BharOS, the homegrown operating system that was successfully tested by Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Dharmendra Pradhan on January 24, is based on a Linux kernel, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras director V Kamakoti.
The Linux kernel is the main component of the open-source Linux operating system developed by Finnish software engineer Linus Tovalds. Android, too, is a derivative of the Linux kernel. Lots of customisation including security protocols, such as root of trust and chain of trust modifications have been done to create BharOS.
The BharOS was developed by JandK Operations Private Limited (JandKops), which has been incubated by IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation, a Section 8 (Not for Profit) Company established by IIT Madras.
This BharOS is being promoted by the Indian government as an indigenous mobile operating system. BharOS a "Made in India operating system", which was an important step towards fulfilling the PM's vision of "strong, indigenous and self-reliant digital infrastructure in India".
The core of the BharOS operating system may share similarities with the Android operating system, but the difference in the former lies in how it has been developed on top. For instance, the operating system comes with No Default Apps (NDA). This means that users are not forced to use apps that they may not be familiar with or that they may not trust, a statement from IIT Madras said. This is unlike Android phones where users are forced to choose from Google products such as Google Maps, Chrome and so on.
IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, "The challenge begins today. I don't want to get tired. There will be lots of difficulties; and there are many people around the world who do not want a system like this to succeed. So we have to be very careful, cautious and persistent and we have to continue working on making it successful.
Sources said that WhatsApp and an Indian navigation and map app called Mappls (MapmyIndia) were running smoothly on phones running the BharOS operating system.
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