BharOS, India’s first indigenous mobile operating system developed by an IIT Madras-incubated firm has become a ‘buzzword’. The homegrown operating system is said to be a rival of Android and is aimed to reduce dependence on foreign OS and promote the use of local technology. On Tuesday, Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Dharmendra Pradhan tested the system and called it a step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a “strong, indigenous, and self-reliant digital infrastructure in India”.
Developed by JandK Operations Limited, BharOS is an Indian government-funded project for a free and open-source operating system (OS). The system prioritizes the privacy and security of the users. Unlike iOS and Android, it comes with No Default Apps (NDA). Users can download the apps they want to use.
The project follows an idea to let users have more control over the permissions that apps have on their devices by choosing to only download apps that they trust and need. BharOS provides access to trusted apps from organization-specific Private App Store Services (PASS), which are thoroughly vetted and meet certain security and privacy standards.
BharOS is similar to Google’s Android operating system and is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Whereas, it does not have any similarity to Apple’s proprietary OS, iOS.
BharOS can be downloaded and run on all commercial off-the-shelf handsets. However, it is yet now clear as to how it will be made available to smartphone makers and end users, and when. Currently, the OS is being tested by some organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communication on restricted apps on mobiles.