Q. China is proceeding with a concrete plan to develop their indigenous Operating System which is aimed to be used in all government offices. They have devised a plan called "5 2 3 plan" . What is the opinion of VIF on this and the road map planned by India on this aspect. Also, DRDO based labs like ANURAG, CAIR and C DAC could be used for developing a OS. Kindly provide your views on the roadmap / strategy that India should follow to ensure cyber security through Make in India.
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Replied by Brig Rahul Bhonsle

Reports of the Chinese Communist party’s Central Office having issued a directive for replacing all hardware and software in government offices with indigenously developed substitutes emerged in December last year. [Please refer to Financial Times link https://www.ft.com/content/b55fc6ee-1787-11ea-8d73-6303645ac406].

The directive has been nicknamed 3-5-2 [Not 5 – 2 – 3 as you have indicated unless you are referring to some different issue]. The nickname arises from the directive which gives targets for replacement as 30% of foreign hardware and software in 2020, 50% in 2021 and 20% in 2022.

This is in conformity with the country’s Cyber Security Law passed in 2017 which had called for protection of all critical infrastructure as well as the computer systems.

There is no official Chinese source confirming this which we have come across.

Brief Comments: Given the desire for security of cyber architecture, nationalisation is a common theme and it is thus not surprising that the same has been articulated in China. The ongoing China US – Trade, Technology contestation has added a new momentum to the same. COVID 19 differences may further add to nationalisation of architectures, how it evolves needs close observation. At the same time practical implementation may face challenges and defining what is a nationally manufactured resource is also difficult in the context of global supply chains.

2. Indian Operating Systems

Bharat Operating System Solutions (BOSS GNU/Linux) operating system has been developed by is developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The latest update of the system was released on 15 October 2019.

Indus OS mobile operating system has also been developed in India by private entrepreneurs and is based on Android.

On 28 February 2019, the Cabinet has approved a National Policy on Software Products which will give a fillip not just to operating systems but also to other operating and application software.

Brief Comments: It is believed that critical infrastructure networks in India are using secure indigenous software and have strong security protocols in place.

Date : 04/06/2020
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