Merely a few days after issuing an advisory against the usage of Zoom, the Indian government has launched its own “secure” video conferencing tool ‘NAMASTE’.
NAMASTE is still in beta mode, and can be used on desktop and laptop without any prior installation. Users can create or join a meeting by visiting https://www.saynamaste.in/ on a browser.
The tool is expected to launch on Android and iOS next week.
NAMASTE is witnessing high demand already , causing the site to be down.
“We are facing tremendous demand for NAMASTE and hence you may face some temporary connectivity issues. Please check back soon,” according to the website.
Like most video-conferencing tools, NAMASTE comes with live calling and chat features. You can invite users to a conference by sharing the meeting link and code. To start a meeting, NAMASTE asks for camera and microphone access on your device.
However, you can mute the microphone and turn off the camera during a meeting. The tool also allows you to ‘toggle view’ of meeting participants like in Zoom.
NAMASTE has been built by Mumbai-based web application and software development firm Inscripts, according to the website. There is also a feedback form at the bottom of the page for users to submit queries or share comments about the new tool.
While very little is known about NAMASTE yet, it is being seen as an answer to Zoom, which has become the default video conferencing platform worldwide post coronavirus.
However, Zoom continues to be plagued by privacy and security concerns, prompting several governments and public authorities to urge their people against using it.
Last week, India too joined the chorus when the Cyber Coordination Centre (CyCord) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an advisory saying, “Zoom is a not a safe platform. It is not for use by government officers/officials for official purposes.”
“The broad objective of this advisory is to prevent any unauthorised entry into a Zoom Conference Room and prevent the unauthorised participant to carry out malicious attacks on the terminals of other users in the conference,” MHA added.