‘Say Namaste’: India’s Own Video Conference App
For the past few days, ‘Say Namaste’ has been the subject of much discussion on WhatsApp group and Twitter. It is being said that this service has been introduced as an official video conferencing app of the Government of India, which is designed for Indian users. But this is not completely true. Anuj Garg, CEO and co-founder of Inscript, the company that created ‘Say Namaste’, said, ‘I posted on my Facebook account about publishing the pre-beta version of our own video conferencing app. Overnight, it went viral. We were expecting a few hundred users to test our service, mostly friends and family. We are now crossing over 500,000 users in a few days, and our service is still in beta version. ‘
This app was not created by the government
Garg and his team created the app in two days while working from home. He took this decision in view of the demand for video conferencing tool during work from home because of Covid-19. However, it has been said that Say Namaste is an official app authorized by the Government of India, but it is not. This app was built privately by Garg and his team of 50 odd developers, and no talks or input has come from the government.
Garg said that this is a positive thing, and we are happy that many people are actually talking about us right now. We will certainly be happy to work more closely with the government, but this is all a matter of future. ‘
It is further stated that he confirms that Say Namaste will be one of the participants in the Innovation Challenge organized by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), which will offer its services for official government purposes. For this, MeitY has announced a grant of Rs 1 crore to the last winning startup.
There is complete focus on security
Garg said that after learning about the security of an app like Zoom, which has been raised in the last few days, we are keeping all the things in mind, so that the app can be made more and more secure. Garg’s expertise with communication applications comes largely from successful CometChat. Cometchat has been offering its encrypted text offer as a service to organizations like HDFC Life, Hardvard University and JP Morgan for a long time.
Garg told that in the coming days we are conducting our first independent security audit, so that we can identify the existing security flaws in our software. However, it is important to keep in mind that the software is still in beta version, due to which there can be many problems in it. But after the official launch, all its problems will be fixed.
So far, Garg says that Say Namaste uses a mix of proprietary and open source technologies. These include several proprietary encryption standards that we already provide to our large customers in the banking and medical industries (via CometChat). We are still seeing many options in the context of the kind of encryption standard that will deploy the service. For this, we are exploring how end-to-end encryption works best with our service without affecting performance, and for this we are trying different technologies.
However, he says that encryption alone is not the only answer to privacy and data security. In addition to choosing the best possible encryption standard, we are also looking for some access point controls. We are preparing to add two-factor authentication to the app in the next few days, which will help the participants of the video call to verify themselves.