An Indian mobile operating system called BharOS has been developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which is a Section 8 (not-for-profit) Company established by IIT Madras. The new operating system is being provided to organizations that have stringent privacy and security requirements, where users handle sensitive information and require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks.
The BharOS has been developed with funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS). The goal of the project is to put India on par with the few countries that currently possess such capabilities.
Features of BharOS include access to trusted apps from organization-specific Private App Store Services (PASS), which provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and have met certain security and privacy standards of organizations. BharOS also comes with No Default Apps (NDA) which means that users are not forced to use apps that they may not be familiar with or that they may not trust.
No Default Apps means no Google or other app tracking your activity all the time. It is essential for organizations where privacy is main concern, such as Government Officers who handle sensitive data, security forces and other private firms which are concerned about privacy of their employees.
Additionally, this approach allows users to have more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, as they can choose to only allow apps that they trust to access certain features or data on their device. BharOS also offers ‘Native Over The Air’ (NOTA) updates that can help to keep the devices secure.
The National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) aims to address the threat to jobs, security and strategic requirements that the new industrial revolution poses. The goal is to ensure opportunity by generating new directions and training. The areas of focus could be in various Major Technologies like Big Data, Manufacturing, and Quantum Communication. Train youth at all levels, develop Incubators and start-ups in these areas and set up Top Level Challenges. Push commercialisation around innovative MSMEs and ensure diffusion Industry 4.0 through Manufacturing and Services. Where necessary, there will be collaborations internationally.
While the new mobile operating system promises to revolutionize the way users think about security and privacy on their mobile devices, no details have been provided on what features it provides to make it easier to use the device in their day-to-day life. Additionally, it is also unclear when the operating system will be available to the general public, as developers have made it clear that it will remain limited to specific organizations.