What is Sandes? Indian Government’s Desi WhatsApp Alternative


What Is Sandes? 

  • WhatsApp's updated privacy policies have created an uproar amongst its users, privacy enthusiasts, and governments as well.
  • Security concerns for the messaging platform began years ago after it was acquired by Facebook. Now, the self-reliant Indian government has taken matters into its own hands and launched a new desi WhatsApp alternative called ‘Sandes.’
  • The Sandes app used by the Government of India was being worked on since last year. Many people thought that the new app will be called GIMS which stands for Government Instant Messaging System but instead, it got a more Indian name, Sandes. This move has been made since certain Government officials have been compromised by using normal social media platforms.

Sandes: A Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS)

  • The new Sandes app used by the Government only. This new application can only be used by Government Officials for the time being. When the users try to sign in on this app through LDAP, sign-in with Sandes OTP, and Sandes web they are told that, "This authentication method is applicable for authorized government officials.
  • The Sandes App provides all the features that any instant messaging application would provide. It supports voice and data and can be downloaded on both iOS and Android platforms. The National Informatics Centre, a branch under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology handles the backend of the Sandes Application. This new application couldn’t have come at a better time when the whole nation is looking for a Whatsapp Alternative since the new WhatsApp privacy policy has been announced.
  • The launch of the Sandes app is also being viewed as an attempt by the Indian government to keep its employees off social media networks and messaging platforms that may have compromised channels.

Sandes App Features

  • The Sandes app can run on both iOS and Android platforms. Currently, this WhatsApp alternative is inaccessible to the general public so we don’t know much about Sandes app features. However, based on the official documentation
  • Emojis (called Gimoji)
  • Message forwarding or sharing
  • Broadcast messages
  • Group chats
  • Read receipts
  • End to end encryption for all messages

Who Created The Sandes App?

  • According to Sandes website, NIC handles the backend of this Indian WhatsApp alternative. For the unacquainted, NIC is the National Informatics Centre, which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
  • The app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre. The app supports voice and chat options just like any other instant messaging application.

How To Download Sandes App?

  • The Indian WhatsApp alternative Sandes is yet to be released on PlayStore or App Store but you can download the GIMS app APK right now from here.


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