‘Sandes’ a desi alternative of instant messaging app Whatsapp is reportedly being tested by Indian government officials. The instant messaging app was announced last year by the government as an indigenous platform that comes under the Centre’s ‘Digital India’ policy. 

According to a report, officials in Indian ministries have been given the opportunity to use and test the app. The app has an official name called GIMS which stands for ‘Government Instant Messaging System’. The app has a website with a simple user interface with Sandes written in the center. The word Sandes is a Hindi word meaning ‘message’.  

More about Sandes, India’s answer to Whatsapp 

A simple visit to the official GIMS website will tell you how the app will have more than one way of logging in. A user can sign in through the pre-registered email ID or through OTP that they shall receive after they enter their registered mobile number. 

Just how there’s a web-version of Whatsapp by the name of Whatsapp web, sandes also has a similar portal called Sandes Web where a user can chat on the app on their laptops or desktops. On clicking the sign-in method, the website shows a message: “This authentication method is applicable for authorised government officials”. 

The app can run both on iOS and Android devices and works similar to most instant messaging apps and supports voice calls, chat and video calls. The GIMS website reveals that the website is developed by the NIC (National Informatics Centre) that comes directly under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. So far, the NIC has provided the infrastructure to help in the delivery of the Indian government’s official IT services and its Digital India initiatives.  

Why is Sandes relevant as a WhatsApp alternative? 

The timing of this news is quite interesting. Whatsapp recently was under severe scrutiny by the Indian masses after it updated its terms and conditions which enables it to share data with the parent company Facebook. Wary of the coming privacy issues, users have been on the lookout for a new instant messaging application.  

Barring all the privacy issues, social media companies in India have also been accused of exhibiting what could be an anti-India bias. The concern triggered the Indian Electronics and IT Ministry to jump to Koo. Koo is an indigenous Made-in-India Twitter alternative. So far, MyGov, Digital India, India Post, NIC, Common Services Center, Digi Locker, CMET have their verified handles on Koo.   

The transition to the Made-in-India Twitter alternative Koo also came after the Government took action against Twitter for failing to comply with its orders on removing the plethora of anti-India accounts.  

Also Watch: Updated Privacy Policy of WhatsApp


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