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IIT Madras incubated Firm develops Indigenous Mobile Operating System

BharOS launch press conference

An Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) incubated firm has developed 'BharOS', an Indigenous Mobile Operating System that can benefit India's 100 crore mobile phone users. The software provides a secure environment for users and can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets.

Currently, BharOS services are available to organizations that have strict privacy and security needs and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobile devices. These users also need access to private cloud services via private 5G networks.

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). It aspires to put India on par with those few countries that currently possess such capabilities.

"BharOS Service is a Mobile Operating System 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," said IIT Madras Director Prof. V. Kamakoti at a press conference.

"IIT Madras looks forward to working closely with many more private industries, Government agencies, Strategic agencies, and Telecom Service Providers to increase the usage and adoption of BharOS in our Country," he added.

The operating system comes with No Default Apps (NDA). This 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.

 "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." said JandK Operations Private Limited Director Karthik Ayyar.

BharOS provides access to trusted apps from organization-specific Private App Store Services (PASS). A PASS provides access to a curated list of apps that have been thoroughly vetted and have met certain security and privacy standards of organizations. This means users can be confident that the apps they are installing are safe to use and have been checked for any potential security vulnerabilities or privacy concerns.

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