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Govt to facilitate ecosystem for creating indigenous mobile phone OS

The government is planning to come up with a policy that will facilitate an ecosystem for the industry to create an indigenous operating system as an alternative to Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Monday.

At present, mobile phones are dominated by two operating systems – Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that are driving the hardware ecosystem as well, the minister told PTI in an interview.

“There is no third one. Therefore, in a lot of ways there is tremendous interest in MeitY and in the Government of India to even create a new handset operating system. We are talking to people. We are looking at a policy for that,” Chandrasekhar said.

He said that the government is looking for capabilities within start-up and academic ecosystems for development of an indigenous operating system (OS).

The operating system is the main software of any computer and mobile device that weaves in the entire hardware and software system for effective functioning of the OS.

“If there is some real capability then we will be very much interested in developing that area because that will create an alternative to iOS and Android which then an Indian brand can grow,” Chandrasekhar said.

The minister said that most of the policies and policy tools are being re-looked at in the context of reiamgining goals and ambitions. “Important is to have clear goals. Once we have clear goals and what is that we have to achieve then all the policies and actions will be consistent with it,” Chandrasekhar said.

He along with Minister for Communications and IT Ashwini Vaishnaw released the second volume of Vision Document on Electronics Manufacturing prepared by the industry body ICEA whose members include Apple, Lava, Foxconn, Dixon etc.

The document details a road map for achieving USD 300 billion electronics manufacturing in the country by 2026 from the current level of USD 75 billion.

“This report is very precise which talks about where USD 300 billion will come, what industry has to do and what the government needs to do. This is an example of how industry and government should set targets for the country. The manufacturing will be USD 300 billion and exports worth USD 120 billion will happen. This is the government of India’s objective now,” Chandrasekhar said.

At present, India’s electronics export is around USD 15 billion.

The minister said it is the desire of the Prime Minister and the goal for the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) to create domestic champions in each of the leading product categories.

He said that the Prime Minister has cleaned up the financial market and India has become one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment as well as equity.

“The number of foreign banks have increased in India. For the first time, the stock market and public markets are financing and investing in technology start-ups and companies. That kind of transformation has happened. Today Lava, Dixon or Boat or any of these companies have the ability to raise capital, equity which they did not have six years ago,” the minister said.

He said that the production-linked incentive tool will continue to encourage various manufacturing segments and it will depend on the definition of technology product and which ministry should govern it. PTI

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