India Launches Mobile Operating System in Self-Reliance Pursuit

TECHNOLOGY

India unveiled a mobile operating system that it claimed was safer than Android from Alphabet Inc. and intended for use in high-security settings. It was developed at one of India’s top engineering colleges.

BharOS, which stands for Bharat, or India’s operating system, does not include any pre-installed applications and only grants access to reputable apps from private store services. The director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Professor V. Kamakoti, stated that this operating system is based on Linux.

The local operating system is yet another step in the direction of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of being self-sufficient in everything, from chip-fabrication facilities to 5G telecommunications equipment. During the unveiling, federal Education and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan stated that the poor in India will be major beneficiaries of this digital infrastructure.

BharOS is released at the same time that India has fined Google $160 million in an antitrust case for abusing its dominant market position for its Android mobile operating system. The country’s competition regulator has also asked the US tech giant to take measures like letting smartphone users use their preferred search engine and uninstalling certain apps.

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In a market dominated by Android, which powers approximately 97% of India’s 620 million smartphones, BharOS will undoubtedly face challenges. The remaining devices utilize iOS from Apple.