For the past few months, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is locked in a court battle with the Indian government over the issue of traceability of messages on its platform. The defence ministry has also recently red-flagged the use of social networking apps.
To facilitate and transfer official communications with full confidentiality and security, the government is now all set to launch its own instant messaging service for mobile phones by the end of this year.
This messaging platform which would be named ‘Government Instant Messaging Service’ or GIMS is being developed by the National Informatics Centre, which is known to provide infrastructure to help support the delivery of Government IT services.
Currently, GIMS is going through pilot tests by various government organizations such as the ministry of electronics and information technology, Indian Navy, CBI and the Indian Railways. The states of Odisha and Gujarat have also participated in the beta testing, said a Financial Express report.
Once the app is rolled out, it would be used by both central and state governments as it is being developed through an open-source solution.
GIMS, which is available for both Android and iOS platforms, would initially go-live in English and Hindi followed by other local languages.
This move will help the country to facilitate official communications with full confidentiality and prevent the loss of information through social media.
Two months back, the Indian Army had also asked its top personnel to stay away from the social networking site Facebook and not share official communication through its messaging app WhatsApp.
Earlier, the government had also warned against sharing sensitive information on 36 Chinese-owned or linked apps including Weibo, WeChat, SHAREit, UC News, and UC Browser as they are either spyware or malware and can be used against the country.