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C-DOT developing video conference platform for govt and court use; to make it available for public: Report

The Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) is currently developing a video conferencing platform for use by the government and courts, and one version of the platform will also be made available for the public, the Economic Times reported. The platform will reportedly be hosted on a government of India server. C-DOT’s video conferencing  platform is almost ready for deployment, and will come equipped with all features offered by Zoom and Microsoft Teams, such as a “waiting room”, and the ability to share screens, according to the report. A messaging app developed by C-DOT, called Samvad, will also be made available to high-level government officials and another version of it for the public, according to ET.

This report comes as several government meetings have moved to NIC Video Conferencing, a platform developed by the National Informatics Centre. The platform was recently used to hold discussions marking the third anniversary of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, and was attended by principal secretaries, secretaries, and tribunal chairpersons among others.

Last month, the Union Home Ministry had issued an advisory stating that Zoom was “not a safe platform”, and said that those in the government shouldn’t use the app in the first place. For private users, the Ministry said that they should follow precautions before using it, such as locking the call to new entrants, and having a passcode to enter the call.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, meanwhile, had called on Indian companies and startups to develop an encrypted video-conferencing solution for use by the central and state governments. According to the ET report, the ministry has received over 2,00 applications for developing the solution.

Video conference platforms have seen a huge surge in demand owing to COVID-19 lockdowns around the world, as Google Meet crossed 50 million downloads on the Play Store, and Zoom registered 300 million daily meeting participants. Facebook has also rolled out its video conference solution, Messenger Rooms, to capitalise on the opportunity.

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