After years of pondering and controversies, the Indian government is finally testing not one, but two messaging platforms for its internal dialogue. ‘Sandesh’ and ‘Samvad’ are two apps that have been produced by two different departments of the government and are currently being scrutinized before being finally launched.
According to people with knowledge in this regard, the plan behind this is to have a secure system for instant messaging for government use and not have to depend on any external system, especially on foreign-owned apps like WhatsApp, Signal etc. .
The message is being developed by the Government’s Technology Infrastructure Branch – National Informatics Center under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The message is available for download in the Apple App Store, but it seems that after being available on the Google Play Store for a few days it has been removed from there. Dialogue, on the other hand, is not yet available to the general public and is being developed by the Center for Development of Telematics under the Ministry of Communications. A source aware of the plans of these apps said that there are plans to provide safe communication for government employees. Both these apps are currently being tested, but so far there is no concrete plan. We can start one of these for the public and the other for official use or keep both for use by the authorities, but these are only possibilities.
Messaging facilitates encrypted messages and interaction in access to a group or government teams. Once you download this app, it lets you know that you can securely connect with verified government colleagues and officials, automatically delete encrypted messages, and mark them confidentially. Huh. The data is protected by most security protocols.
Advocate Virag Gupta, who pleaded before the Delhi High Court in the KN Govindacharya case after which the social media policy for government officials was notified, said that according to the provisions of the Public Records Act and the Official Secrets Act, a provision for government officials It is necessary to provide a secure digital network. Creating and launching an app for private users is one aspect that needs to be tested for its commercial viability. The framework and guidelines prepared by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for the use of social media for government organizations, states that government agencies can use social media using existing external platforms or by building their own communication platforms Can join.
Waiting for message
While these are problems that will become clearer over time, the trial version of the message on the other hand has some interesting features that Business Standard has observed.
One interesting thing is the use of what is called app developer Gimoji or government emoji. So instead of the usual forms of smile, laughter, cry or emoji (which can also be used in chat), this app has emojis like Approved today, Released today, Re-checked, Clarification required, Issue press note, etc. Messages can be tagged as confidential, priority or auto delete. Unlike WhatsApp, this app does not show everyone who uses it, but only the government employees available on the message. It is very similar to other messaging app signals and there is also an option to join groups on the app and provide feedback.
Login can be done through e-mail or mobile number and a one-time password is sent, whichever way the user enters it. For the past at least a few years, there have been apprehensions about WhatsApp, which is used more widely for communication between individuals.