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Sandes and Samvad undergo testing for secure internal messaging

Alok Parekh

Sandes and Samvad under testing process

The government of India has been trying, for quite a few years now, to develop the Indian substitute of the foreign Social Media messaging application WhatsApp. Finally, now, after facing numerous controversies, conspiracies, and considering several attempts, the government is running tests for two messaging applications for internal use. The platforms are called Sandes and Samvad. The two apps have been developed by two different departments of the Indian government and are presently being checked prior to the final launch of the two applications.

The people who have some knowledge about the development of these platforms have said that the main motive behind building them is to allow an immediate system for messaging, which is secure. With the development of made-in-India apps like Sandes and Samvad, it would become possible to not be dependent upon foreign-owned apps like Signal, WhatsApp, etc.
The former is being built by the technology department of the government, the National Informatics Centre, which operates under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). The application Sandes was available on Google App Store for a few days, but then it was taken back from the Store. It is now available for download in the Apple App Store. Samvad, on the contrary, is being built by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), which further operates under the Ministry of Communications.
Sandes app permits encrypted texting, chatting in groups, or having access to different teams of the government. Once the app is installed and downloaded on a device, it informs the person that he/she can "connect with verified government colleagues and officers securely", "auto delete encrypted messages and mark them confidential. Data is protected by highest security protocol".

A person who knows about the plans that revolve around the launching of Sandes and Samvad said, “The idea is to have secure communications for government employees. Both the apps are being tested at present but there are no concrete plans as yet. We may open one for the public and one for official use, or keep both for use by officials, but these are just possibilities."


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