Called ‘BharOS,’ this software can be installed on commercial off-the-shelf handsets and provides a secure environment for users.
“BharOS Services are currently being provided to organisations that have stringent privacy and security requirements, and whose users handle sensitive information that requires confidential communications on restricted apps on mobiles. Such users require access to private cloud services through private 5G networks,” IIT-M said in a statement.
The BharOS was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which has been incubated by IIT Madras and Pravartak Technologies Foundation, a Section 8 (Not for Profit) Company established by IIT Madras.
The foundation is funded by the central government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS).
“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,” V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, said.
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He also added that IIT Madras aims to working closely with many more private industry, government agencies, strategic agencies and telecom service providers to increase the usage and adoption of BharOS.BharOS comes with No Default Apps (NDA) – users are not forced to use apps they may not be familiar with or 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,” Karthik Ayyar, director, JandK Operations said.
BharOS provides 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.