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October 12, 2010

India Plans Indigenous Operating System to Thwart Cyber Attacks

Concerned about a rapid rise in cyber attacks in the country, India has decided to develop its own indigenous computer operating system to thwart Internet crimes and sensitive network disruptions. This comes soon after the Indian government’s plan to develop security chips for critical industries.

Toward that goal, as per the reports in the newspaper “The Hindu,” India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has set up software development centers in Bangalore and New Delhi. It will be collaborating with software companies in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi, as well as academic institutions such as Indian Institute of Science Bangalore and IIT Chennai.

“TheDRDO is working on creating a futuristic computing system, including India's own operating system, said V.K. Saraswat, scientific adviser to the defense minister and DRDO director-general, in a press conference.

After inaugurating the DRDO Transit Facility in Bangalore last week, Saraswat said, “We do not have our own operating system. Today, various bodies, including banks and defense establishments, need security. Having our own operating system will help us prevent hacking of our systems,” the Hindu reported.

Initially, about 25 scientists will work at each of these centers. In addition, a series of indigenously-built military satellites with surveillance imaging and navigation capabilities were being launched.

The scientific adviser also indicated that the new operating system would also have commercial use. “With a home-grown system, the source code will be with us and it helps in securing our systems,” he added. According to the Hindu, the Indian project is fairly costly. However, no further details on finance and timeframe were provided.

Last July, the government unveiled plans to invest $200 million in the design and development of its own microprocessor. This was prompted by cyber attacks from outside the country on military, telecom and space networks.


Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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