India to Develop its Own Web Browser: MeiTY Launches the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge

India, as part of its Aatmanirbhar initiatives, plans on developing the country’s own web browser to compete with other widely used foreign browsers like Chrome and Firefox. MeiTY, or the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has announced the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge, inviting Indian startups and companies to be a part of it.

Here’s more about it.

Indian Web Browser to Take on Chrome and Firefox to be Developed

India has been progressing as a developing country and is on the path to becoming the third-largest economy in the world. Now, as an extension of its Aatmanirbhar Bharat development plans, the country is going to develop its own web browser.

Speaking about internet users of the country accounts for about 850 million users and among which 88.47% of users rely on Google’s Chrome Web browser, followed by Apple’s Safari with 5.22% of users. Microsoft Edge is used by 2% and 1.5% of users use the Samsung Internet Browser. The rest, 1.53% of users, are relying on other not-so-widely used browsers.

The goal of this initiative is to get more control over the digital sphere, and this is why the decision to develop the country’s own web browser has been put into plan. Depending on the foreign web browsers may also lead to security and privacy concerns and issues, as noted by an Indian official, and having an Indian web browser is the only solution there is.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeiTY) has thus announced the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge with a cash prize of 3.4 crore rupees for the developer/developers who are able to bring out the best browser that will be compatible with all operating systems, and following the necessary standards and guidelines mentioned. Any Indian startups or companies registered under the Companies Act of 2013 can participate. It should also be noted that at least 51% of the shares should be owned by Indian citizens and no startups or companies which are a subsidiary of a foreign company can participate.

This initiative is also viewed as an opportunity for the government to convince US web browser companies to include and integrate India’s web security certification authority in their “trust stores”(or “root stores”). As of now, the country is not part of the trust stores of any major browsers.

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