Not many takers for desi WhatsApp
Sandes has all features similar to WhatsApp messenger and can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone with a mobile number or an email address.
NEW DELHI: The government has approached the MPs in both the houses to download an instant messaging platform, ‘Sandes’, and start using it for internal communications but many have turned it down citing privacy issues.
Developed and launched by National Informatics Centre (NIC), the IT wing of the government in mid-2021, Sandes can initially be accessed by agencies associated with the government and by lawmakers.
Experts from the NIC have reached out to MPs to download it. A team sits in Parliament house to assist MPs in using the platform which is seen as an indigenous alternative to the popular global messaging service WhatsApp.
Sandes has all features similar to WhatsApp messenger and can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone with a mobile number or an email address. But the MPs are reluctant to download the app. “They approached me to download it and I asked them how do they rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 as compared to WhatsApp and the team started smiling at me. Why should I download it just because the government wants to test an indigenous platform,” said a Rajya Sabha MP.
Few MPs also expressed privacy concerns related to the app and that this could be used as another means to snoop on them. Sandes, the Government Instant Messaging System, is an open source, cloud enabled, end to end encrypted open source platform hosted on the GoI’s Data Centre.