Indians can soon go vocal on a local version of Zoom.
In line with the push towards greater self-reliance, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) is developing a secure videoconferencing platform for use by the government and the courts. One version will be made available for the public.
India’s own videoconferencing software will come on the back of the locally made Aarogya Setu, an app to track the spread of Covid-19, and Samvaad, a domestic alternative to WhatsApp.
C-DoT’s videoconferencing platform will expand on all features of overseas rivals Zoom and Microsoft Teams and is almost ready for deployment, senior government officials familiar with the matter told ET.
The need for an indigenous platform was felt during the Covid-19 outbreak, which resulted in a nationwide lockdown. Given the likelihood of the “new normal” in the post-coronavirus era, VCs would be required for the functioning of most government departments and the courts.
“It will be on a government of India server,” said one official, alluding to concerns over alleged cyber-snooping for other similar products.
The home ministry warned against the use of Zoom last month on account of security concerns, after which the government launched a public hackathon to develop an indigenous VC facility.
While the government received almost 2,000 applications for the hackathon, the state-owned C-DoT developed its own VC platform.
“With all public and private communication going to the VC channel, we quickly needed to develop an easy, safe and highly secure indigenous platform and this is almost ready for deployment,” the official said.
Apart from a host, moderator and participants, the indigenous VC platform will have a “waiting room” from where those wanting to join the online meeting will be lin by the moderator. It will also enable presentations to be shared directly on the screens of the participants.
The government’s other product – social messaging app Samvaad – will be available in two versions: one for the public and one for high-level government communication, another senior official said.