India plans to develop a new computer operating system, with an eye to enhancing the security of its computer systems, a government spokesman said on Monday.
The new operating system is being developed by the country's Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO), Ravi Kumar Gupta, a spokesman for the DRDO, said.
The DRDO is a wing of the country's Ministry of Defence, and has about 50 laboratories specialised in developing technologies in a number of areas including aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing and simulation, special materials, naval systems, life sciences, training, information systems and agriculture.
Although the new operating system will be originally developed for defense applications, it may also be made available to the commercial sector, Gupta said.
Other details of the operating system were not disclosed, including its date of availability.
The decision to develop an operating system has been driven primarily by security concerns, Gupta said.
Having its own operating system will help India prevent hacking of its systems, V.K. Saraswat , scientific adviser to the Defence Minister, and DRDO Director-General said on Saturday, according to media reports. Two software engineering centers are being set up for this purpose in Bangalore and New Delhi, he added.
India is tightening on security and the right to interception by the government on various fronts. Its current dispute with Research In Motion for greater access to communications on the BlackBerry network for example reflects its concern that communications are increasingly used by terrorists and other enemies of the country to plan attacks.
It has also introduced rules for telecommunications service providers that require them to buy from vendors who are willing, among other things, to give the government access when required to software source code and engineering designs of their products. The rules are under review after they came in for criticism from some vendors.