THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT wants to write its own PC operating system (OS) rather than rely on Western technologies.
India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) wants to build an OS, primarily so India can own the source code and architecture. That will mean the country won't have to rely on Western operating systems that it thinks aren't up to the job of thwarting cyber attacks. The DRDO specifically wants to design and develop its own OS that is hack-proof to prevent sensitive data from being stolen.
According to the Economic Times in India, the DRDO already has most of the infrastructure to build the OS in place. It has 50 scientists and IT specialists located in New Delhi and Bangalore spearheading a national effort to create the OS.
Dr V K Saraswat, scientific adviser to the Defence Minister said that the OS was needed to protect India's economic framework.
"In today's world where you have tremendous requirements of security on whatever you do ... economy, banking and defence ... it's essential that you need to have an operating system," said Saraswat.
"The only way to protect it is to have a home-grown system, the complete architecture ... source code is with you and then nobody knows what's that," he added.
Sify also reported Saraswat's comments that the OS will be proprietary.
"Though it will be a real-time system with Windows software, source code and architecture will be proprietary, giving us the exclusivity of owning a system unknown to foreign elements and protect our security system," he added.
The news comes as the Indian government, like others, has been leaning on RIM so it can access communications on Blackberry smartphones.
We cannot help but both admire such an ambitious undertaking and wonder how well the Indian government has really thought all this out. We also imagine that it might be a few years before it will be worth asking whether India has actually gotten anywhere with this project. µ