GoI launched app development challenge to curb cyber attacks

Government of India launched a video conferencing app development challenge for Indian companies with prize money of Rs.1 crore. The innovation challenge has been introduced at a time when security issues have been highlighted in the popular Zoom video-conferencing app.

by Roselet Sheena Merli

Updated: Apr 21, 2020 19:35 IST

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Innovation Challenge

“Innovation Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing Solution” was launched by the Indian government to facilitate Work from Home (WFH). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WFH became a new normal for crores of people in the country. WFH means that a huge amount of information is being shared online, giving rise to concerns over the privacy of the conversations and control over the app and data shared through the app. 

App development program

The app development program started registration on 13 April and the last date for registering is 30 April 2020. 
As the per the specification issued by GoI:

  • The video conferencing app should be able to work on any kind of device, in poor network areas

  • The app should have encrypted communication

  • It should use less power

The results of the government challenge will be announced on 29 July. The winning team will be given Rs.1 crore to deploy the app for use by central and state Governments across India and a certificate by Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

Earlier, CERT-In, India's nodal agency that deals with cyber-security threats, had warned that the Zoom video conferencing app may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Several organizations like Google and Standard Chartered have asked their employees to not use Zoom. US Senate also asked the senators to refrain from using the app.

In India, many employees are using Zoom app as a part of their new WFH routine during the ongoing lockdown announced to contain the coronavirus spread in the country. Several High Courts in India have conducted hearings on Zoom.

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