The Pegasus spyware on WhatsApp was recently used to snoop on private chats of prominent Indian citizens including politicians, lawyers, and journalists. In the wake of rising cybersecurity concerns, the Indian government is working on an instant messaging platform, just like WhatsApp. Dubbed GIMS app, the messaging app expands to Government Instant Messaging Service.
GIMS App: Features
The messaging app is believed to up the communications between government officials and also boost confidentiality and security. GIMS is being developed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). According to a report by Financial Express, the GIMS app is expected to roll out later this year.
GIMS App By Indian Government
Going into the details, the new messaging platform is built using an open-source solution for both iOS and Android platforms. From the looks of it, it's very similar to WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms, readily available for everyone to use.
The app will reportedly offer a unified messaging platform that's being built by the National Informatics Center. NIC is the key center for providing the IT infrastructure for the government and works under MeitY.
GIMS Messaging App
GIMS will support up to 11 regional languages apart from support for English and Hindi languages. The interface with support for other languages will roll out after the initial launch, which includes only English and Hindi language support
GIMS Pilot Project
The report further notes that the GIMS platform will connect all the employees and officials working at both central and state governments. The state government officials have the option to exercise discretion. Currently, the pilot tests for the messaging app is being conducted where 6,600 officials from various organizations have reportedly exchanged about 20 lakh messages.
The pilot test, being conducted by MeitY, includes the participation of 17 governmental organizations. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), MeitY, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Indian Navy, and Indian Railways among others have signed up for the pilot test. On the state level, the governments of Odisha and Gujurat are also taking part in the pilot project.