Sandes- India’s new instant messaging platform

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an app called Sandes. This instant messaging platform is similar to WhatsApp. It can be used for any type of communications by anyone. It requires a mobile number or an email id to get registered with the app.

Highlights

  • The need to launch the app was felt to ensure a secure communication between the employees because the “Work from Home” culture has gained the momentum in the backdrop of nationwide lockdown that was imposed in March 2020 amid the spread of Covid-19.
  • NIC released the first version of the app in August 2020.
  • The app can be used by central and state government officials for intra-organisational and inter-organisational communication.
  • This app was initially launched for Android users and mainly for government officers.
  • Later, the service was also extended to iOS users and it is now available for the common public as well.
  • This app is a part of the government strategy to push the use of India-made software.
  • It will help in building an ecosystem of indigenously developed software and products.

Background

The ministry of home affairs in the year 2020 had issued the advisory for the government employees to not use the platforms like Zoom for official communications because of security concerns. Before that, the Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) had also issued an advisory against Zoom with respect to the safety and privacy concerns.

Features

The interface of the application is similar to other applications that are available in the arena. This app has no option to transfer chat history between two platforms. However, the chats on the government instant messaging systems (GIMS) or the Sandes App can be backed up with a users’ email. The app requires a valid mobile number or email id to register the user. It comprises of the features like broadcast message, group making, message forwarding and emojis. It also has an additional safety feature. The platform allows the user to mark the message as confidential. Thus, it makes the recipient aware that the message should not be forwarded to other users.

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