Government to help create Desi rival to Google Android and Apple iOS

The government plans to come up with a policy that will facilitate an ecosystem for industry to create a native operating system as an alternative to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Computers Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Monday.

Now, mobile phones are dominated by two operating systems – Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS which also drive the hardware ecosystem, the minister told PTI in an interview.

“There is no third party. Therefore, in many ways, MeitY and the Indian government are very interested in creating a new handset operating system. We are talking to people. We are looking at a policy for that,” Chandrasekhar said.

He said the government is looking for capabilities within the start-up and academic ecosystems for the development of an indigenous operating system (OS).

The operating system is the main software of any computer and mobile device that integrates the entire hardware and software system for efficient operation of the operating system.

“If there is real capacity, we will be very interested in developing this area, as it will create an alternative to iOS and Android, which an Indian brand can then develop,” Chandrasekhar said.

The Minister said that most policies and political tools are being reviewed in the context of the revamped goals and ambitions.

“It is important to have clear objectives. Once we have clear objectives and what we need to achieve, all policies and actions will be consistent with that,” Chandrasekhar said.

He and Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw released the second volume of Electronic Manufacturing Vision Paper prepared by industry body ICEA whose members include Apple, Lava, Foxconn, Dixon, etc.

The document details a roadmap to reach $300 billion in electronics manufacturing in the country by 2026 from the current level of $75 billion.

“This report is very specific and talks about where $300 billion is going to come from, what industry needs to do and what government needs to do. It’s an example of how industry and government should setting targets for the country. Manufacturing will be USD 300 billion and exports worth USD 120 billion will take place. This is the target of the Indian government now,” Chandrasekhar said.

At present, India’s electronics exports are worth around $15 billion.

The minister said that it is the Prime Minister’s desire and the objective for the Ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY) to create national champions in each of the main product categories.

He said the Prime Minister had cleaned up the financial market and India had become one of the biggest recipients of foreign direct investment as well as equity.

“The number of foreign banks has increased in India. For the first time, the stock market and public markets are funding and investing in start-ups and technology companies. This kind of transformation has happened. Today, Lava, Dixon or Boat or any of these companies have the ability to raise capital, equity that they didn’t have six years ago,” the minister said.

He said that the incentive tool related to production will continue to encourage various manufacturing segments and it will depend on the definition of the technology product and the ministry that should govern it.


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