Currently, the Sandes platform is only available to authorised government employees
Like WhatsApp, the app offers features like groups, broadcast messages, message forwarding and emojis
While the Sandes app allows users to backup chat histories to a registered email, it does not allow users to change their mobile number or email address registered with the app
The National Informatics Centre has launched its own instant messaging platform called Sandes (meaning ‘Message’) mirroring that of WhatsApp.
Recent weeks and months have seen hugely popular social media and messaging platforms claim headlines for a myriad reasons stemming from patchy policies over content regulation to privacy.
Recently, Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons after it appeared to ignore a directive from the government to suspend several handles that were allegedly propagating misinformation. Moreover, amid accusations that the micro-blogging platform had an anti-right wing bias, a number of politicians and celebrities have also migrated to an Indian alternative named Koo, urging others to follow suit.
What is Sandes?
Currently, the Sandes platform is only available to authorised government employees. In April last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had advised government employees against using communication platforms like Zoom citing safety and privacy issues.
There were some reports that government employees’ data had been compromised as work-from-home protocols entailed hasty adoption of certain technologies. This was believed to have emboldened the government to develop its own secure instant messaging platform, something that had, reportedly, already been in the works for a number of years.
In August 2020, the NIC launched the Sandes app albeit in a different avatar. The app went by the name of GIMS, or Government Instant Messaging System, and as per latest reports, has already been rolled out among some sections of government personnel.