IIT Madras launches privacy-focused BharOS for mobile phones

JandK Operations (JandKops), an IIT Madras-incubated firm, has announced the launch of a new mobile operating system called ‘BharOS.’ This is a privacy-focused operating system that can be installed on commercially available handsets. This announcement reinforced Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative even more.

The indigenous mobile OS includes No Default Apps (NDA), which means users are not forced to use apps they are unfamiliar with or do not trust. This approach allows users to have more control over the permissions that apps have on their device, says JandKops

BharOS gives individual businesses access to apps curated by private app store services (PASS). More specifically, the firm claims that the PASS allows access to a hand-picked collection of apps that have been verified as being compliant with the needs of the business in terms of privacy and security.

Apart from this information, JandKops has shared screenshots of the OS, implying that it is based on the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP). Like other operating systems, devices running BharOS will get OTA (over the air) updates. Other aspects of the operating system remain unknown.

BharOS Services are currently available to businesses that require strict privacy and security standards. We should learn more about this operating system once it is widely adopted.

Regarding the announcement, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said,

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.

IIT Madras looks forward to working closely with many more private industry, Government agencies, Strategic agencies and Telecom Service Providers to increase the usage and adoption of BharOS in our Country.

Regarding the Indian OS, Karthik Ayyar, Director, JandK Operations Pvt Ltd., the start-up that developed this Mobile Operating System, said,

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.