Sandes App, Indian government’s alternative to WhatsApp

by Sandeep Maurya
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Sandes is the  Alternative to WhatsApp Made by the Government of India. The app is called GIMS, short for ‘Government Instant Messaging System.

Back in 2020, The Government had revealed plans to develop a WhatsApp-like messaging platform. Apparently, the application is ready and is being tested by officials in several ministries. Government officials have reportedly started using an Indian alternative to WhatsApp, which goes by the name of Sandes.

What is Sandes app?

Sandes, Indian government's alternative to WhatsApp

Sandes app is India’s answer to WhatsApp. It has been developed indigenously with features similar to modern-day messaging platforms. That said, Sandes wasn’t the preferred choice of name for the app. Ever since the Centre revealed its plans to develop a WhatsApp-like messaging platform last year, it was expected to be called GIMS, an abbreviation for Government Instant Messaging System. However, this system has been christened Sandes, as confirmed by the official GIMS website, gims.gov.in.

Sandes, Indian government's alternative to WhatsApp
Sandes, Indian alternative to WhatsApp

Who can use Sandes app?

Sandes is government’s instant messaging system and, as of now, only government officials are allowed to use the Indian WhatsApp alternative. The app’s official website has ways to access the messaging service through LDAP, sign-in with Sandes OTP, and Sandes web. However, clicking on any of these options throws a message that reads, “This authentication method is applicable for authorised government officials.”

Will Sandes app get a public roll out?

There has been no word on that as of now. However, the public rollout of Sandes app cannot be ruled out. The government could keep the messaging app exclusive to its officials or make it available for all after initial runs.

Sandes app features and supported devices

Sandes reportedly works on both iOS and Android platforms. In addition to sending data messages, the app is also said to offer support for voice calls over the internet.

Who owns Sandes app?

Sandes app is a Government of India entity. The National Informatics Centre (NIC), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, looks after the backend and infrastructure of the app.

Sandes app features and supported devices

Sandes reportedly works on both iOS and Android platforms. In addition to sending data messages, the app is also said to offer support for voice calls over the internet.

Since the gates of the messaging app are currently shut for common man, that’s all we know so far!

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