The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has called on Indian companies and startups to develop a video-conferencing solution for use by the central and state governments. The solution should have encrypted network communication, should be able to work on any device, should be able to host multiple concurrent conferences having multiple participants in each conference, and should be low on usage of power/processor, among other requirements. The last date for registration is April 30.

MEITY will first select 10 teams and provide them Rs 5 lakh to develop a prototype. 3 teams will be shortlisted, and will get funding of Rs 20 lakh to develop a solution. The winner will receive a fixed amount of Rs 1 crore for deploying the solution and a further support of Rs 10 lakh per year towards operations and maintenance.

This comes as the government has reportedly advised union ministers to not rely on third-party video conference platforms like Zoom, because they are prone to hacking. Instead, it has asked them to use NIC’s video conferencing solution. However, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been seen using Zoom to interact with the Army chief. High courts of Kerala and Mumbai have also used Zoom to conduct hearings.