Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said there would be difficulties in the “aatmanirbhar journey” and there need further developments in the app ecosystem of BharOS.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan (L) and Ashwini Vaishnaw.
By Abhik Sengupta: The Indian government tested the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras-developed BharOS on Tuesday and stated that the next phase would require work on the app ecosystem and self-reliant (aatmanirbhar) chipset. During a briefing, Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Minister for Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Dharmendra Pradhan spoke with Dr KN Satyanarayana of ITT Tirupati, who informed that the BharOS system appeared to be working “very nicely,” adding that it is a great initiative from a system point-of-view. The briefing was conducted days after ITT Madras unveiled the indigenous BharOS to compete with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS for smartphones.
During the brief, Union Minister Vaishnaw said there would be difficulties in the “aatmanirbhar journey,” and many people around the world would “not want any such system to be successful.” He added, “Now we have to work on further development, especially on the app ecosystem (of BharOS) and the chipset that has to become aatmanirbhar.”
The government’s support for a native mobile operating system and chipset comes at a time when India is pursuing an antitrust claim against Google. The government has imposed a fine of $161 million for alleged abuse of a dominant market position in India. Approximately 97 per cent of the Indian smartphone market is made up of phones running on Google’s Android OS.
Moreover, India’s antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has asked Google to make changes to the Android OS to ensure users have more options on apps they want to use on their smartphones. Google appealed to the Supreme Court to block CCI’s order. The company has said it is reviewing the decision and “cooperate with the CCI on the way forward.”
The government is yet to share details on the native chipset that might power future smartphones made in India.
What is BharOS?
IIT Madras recently unveiled the Linux-based BharOS operating system, specifically for smartphone users in India. The mobile operating system is at its nascent stages of development, though the makers assure that the OS focuses on providing users with more freedom, control, and flexibility to choose and use only the apps that suit their needs.
It has three main components – No Default Apps (NDA), Native Over The Air (NOTA), Private App Store Services (PASS), and readers can find more details here.
IIT Madras has revealed that mobile OS can be installed on “commercial off-the-shelf handsets.” All these new initiatives are aimed to accelerate PM Narendra Modi’s digital and self-reliant India vision.
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