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Sandes, an Indian alternative to WhatsApp messaging service, is expected to launch in India soon. According to reports, the testing for the app has already been started. The name of the app Sandes is derived from a Hindi word of same name meaning ‘message’. The Government of India had announced the app last year and it is currently in the testing phase, and is almost ready. It is being told that in the initial phase it is being used only by the government officials and soon it will be rolled out for everyone. Although no information has been provided about the rollout of the app in India, but if you go to the gims.gov.in portal, you can see a page named ‘sandes’. The app would have all the features that one would find in any instant messaging app. In this, users would also be able to use voice and data features as well.

The National Informatics Center, a branch of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, handles the backend of this app. According to a report, the app will be available for both Android and iOS platforms. If users try to sign the app through LDAP sign-in, OTP sign-in and sandes web, they’ll get a pop-up that reads, ‘This authentication method is for authorized government officials only.

As per the reports, the government had asked Whatsapp to withdraw the change in its service and privacy policy, which was being done exclusively for Indian users.The central government had told the Delhi High Court that this different treatment of Indian and European users by WhatsApp regarding privacy policy is a matter of concern for the country. WhatsApp decided to implement its new policy from 8 February, but later it was extended to 15 May, owing to the backlash it received. However, WhatsApp later clarified that Facebook and WhatsApp cannot see users’ personal data, and are protected from end-to-end encryption. And the new policy was only for business accounts.

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