IIT Madras develops mobile operating system BharOS

30 Jan 2023


Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras)-incubated firm has developed an Indigenous Mobile Operating System, BharOS,which will be available for commercial use in off-the-shelf handsets. 

Developed by IIT Madras-incubated company JandK Operations (JandKops), BharOS provides a secure environment for users and is a significant contribution towards 'Atmanirbhar Bharat.' 
The OS is meant for privacy and security and has no default apps (NDA). This means that it won’t require people to use any pre-installed apps. This will also help users get more control over the app permissions and only provide the apps with data access permissions if they trust them.
JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which has been incubated by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation, is 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
India has been planning to develop its own operating system to take on widely used Android and iOS. This motive seems to have seen fruition as IIT Madras has come up with the privacy-focused BharOS as part of PM Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. 
Announcing the launch of BharOS on Thursday, Prof V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, during a press conference, said, “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.“
The operating system will also provide native over-the-air updates (NOTA), which will be automatically downloaded and installed on the device without the requirement of any manual work. This process will ensure that the devices running BharOS have the latest update and security patches.
Plus, BharOS will provide access to apps only via organisation-specific Private App Store Services (PASS). The apps will be thoroughly checked for security standards when they are a part of PASS so that users know they are downloading the safe ones. 
“With NDA, PASS, and NOTA, BharOS ensures that Indian mobile phones are trustworthy,“ JandKops’ director, Karthik Ayyar, said.
BharOS is currently being provided to firms that have ‘stringent privacy and security requirements.’ There’s no word on when this will reach the generic user, though.

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