Indian government launches App challenge to build Zoom Alternative video conferencing app

The central government of India has announced an innovation challenge for the development of a video conferencing app that is made in India as an alternative to zoom app and the winner will get prize money of Rs. 1 crore to take home. The innovation challenge has been introduced Due to the security reason as security issues have been highlighted in the popular Zoom video-conferencing app.

“Innovation Challenge for Development of Video Conferencing App” has been introduced by the government to provide the security facilities to the Workers who wear working from Home (WFH) seeing the companies concern as 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. Seen all these things Central government decided to build a make in India Video Conferencing app.

Till now Zoom was the only preferred video conferencing app that people and companies are using to conducting meetings from home as their employees are working from home. Even the government official meeting Zoom app was used, Several High Courts in India have conducted hearings on Zoom. But soon the app was banned by Zoom was earlier banned by several technologies companies and government like Google, Tesla and the Taiwan government among others. Last week only the government issued an advisory cautioning against using Zoom app and said that it is “unsafe”. The Cyber Coordination Centre of Home Ministry (CyCord)  said that the app should not be used by a government official as it is unsafe and they should not use it due to security concerns. Earlier, CERT-In, India’s nodal agency that deals with cyber-security threats in India also warned about Zoom video conferencing app and said that it may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Several Giant Companies like Google and Standard Chartered have asked their employees to not use the Zoom app. US Senate also asked the senators to refrain from using the app.

As due to outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, country India is under lockdown, as almost one-third of Indians people are working from home, so it is very necessary to have a conferencing app to conduct the meeting and sharing online information. That why the Central government wants the developers to come up with an app that is both safe and helps people in carrying out the work seamlessly. The government’s primary concern is to focus on privacy because a lot of data is exposed online when companies conduct meetings over video conferring apps and with a mild mistake company can lose all their data or become targets of hackers. So Central government have announced a challenge to build a video conferring apps with a lot of privacy and even the government is providing a price of 1 Crore to the winner.

The registration for the competition has started on the government’s website on April 13 and the last date to submit the application for this challenge is April 30. The results will be announced by the government on July 29 and whoever is successful in creating a video conferencing app, will be given the prize money of Rs 1 crore.

A few guidelines have been listed by the Government that a developer or a company should be known before moulding the platform.

  • Should support all video resolutions and audio quality, should work in low and high network scenarios
  • Should be low on the usage of power/ processor
  • Should not have any external hardware dependency
  • Should work on any device
  • Should have chat option during the conference, even the multi people conference
  • Should have sign-in and non-sign-in options to join a conference
  • Should have capabilities to host multiple concurrent conferences having multiple participants in each conference

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