Indian govt.’s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

Indian govt.’s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

Summary: The Indian government's plans for an indigenous operating system has gained momentum and now has a dedicated team of 50 software engineers from the defense organization.

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The Indian government seems to be taking security risks posed by Western services quite seriously. There have been several reports of the government’s IT infrastructure being targeted. A few months back, the Indian government officials made public their plans of developing their own operating system. Back in February, a task force comprising of personnel from the Prime Minister’s Office, Defense, Home, Telecomm Ministries was assigned to the project.

An official said, "A sanitized, lower level operating system and application software may be preferred to the advanced versions, which necessarily require access to internet for upgrades." The government has ensured that computers with sensitive data or connected to crucial networks do not have Internet access thereby reducing possible cyber threats.

India’s security agency, the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) has been working on the operating system and has setup a software development center in the nation’s capital. A dedicated work force of 50 software professionals will be working from Bangalore and Delhi. The team will be coordinating with Indian IT companies and institutes like the IIT on developing the operating system.

The DRDO Director General Dr. VK Saraswat  talking about the project said, "There are many gaps in our software areas; particularly we don't have our own operating system. So, in today's world where you have tremendous requirements of security on whatever you do...economy, banking and defense...it's essential that you need to have an operating system."

The on-going discussions with RIM to be able to access encrypted Blackberry emails are part of an effort to ensure India is better equipped to handle the new age security threats.

Topics: IT Employment, CXO, Government, Government US, Operating Systems, Software

Manan Kakkar

About Manan Kakkar

Telecommunication engineer with a keen interest in end-user technology and a News junkie, I share my thoughts while preparing for my Master's in Information Management.

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30 comments
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  • 50 software professionals to develop an OS, not 5000. Microsoft, take note!

    I have always wondered what was keeping busy the thousands of people employed by the windoze division. Now I know.<br><br>They are mostly fighting bloody internal turf wars that drain their energy to a level where you need one hundred developers to do the work of just one.<br><br>After all, as the Indians are showing us, it takes only 50 to develop an OS from scratch, and a safe one too.

    <b style="font-size:130%">Boooo</b>, Microsoft. Move to India, you'll be much better there.
    OS Reload
    • RE: Indian govt.?s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

      Everything is possible for Bhartiya, do you know how many bhartiya are working in Microsoft, I think we have no need of 50 professionals, 5 bhartiya professional are enough to do this silly thing.

      Why we are not trusting on our abilities, Why we are always thinking we are not good in technology.

      Bharat is more then 1,00,00,000 Years old. we discover several thing that others never think even. such a great knowledge we have form past.

      I always appreciatedate,
      zaap.zone@...
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    hahah! Well the OS these guys will be having won't be doing half things Windows does!
    Manan Kakkar
    • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

      @Manan Kakkar <br>Do not under estimate the power of indians! (although I guess you are right about the capability of the os).<br>But the point is that these systems will be much harder to break into as<br><br>1. No/Limited public documentation of internals of the os<br>2.No /Limited third party extensions (less attack surface)<br>3. No compatibility concerns ; you can cook up the os with the latest tech without the fear of breaking anything.<br>etc,
      g@...
      • Security by obscurity does not work.

        @g@...

        Lack of source code or documented internals hasn't helped Windows' security one little bit. And there are <b> always</b> compatibility concerns as soon as you deploy something in a production system. The only difference here would be the scope of the breakage would be limited to India only.
        Zogg
    • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

      @Manan Kakkar & you say it as if there's something wrong with that
      alfielee@...
      • RE: Indian govt.?s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

        @alfielee@... it was meant as a light hearted joke. :|
        Manan Kakkar
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    Its depressing to see the level of technological illiteracy among our leadership. Writing your own OS is not something to be taken up lightly. No other government in the world is attempting this task.
    fudar
    • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

      @fudar
      Then you must have a look at chinese govt. High time to have a customized version of linux/BSD for indian militery I suppose. If they choose Windows then God must help them.
      babscontact@...
      • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

        @babscontact@... I think there is this belief that to be accepted as a truly self-sufficient & successful nation Indians believe they have to move away from the religious stereotypes that linger. Choosing Windows will be a huge fail. Make your own Linux version. Much easier to do & more software & hardware that you can also modify.
        alfielee@...
      • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

        @babscontact
        Sounds like you don't understand what an "OS" actually entails. The Chinese are customizing Linux. The Indians are creating their own OS from scratch: "source code and architecture will be proprietary". These are not the same thing at all.
        vapier
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    Well, China, NK and several other governments have their own OS. I'm optimistic. The IITs and DRDO are a bunch of really smart people.
    Manan Kakkar
    • But smarter than the rest of the World combined?

      @Manan Kakkar<br><br>Linux and BSDs are developed by a <b>global</b> pool of programming talent, which probably already includes many smart people from India. People who think that they are smarter than the rest of the World combined are setting themselves up for a very big and expensive fall.<br>
      BTW, isn't China's own OS called "Red Flag <b>Linux</b>"?
      Zogg
      • RE: Indian govt.?s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

        @Zogg huh? What's your point exactly?
        Manan Kakkar
      • Two points, actually.

        @Manan Kakkar<br><br>Firstly: It doesn't matter how smart the guys at the IITs and DRDO are, because the <i>best</i> they can hope to achieve is duplicating the efforts of a group of people who are almost certainly smarter. (And that's an optimistic estimate, BTW.) In fact, this sounds like yet another example of "Not Invented Here":<br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Invented_Here" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_Invented_Here</a><br><br><i>"As a social phenomenon, "Not Invented Here" syndrome is manifested as an unwillingness to adopt an idea or product because it originates from another culture, a form of nationalism."</i><br><br>Secondly: China didn't make this mistake when it created its own OS - it started with the Linux kernel.
        Zogg
      • RE: Indian govt.?s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

        @Zogg just to be clear I have a gut feeling that these guys will be using the *nix kernel as well.
        Manan Kakkar
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    www. voguecatch.com/index.asp
    www. voguecatch.com/productlist.asp?baseid=41&bid=568
    jocaso
  • Yeah, sure ...

    Fifty bucks says they wind up with a fork of something like Linux or Free BSD. Even Apple--one of the world's largest manufacturers of personal computers--realized that when they needed a new operating system it wasn't feasible to develop a new, modern, fully-functional operating system from scratch.

    And, realistically, they can't develop an entire communications infrastructure based on "proprietary" protocols. They are going to have to be able to transfer data to and from industry-standard formats. Do they plan to develop custom weather-radar systems, imaging systems, image-processing hardware, etc? And who is going to develop anti-malware software?

    Plus, Microsoft and open-source basically copy ideas from each other. Even if they put 1,000 people on development, that is a drop in the bucket when it comes to a new operating system AND custom software for all the applications, etc. After all, if they are going to simply take open source applications and write a programming interface to their operating system (like Wine to run Windows applications under Linux) the applications will still be vulnerable to attack.
    Rick_R
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    Microsoft will be sueing them for every single bit of that software.
    Good luck guys, hope you pull it off.
    MoeFugger
  • RE: Indian govt.s plans for indigenous operating system gather momentum

    Dude's
    you are all forgettting one thing...India has a very rich talent of Software Engineers.so i dont think that India cant develop an OS, but it may not match that of Windows or Linux or Apple, hope it would be better than others of same type.
    sudhirrssk@...