SAI stands for “Secure Application for Internet” and is a messaging application developed by the Indian Army. It supports the end to end encryption for secure voice, text, and video calling services. It will be an indigenous alternative to popular instant chat apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. SAI embodies “Atmanirbharta” by having in-house servers in the country. The press release also notes how the app’s coding can be tweaked as per the army’s requirements.
According to the press statement from the Ministry of Defence, SAI is tested by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). And the servers will be hosted by NIC (National Informatics Centre). The app is currently available for Android phones only. However, iOS compatibility is still a work in progress.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has lauded Col. Sai Shankar for his role in SAI’s development.
“When India becomes Aatmanirbhar in a certain field, it always helps the world,” believes PM Modi as per Mr. Singh in an interview with ET.
Even before the ongoing Indo-China border tensions, apps like WhatsApp have been under various security threats. The Army had thus warned the personnel to avoid large groups on WhatsApp. Earlier this year, the military staff and soldiers were also asked to uninstall 59 Chinese apps along with few popular titles like Facebook, Instagram, and Truecaller.
Hence, SAI seems the obvious solution to any security concerns with respect to army communication which usually includes highly confidential matters.