IIT Madras develops indigenous mobile operating system-BharOS

Called 'BharOS,' this mobile operating system can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets and provide robust and secure interface for users

D2M technology

Chennai: Union education and skill development minister Dharmendra Pradhan along with electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw successfully tested the ‘BharOS’, a Made In India mobile operating system (OS) developed by IIT Madras today.

Pradhan said that the poor people of the country will be the main beneficiary of a strong, indigenous, dependable & self-reliant digital infrastructure. He said that promoting policy enablers with the whole of the government approach and ‘BharOS’ is a successful step towards data privacy.

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“The successful test of ‘BharOS’ – the Made in India mobile OS is an important initiative towards fulfilling the country’s vision of a strong, indigenous & self-reliant digital infrastructure in India,” he added.

Called ‘BharOS,’ this software can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets. It provides a secure environment for users and is a significant contribution towards ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat.’

BharOS services are currently being provided to organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles. Such users require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks.

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The BharOS was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which has been incubated by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation, a Section 8 (Not for Profit) Company established by IIT Madras. The foundation is funded by the department of science and technology (DST), government of India, under its national mission on interdisciplinary cyber-physical systems (NMICPS).

Addressing a press conference on January 19 to announce this Indian mobile OS, V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, said, “BharOS service is a mobile OS built on a foundation of trust, with a focus on providing users more freedom, control, and flexibility to choose and use only the apps that fit their needs. This innovative system promises to revolutionise the way users think about security and privacy on their mobile devices.”

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BharOS comes with no default apps, which means that users are not forced to use apps that they may not be familiar with or that they may not trust. Additionally, this approach allows users to have more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, as they can choose to only allow apps that they trust to access certain features or data on their device.

Elaborating further, Karthik Ayyar, director, JandK Operations Pvt Ltd., the start-up that developed this mobile OS, said, “In addition, BharOS offers ‘Native Over The Air’ (NOTA) updates that can help to keep the devices secure. NOTA updates are automatically downloaded and installed on the device, without the need for the user to manually initiate the process. This ensures that the device is always running the latest version of the operating system, which includes the latest security patches and bug fixes. With NDA, PASS, and NOTA, BharOS ensures that Indian mobile phones are trustworthy.”

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