India has been at loggerheads with Facebook-owned WhatsApp over non-traceability of messages.
The government of the country claims that the issue has been keeping authorities from tracking people who spread fake news.
And now, it appears to be taking a page out of WhatsApp's book itself, working on its own encrypted messaging app.
Here's all about it.
'Government Instant Messaging Service' for communications
As first reported by Entrackr, the Indian government is developing a WhatsApp-like instant messaging app to enable safe internal communication via smartphones.
The platform, dubbed 'Government Instant Messaging Service' or 'GIMS', is being designed with full encryption so that all the official conversations remain fully confidential and secure inside a closed box and no one from the outside can access them.
GIMS being tested by government organizations
GIMS has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which is known to have developed several government apps and websites, and is being piloted by several organizations at this stage.
This includes the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Indian Navy, CBI, the Indian Railways as well as the state governments of Odisha and Gujarat.
Eventually, it will roll out for central and state governments
Once the testing is done, which is expected to happen by the end of this year, NIC will roll out GIMS for most, if not all, organizations across the central and state governments.
It will be available for Android and iOS devices, but will be launched only in Hindi and English in the beginning.
After that, support for more local languages will be added.
Goal is to stop information leaks
Eventually, the government wants to use this app as a way to prevent confidential information leaks that have been happening through social media platforms.
To recall, the Indian Army has already asked its personnel to not share official communication through Facebook or WhatsApp while the government had asked people to refrain from sharing sensitive information via several Chinese apps, including SHAREit, WeChat, and Weibo.