Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has recently launched an Indigenous Mobile Operating System called ‘BharOS’. BharOS is asoftware that can be installed on ‘commercial off-the-shelf handsets. BharOS aims at contributing to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Ashwini Vaishnaw took part during its launch and tested the OS.

“Poor people of the country will be the main beneficiary of a strong, indigenous, dependable and self-reliant digital infrastructure. ‘BharOS’ is a successful step towards data privacy,” Pradhan said.

Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted: ”Tested Indian ‘Operating System’ - BharOS developed at @iitmadras with @dpradhanbjp Ji; A leap forward in PM @narendramodi Ji’s #AatmanirbharBharat journey.”

Incubated at the IIT Madras, BharOS has been developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops).

How does BharOS work?

BharOS services have already been handed out to few a organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles. To use BharOS, users require access to private 5G networks.

BharOS comes with No Default Apps (NDA). NDA means that users are not forced to use apps that they may not be familiar with or that they may not trust. In addition, the 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.

BharOS is said to provide access to trusted apps from organisation-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 organisations.

How is BharOS different from iOS or Android OS?

BharOS also also offers Native Over The Air (NOTA) updates like Android, which means software updates will be automatically downloaded and installed on the device.

BharOS is technically based on Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It is more equivalent to Android than iOS. The only difference is that BharOS does not support Google service, and allows users to install their own apps.

Release date

There is yet no confirmation from IIT Madras as to when will BharOS roll out for the smartphones and debut in the Indian market.