It supports services like end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platforms over the internet

To provide personnel with a safe and indigenously developed messaging application, the Indian Army has developed the ‘Secure Application for Internet (SAI)’ taking ahead the idea of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ or ‘Self-reliant India’ in the defence sector.

The Ministry of Defence, in a statement said that the SAI application supports services like end-to-end secure voice, text and video calling services for Android platforms over the internet.

“The model is similar to commercially available messaging applications like Whatsapp, Telegram, SAMVAD and GIMS and utilises end-to-end encryption messaging protocol,” the statement said.

According to the ministry, the application works with local in-house servers and coding which can be changed as per the requirements, therefore, restricting the control in Army’s hand.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who addressed the Army Commanders' Conference on Wednesday, also reviewed the app and praised Colonel Sai Shankar for his skill and ingenuity for developing the application, the statement said.

“The application has been vetted by CERT-in empaneled auditor and Army Cyber Group. The process for filing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), hosting the infrastructure on NIC and working on iOS platform is currently in progress,” the statement said.

The application will be used by the Army across the country to facilitate secure messaging within the service, the statement said further.

India on many occasions has reiterated the importance of self-reliance in the defence sector. The idea has been advocated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a time when India is faced by a hostile China and Pakistan at its borders.

PM Modi, on August 27, addressed Atmanirbhar Bharat – Defence Industry Outreach Webinar in which he said that the government aims to enhance defence manufacturing in India to make the defence sector self-reliant. He had said that a sense of confidence in the defence sector is essential for building a modern and self-reliant India.

PM Modi said steps such as earmarking a part of the capital budget for domestic procurement, 101 items for domestic procurement will encourage and give a fillip to domestic defence industries. He also said that the government is working on speeding up the procurement process, streamlining the system of testing among others.

In recent years, India has laid great emphasis on the domestic production of defence equipment. The recent missile tests are examples of the same. India since September 7 has tested an array of indigenously made missiles and other defence equipment.