an indigenous mobile operating system — BharOS (short for Bharat OS) — that is poised to take on Google Android and Apple iOS with a more secure system.
The OS, launched by communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, aims to enable private enterprises and companies to set up customised operating systems according to their needs. The move comes at a timewhen Google faces legal challenges in India over abuse of dominance and unfair practices in relation to its Android operating system. BharOS was developed by JandK Operations (JandKops), which hasa 30-member team and has been incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras. “Tested Indian ‘Operating System’ — BharOS developed at IIT-Madras. A leap forward in PM Narendra Modi’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat journey,” Vaishnaw said in a tweet.
BharOS does not come with any default apps and gives users access to only trusted apps from private store services. Users are not forced to use apps that they may not be familiar with or that they may not trust. “This is a Linux-based OS,” professor V Kamakoti, director of IIT-Madras said.
“We have a long way to go, but if this happens, monopoly by anybody will go away,” Pradhan said at the BharOS testing event, without naming any companies. “Poor people of the country will be the main beneficiaries of a strong, indigenous, dependable and selfreliant digital infrastructure. BharOS is a successful step towards data privacy. ” The system can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets. BharOS services are currently being provided to organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements.