The Grand Secret OS

92 Comments

Given the history of technological white elephants that our research agencies have produced, reading about the DRDO’s proposal to create a “closed source operating system” just made me groan.

“We have to protect it (data),” Saraswat said, adding, “Only way to protect it is to have a home-grown system, the complete architecture…source code is with you and then nobody knows what’s that.”

Nobody knows what’s that. A perfect description of government research agencies.

This line does sound ominous, more so given the fact that it is precisely these “nobody knows whats going on” kind of systems that have historically shown to have the most security vulnerabilities which explains why “security through obscurity” (typically explained with respect to cryptography in computer security textbooks) is, in general, a deprecated principle. [Another thing which has gone out of fashion is closed-source, proprietary OSs but try telling these guys that]

Of course, the idea of a “Government of India”‘s very own operating system does sound amazing.  Here are some specifications I think will be implemented (warning geeky stuff to follow).

1. The Grand Secret OS (code name GAND-OS), like all operating systems constructed for the last thirty years (which is how the GOI defines modern) will run multiple applications at once. However if a process wants to use the processor, it needs to send in an application, in triplicate and attested by local (Memory) Block Development Officer, two months in advance.

2. The scheduling shall be first-come first-served unless a process slips in a Rs 1000 note into the memory space of the OS dispatcher.

3. The default state of processes is “sleep” which is where they are found 95% of the time.

4. 49.5% of processor time is reserved for OBCs (Objects instantiated from Backward “Classes”), SCs (System Components) and STs (System Threads).

5. Garbage collection is done by a Class IV unionized process.

6. The file system, proprietary and encoded in bad English, collects dust and will vanish “mysteriously” if the file-allocation table (FAT) man is not sufficiently “processed”. Files are periodically transfered from one directory to another for no good reason.

7. Memory allocation is done, on demand, through “cashing” schemes.

8. Memory protection is strongly enforced where one process has no idea of what the other process is doing.

9. Massive redundancy is maintained where different parts of the OS do the same thing. One single fault brings all the replications down however.

10. The OS comes with a firewall on which the Babus spit their paan residue.

11. The OS is real-time which here means “Really? Time?”.In other words deadlines are meant to be broken. By design.

More details of the OS specs, design and implementation will be revealed to the public as the years pass.

Where?

On Chinese hacking sites.

You can put your trust in that.

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92 thoughts on “The Grand Secret OS

  1. Hilarious. But on a serious note, when something like the UID project and simple website maintenance is outsourced to private companies, why is development of a “Secure Operating System”, which is out of reach of even private companies being attempted by the government? All grand white elephant plans seem to be pulled out of thin air.

    BTW, Chinese universities have very strong Computer Science and Maths problems/contests available on their websites where they pit students, universities etc each other. Plus it is an open enough forum. There are some things you just dont know how to react to. This is one of them.

  2. Guess this ‘Grand Secret OS’ was mooted sometime back in 2007-08 and reappearing in papers again now. If you really want to achieve security through obscurity, wouldn’t it have been better not to have even made the news of having such a project public in the first place itself?

    And, I agree with the last lines apart from the time factor. It won’t take years for Chinese hackers to break the system. It would be much sooner than that.

    Having said all that, I hope that we have seriously underestimated the capabilities of DRDO and the Indian software scientists who would be working on this project.

  3. GB, you missed one thing. The firewall would also have a giant message painted on it – “Yahaan peshaab(oops.. hack) karna mana hai”. No prizes for guessing what will be the result!

  4. Now…this was classic Greatbong…truely funny and amazingly creative…GAND OS (LMAO – I cracked up in my office) was the highlight!!

  5. The system will be so secure that noone will be able to access it and this will be implemented by an indigenously developed technology code named as POWER-CUT.

    No Commands will be processed unless requested through ‘Hand’lers embedded in the IC’s.

    Messaging will be only through a hierarchical structure beginning with MAMA’s which would be set up at the gateways.

    Processes can be run successfully only when properly networked.

  6. Hahaha.. GAND-OS..

    Jokes apart, instead of developing their own little system why don’t they just improve the security of an already established system?

    What a waste of resources and time!

  7. People around me in office might be thinking I have gone nuts.. I just cant stop laughing. GAND OS, Firewall where babu spit, 49.5 % threads reserved. etc …..Laughing riot !
    However I think it is a good idea.
    This will give new generation of research engineer good oppurtunities and much needed motivation.
    Like Isarel may spurce goverment R & D into private business.

  8. Brilliant.
    Few suggestions though:
    1. About feature 1, you should mention that resource allocation can be done only after checking the user id and if surname is found to be among the chosen few (like Gandhi, Vadra, Scindia, Abdullah) then the process should bypass all checks and get highest priority. Others should pass carefully crafted layers of checks that would only be allowed to removed if parametrized amount of money can be transferred from user’s account to the account of chosen few.

    2. Feature 2: This amount should be parametrized so that the rising inflation can be accounted for.

    3. Feature 4: All the system processes should be run by a special user called “Labor union” which would force the process to accept only one user command in Hindi: “Nehi Chalega”. At times, same special user will crash the system to make sure that user expectation does not go too far. User will experience a red screen of death at that time.

    4. The system would not put any security check on any user as long as the user claims himself to be representing the interests of religious minorities or advasis or poor people. Such users can damage the system but the system must thank him in return.

  9. Hey great bong, could you not link us to the “chinese hacking site”

    I personally think there is not need for a new OS. Just take up Free BSD (or any other in its class) get a code review by the developers and then implement it.
    It will save us a lot of time and money.

  10. I haven’t worked for DRDO so I am completely at a loss as to what their technological capabilities are.However, I have worked for a certain Government of India Advanced Development facility concentrating on computational research and have this anecdote -which was part of the “Coolie Scientist” folklore(as we greenhorns used to call ourselves) as opposed to “Family Members”(meaning members of the hierarchy who were too entrenched in their positions to be shifted elsewhere and were the
    mai-baaps who would decide the fate of us lesser mortals)-which I hope would shed some light on how capable government research facilities often are.

    A certain newly appointed coolie was asked by the “Madam” at his section to work on a presentation that she was to carry to Delhi to present to the Bada Baaps at the Ministry(our “annadatas”).He sent a mail to her a few hours later stating that he would start work on an applet as an add-on to the presentation that somebody had already forwarded to him.Promptly came the reply from the Madam which I have pasted from my archives.

    “Dear _____________(name redacted),
    Please be informed that you are here to work on software only.Your implementation is expected to be completely in software.No hardware allowed.

    Yours Sincerely,

    (name redacted)”
    The incident which had occurred at the turn of the century had gained the status of a legend amongst us coolies and the reason for it’s status would be evident once you come to know that the coolie in that case was dismissed for “poor performance” by the “Madam” who,as of now, still serves in that facility as Joint Director.

  11. Awesome parody and very true!

    I’m really wondering what these guys are trying to do with all this jazz about the $50 laptop, $25 tablet and now this…

    Don’t they realise how many people in the world are laughing their a*ses off?

  12. ROFL. I shared it sometime back on my facebook update: “God save my country.. 50 people are going to create a new OS under guidance of DRDO and they think that keeping source code secret will keep their data safe :)”

  13. ROFL! That was Hilarious!
    Also, clicking on a file will open it only if Rs.1000 is slipped into the system first (similar to the scheduling process).

  14. That was so bleedy hilarious, the coffee spurted out of my mouth onto the screen. GAND-OS is just sheer brilliance. I have never seen you tap into your Computer Science PhD background for humor and this was pure genius. Insanely funny, sarcastic and informative (the security by obscurity part).

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  16. A different kind of post. Geeky-ly funny!

    But then… we should know what we are making fun of.
    @GB your entire post was great except for the last one. You opinions about a possible flawed approach to the entire architecture has some factual basis. The “features” are, as we generally say “rich”! And I read again to confirm that the features stopped at references to the ‘architecture of the govt machinery’ itself. However, the last line was an unfortunate remark. You have just triggered some mindless responses to suggest that the G… watever OS, cannot standup to hackers?

    Mocking the sad situation of affairs is one thing but many of the comments have ended up saying that an OS made by Indians would be a joke.
    @copyleft: many of those famil members might be involved in this project too. but surely most of your old coolie friends would be doing the actual work? (because its as OS, they will get permission to interact with the hardware also, right?;)) Surely not all of them are duds.

    Saying that this exercise is futile has some weight (Tejaswy’s suggestion about BSDs should have been an obvious choice) but pls lets stop saying that we CANNOT create an OS thats good enough to server the intended needs.

    PS: NO. I am NOT one of those ‘coolies’ and NO I am not interested in creating a new OS. :)
    PSS: Sorry for the page overflow! :)

  17. GSai,

    No one is saying an OS made by Indians would be a joke. But yes given the rather dodgy product development histories of our governmental research organizations and given the quite basic foolhardiness behind declaring an initiative to build a closed-source OS for reasons of security (for example, what applications would these run? Windows applications?) when more or less the entire body of current security knowledge would say this is a bad idea—I think it is quite appropriate to question this effort.

  18. Do not have any technical background on this, but from what I have read about DRDO, they are a generation or more behind their competitors on any technology that they seem to develop, including on the so called “successful” missile program.

  19. The joke’s on you Arnab. Contrary to your ignorant attempt at humour (if I may call it funny) Indian control software is pretty good. Much of the work on the composite based surface modeling for the LCA has been commercialized and is widely used in Europe, by (shudder) EADS. The FBW system and software has been an outstanding success. I suggest you spend some time reading up on it (you are a smart guy and know where to look) rather than making an ass of yourself with your ignorance.

  20. The CAKE is a lie!

    Argh, these peoples make me angry. x_x

    That is just a load of BS akin to the the Rs. 500 laptop that we were supposed to be *developing*. Sadly, announcements such as these are nothing but an attempt at making a fool of the technologically ignorant public.

  21. Kaangeya,

    What I know about security (some of it I suppose being validated by having been one of the invited authors in the Encyclopedia of Computer Science Wiley Eastern on Authentication and Access Control) is that what the DRDO said about “secret OS’s” makes little sense. It betrays a shocking ignorance of the history of computer vulnerabilities and basic “computer security sense”. Which is what I have made fun of.

    Whom the joke is on is of course another matter—–whether its on someone, who by virtue of his position, should know better than to say something even a grad student with a course in Computer Security would find ridiculous, or whether it is on his “hyper-nationalist” supporters or whether it is on me (and the significant number of people here who share my opinion).

  22. I second GB on this….I am myself working in a so called computer research and development organization of Indian government where everyday whole mockery is made of knowledge…..all the mai-baaps have so much updated knowledge that they can compete with anyone who is still programming in PASCAL…Only thing that gets you notice is wheteher you come to office even on a national holiday or not…..just a complete time pass….these organizations shouldnot even think of making such claims……total FAKE

  23. and GAND-OS just vintage stuff GB……wonder where you get such kind of ideas……Indian government should instead plan to preserve the Great Brain Of a Great Bong so as so to show the marvels of 21st century to future generations…..u are right at the top with P.G.Wodehouse

  24. Enjoyed the humour on the post.But on a real world, I would disagree with many points discussed here. 10 years back we all laughed at Indian Railway computerisation,or SBI computerisation. We could never think of online banking with SBI or online ticket booking with indian railways that time.But today,we have grown and did go ahead. I think many of us need to change the attitude towards the so called system. We all became habituated with the “chalta hai” and “system will never change” attitude. I do accept we’ve old white elephants still with us.But unless ,we new generation get involved with Govt. projects,we won’t improve. One of my friend who did lots of studies works in backward districts of Madhyapradesh with NIC(national informatics centre).For us his small jobs connecting block offices, or developing online libraries,databases for schools etc may be funny stuff.All of us may call him a failure.But infact people like him are the backbones or bulding stones of a brigher india,not those sitting in A/C rooms infront of laptops somewhere outside india and ridiculing everything Indian. :)

    I’d say,when we discuss and ridicule negative sides of India, please put equal effort to showcase the positive sides also. We all agree culprits like Kalamdis should get punished,while people bringing changes in their areas,should be highlighted.

  25. Nice one. One can understand the disappointment and the frustration.
    However, what you have listed are the symptoms. Would you not like to write more on the causes.
    The national research laboratories are working for around 50 years and have they justified their existence ? What new cutting edge technologies have been developed. Any nobel winning effort ? Once or twice I had seen a physical laboratory and the so called scientists were mostly passing their time, waiting for lunch and then for chutti like clerks.
    Even the missile programme seems to be mostly copied from Russia. Once under international pressure, russia denied us the cryogenic engine, we were stuck. Our IRBM and ICBM are still pipe dreams while china has moved far ahead and threatening even US.
    Also, the same students when go abroad and make their name in NASA etc. and become successful in science / technology(like GB), why are the not able to compete with the best of world if they are working in Govt. institution. Whether it is only rotten govt. systems or our personal charater / values are also involved.

  26. @K Srinivasulu your statement is an oxymoron…keep criticizing stuff and remain anti progressive ??? criticizing itself is nothing but introspection..identifying weakness within the system, within ourselves…it is the first step towards being progressive :-) now the medium of highlighting weakness could be any and many…we choose to laugh at ourselves for all our folly and problems..once you bring the weaknesses to the fore we can work towards solving them. The article brings out the inherent problems in our system…but has been communicated with a dash of humour..thats all..

  27. @Kaangeya,
    I have friends who work in HAL,Airbus, ADE/ADA whatever. I know how it is over there …Companies like GE, Airbus recruit from IITs and IISc s whereas HAL, DRDO, ISRO gets only Babus from certain sections with fudged marksheets of superlative quality … This is how it is in Bangalore …

  28. @K Srinivasulu: One of the most constructive criticism, I have come across in recent times, I must admit … :) Way to go …

  29. @Sasi Pathanapuram

    I guess most of the govt. computerization as well as the online facilities were outsourced to private companies, rather than being done in-house. So any of these instances cannot be cited as “achievements” of the govt. R&D orgs.

  30. @GB
    Sadly, YES ppl do assume that its a joke. Mocking bureaucracy and the people who thrive on it is one thing. Saying that _nothing_ worthy can be made in a govy org is blind ranting. for eg:
    > Don’t they realise how many people in the world are laughing their a*ses off?
    > “Yahaan peshaab(oops.. hack) karna mana hai”. No prizes for guessing what will be the result!
    > they are a generation or more behind their competitors on any technology that they seem to develop, including on the so called “successful” missile program

    with due regards to the guys who posted the above comments (since i dont know their bg), what do you think they are making fun of? i mean, ppl dont seem to know WHAT to make fun of and WHAT NOT to! I hope i have explained my point clearly!

    @Lalit you should have either not gone inside a s/w company or you work in a very rare s/w company that spews out KLOC every moment, 24×7. So what if China is moving ahead? Do you think ICBM is a mix of plumbing and soldering?
    @hyderabadi so what if work is given out to private sector? In that case, again, the management of the proj rests with the same babus in the govt org. Pls check out how much proj management plays a role in s/w development. Besides, pls check CRIS in wikipedia.

    To put in other words, its like what everybody said before the CWG: the volunteers and officials cannot perform coz the show is run by Kalmadi. CWG did go on well (reasonably, for the sarcastic souls) INSPITE of Kalmadis and kith and kin.

  31. Terrific article. Leaving aside the misconception that closed systems are necessarily more secure, I worked for DRDO as an intern for a year, and if they can keep a secret, I have ahem, a closed database I can sell them.

  32. Sad part is how the story would end. They would publish this nonsense; media goes ape-shit crazy as usual. Then a lot many contracts are awarded to a lot many third party firms during which a whole lotta money gets transferred into various accounts. Then they would announce some galactical nonsense. A lot many folks would get promoted and quite a few truth seekers would get the boot.

    They did it with kanaja.in even when wiki was there all the time. They did it with lots of things that is in DRDO now.

  33. The OS shall run only on machines that are rented/leased at 10x the retail cost and that to from recently incorporated companies (whose ownership is validated by DNA tests to achieve 100% nepotism)

    When running benchmarks against other “phoren” operating systems, the system shall display a “Racism detected” message in 20pt font and refuse to do any further work.

    And furthermore, all passwords will be stored in triplicate in a printout proudly pasted on the wall between the garishly drawn portraits of Gandhi family scions and a map of India drawn sometime between independence and prior to the declaration of emergency

  34. I thought GAND-OS was already out and a btjunkie downloaded version purchaged in few crores was already in use with officials involved in CWG preparations.

  35. Finally, after a while; a truly worthwhile posting. :) nice GB, verry verry nice :)

    kaangeya, GSai,

    Why read RTDM if you cant take humour? i thought we Indians were excellent at laughing at ourselves and then thumping our back for the excellent joke! :P

  36. So those re-inventors of wheel are at it again! There is nothing wrong in making an Indian OS but claiming that it will be secure just because ‘we’ have written the source code from scratch and no one else knows anything about it is an extremely foolish proposition. But then you you have to expect such things from the ‘scientists’ who have been developing a jet engine for the last 17 years and a tank for the last 25 years. I have worked with these guys extensively and the only thing they are interested in is initiating a large number of projects just to get manpower, resources, etc. They are just not interested in developing anything for the nation. Prithivi, Agni and other success stories are just rip-offs from Russia.

  37. @Gsai
    I am very happy that u r a ultra nationalist and very optimistic. However, i would prefer to be realistic.
    Lets look at some examples in the field of defense technology even obvious to lay man. All this is in public domain.
    1) Advanced Battle Tank – In development for 20-30 years. Still not inducted. Army having huge reservation against its effectiveness. Not able to perform in extreme indian conditions. Hundreds of crores invested and the user expectation still not met, forget about export.
    2) Light Combat Aircraft – in development for 20-30 years. Still not inducted. Now we hear the engines will be imported (and other crucial components, who knows). So indigenisation will be to the extent of say 20-30 %. Huge investment – result ??
    3) For Aircraft Carrier, we are still forced to purchase old carrier Admiral Gorshkov from Russia which has armtwisted us and raised its price many times. Most of the submarines are imported and at present we are at huge understrength. Why are we not able to manufacture wotld class submarines and aircraft carriers despite huge investments.
    4) For artillary, our main strength is still the Bofors guns. Even 20 years after the huge cry over their purchase, we are not able to develop a credible gun.

    Agreed that making ICBM is not soldering job. But what is your point here? Has China, USA etc. have not developed it. Was it a soldering job for them ?
    China and India were almost on the same timeline. It is already 63 years since our independence. Do you want us to be patient for another 63 years so that we can graduate from “soldering jobs” to those of higher skills (and that too indigenous and not copied)?

    And what are our priorities ? whats the fun of sending craft on moon when for our critical defense functions, we are totally dependent on western powers for hightech equipments and we are surrounded with hostile neighbours which threaten our stability and progress at every opportunity?
    @ Rishi Khujur – would request you to elaborate some more in this popular forum regarding the solution part for the malaise facing Indian research institutions.

  38. Agree that the thought process is ridiculous and Corruption and bureaucracy are the biggest evils in our society but one shouldn’t underestimate the mind of an Indian. It has been proved again and again in the history that ppl who think out of the box are laughed at till they come up with the goods which will wow his critics.The DRDO statement sure sounds like fishing in the air but with due respect to your views, all we need is a country full of similar thinking individuals and very soon we will be down in the dumps ( or must I say we already are?!). And I’m being a practical nationalist here not a hyper one.
    PS:The post is hilarious.

  39. GB: disregard the previous post, it got sent before i could finish
    @ Lalit
    I am not fully aware of either the vertical or the horizontal systems within the Indian Defence development setup, but one thing we can all agree upon is that there is no dearth of knowledge, know how and conceptual clarity in India. In fact we may be at par with the “Big 6? and many times more than that of Israel and South Africa.

    Yet forget the “Big 6?, we can hardly compete with Israel and South Africa in terms of what we have been able to produce so far.

    I do have some basic understanding of how it works in the US and Israel and I have read some on how it worked in the USSR, and in all these cases the biggest driving factor was clarity of geopolitical goals, seamless horizontal integration of know-how, and efficient vertical intergration of resources.

    The first one (clarity of geopolitical goals) is a philosophical issue, and we can only go so far as a “scavenger-gatherer” nation.

    The “Big 6″ are “hunter-grabbers” and we cannot aspire to be like them in terms of defence technology if we do not change our geopolitical philosophy.

    The second one (seamless horizontal integration of knowhow) seems to be a important factor in the way US has achieved technological superiority.
    Every bit of research done at every level in the US, is channelized into a evaluation system where the maximum possible defence related applicability is explored and extracted out of it.

    It is done at the level of Universities and setups like DARPA have done yoemans service in this regard.

    The third, (efficient vertical integration of resources) is ensured through a robust competition in the development of every field of US/Israeli/Nato, inventory. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northup Grumman, each produced superlative products but strived to beat the other.

    Even in USSR, the MIG design beareau and Shukhoi were forever locked in do or die battle to produce better and more robust aircrafts, as were the design beureus of Ukraine and Russia in producing better tanks.

    Maybe, a study on the relative success of Brahmos, versus the Akash and the Nag may show some directions. But again, there are probaby people here who know more on that and I would love to learn from them.

  40. @Akhilesh, read my comment again pls. yes, we are good at laughing at ourselves but we don’t say we are useless, do we? when somebody says that the OS can never ever get completed, it is about the bureaucratic maze that lets nothing pass through (atleast in normal speed). but when somebody says that it would be hacked the next day, it is blaming one of the youngsters who, inspite of putting up with the uh.. bosses, manages to work hard. its someone like you and me.
    @Lalit, not sure what you mean when u say ‘ultra nationalist’. but, surely want to be optimist. that’s whats going to take us wherever we want to go when there is so much to complain about.
    >>Once or twice I had seen a physical laboratory and the so called scientists were mostly passing their time, waiting for lunch and then for chutti like clerks.
    For every such scientist who just spends time in lab, there are others who slog to get some great job done. but isn’t that what happens in every corporate – private, MNC, whatever? however, the pay scales are as good as an entry level fresher in private company. (guess thats a sensitive topic, so lets leave that out. :))
    but thats different from what you say in your last comment. looks like you question the defense and/or technology strategy of the govt(s). am not an expert so i wouldnt comment on that. my comment was however, on what i have mentioned above to Akhilesh.

  41. As a addendum to my previous post, I also want to know more about why the “Nag” anti-tank system (which one would expect would require the least amount of infrastructural paraphernalia), failed, despite so many years of efforts in the field of “fire and forget” systems, and we are thinking of importing the “Javelin” system?

  42. Good post by Krishashok in tehalka mag on depiction of technology in Indian movies

    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=hub231010PATNA_WE.asp

    one excerpt

    THIS IS not to say that Hollywood gets it right. Most mainstream Hollywood blockbusters tend to go easy on the details but come nowhere close to the sheer Unscience of Indian movies. Ever wondered why? Between India and China, we practically produce an epidemic of PhDs and masters graduates in science and not to mention a bubonic plague of engineers every year. You may propose that as movie watchers, we have a far greater tolerance for fantasy and are willing to suspend disbelief like the proverbial pornstar-clothes-pizza-guy scene. Perhaps it’s in the nature of Eastern or Oriental philosophies to inculcate this innate acceptance of Lady Illusion (aka Maya memsahib) but that somehow seems too contrived a reason to me. How is it that there’s been little or no improvement in the portrayal of technology in the last couple of decades?

  43. GB-
    I am surprised you missed the mammary leaks on the mother process.
    Anyways,
    To all the demented minds,
    I have worked at ISRO for a year and believe me,
    there are some great bongs still left in that organization who kick ass of any research institute across the world.
    If it wasn’t true, there wont be other countries paying money to ISRO to launch satellites for them.
    Having an Indian OS, can’t be worse than vishta..
    I bet it would be funnier than this article,
    which is pretty funny, imho.

  44. How it will be a so called Secret os when it is known to everyone ;-)
    I think they need to follow simple statistics to save tax payers billions
    1. Move to Mac OS as there are very less viruses threat on it and license one antiviruses which these govt persons dont know to upgrade weekly :)

  45. Gaand Os… Bwahahaha… Epic name… :p I believe GOI will come up with it’s own ‘closed’ os when the rest of the world would have moved to cloud based OS’s..lol

  46. Were they thoughtful people, they would take the most secure open OS today (read FreeBSD) and start with a code review and do modifications from thence. The goals itself are not clear, running Windows programs in a new OS? What are they trying? Reinventing the Wine or ReactOS? huh?

    Morons..

  47. Brilliant. If you’re into security, there’s one rule of thumb you can always count on. Don’t develop your own. Invariably you’ll overlook something obscure and subtle and will create a weakness big enough to fly a 747 through. Stick with time-proven methods that have been under the microscope for years and have withstood the test of time and had all the bugs, shortfalls, and subtle problems worked out of them. Basically, you’re not smarter than all the people that have contributed to making the currently available selections as secure as they presently are.

    If they’re going to create an entirely new os themselves, in-house, for the sake of security, they’re about to re-learn the above lesson.

    And sorry, but runs Windows? The whole security problem there to begin with is its never-ending craving to run old software that just wasn’t bothered to be written securely. Look at the giant headache that was the breaking of windows software when XP came out. Then when Vista came out. Then when 7 came out. This is going to be a whole new level worse. They may say it can run Windows software, but either it won’t run MOST of it, or they’re just going to be defeating one of the primary purposes of writing their own secure OS to jimmy it to run any sizeable portion. If they’re insisting on making their own OS, they may as well expect to have to write their own software too. In for a penny, in for a pound.

  48. @ Sujith
    Thats why we have to concept of “generation” in technology development, especially defence tech.
    Every generation builds on the platform of previous generation.

  49. Uninformed post, cheerlead by usual India baiters.

    DRDO is not white elephant as projected to be.

    1. Missile program: The missile regiments in the Army are deployed. Some these regiments operate within ambit of Strategic Forces Command…meaning they are configured to by nuclear tipped.

    2. Naval Ships: Two aircraft carriers are under development. The Navy regularly inducts warships rolled out from shipyards in Goa, Cochin and Kolkata.

    3. Aircrafts: LCA is behind schedule. Sure. Ever heard of Ajeet? Star of 65 and 71 wars? Or heard of Marut fighter-bomber of 70s/80s? It was phased because we did not have a powerfull engine for it. ALH helicopter is already with the 3 services and combat versions are going to be out soon.

    4. Tanks: Not satisfactory. More on this later.

    5. Radars: Well in service.

    6. Artillery: With the exception of 155MM Howitzer class all other categories, including Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (did you see the Pinaka MBRL during RD parades) are well with the Army’s frontline units.

    All these have been delivered against great odds.

    A Russian/Israeli/Western weapon system would have officers from the concerned services in the team and the said will service will accept barely usable products. The products are then refined gradually.

    Please read the histories of most successfull weapons families like the legendary Mig-21 (largest number manufactured of any combat aircraft model) or the Israeli Merkava tanks…to quote near home examples.

    In India the Navy is the only service that posts in officers from the Naval Architecure branch to shipyards and sundry ship design facilities.

    The result is there to see. Indian Navy is self-sufficent in case of surface combat vessels. The ATV projects will do the same for subramine fleet.

    And how did the Air Force and the Army behaved?

    Their penchant for foreign goods have cost us dear. Why the Air Force does not have a branch of Aeronautical Engineering (replicating the Navy’s model) to be paired with HAL? Similar problem with the Army.

    Last but not the least…DRDO is a research organization.

    Their failure to source parts or turnaround prototypes is a reflection of India’s industrial and manufacturing capabilities.

  50. Another point in addition to what I posted above.

    World over military systems use proprietary RTOS’s. I think that’s what Mr. Saraswat meant.

    I do not think he was talking about business grade server/desktop OS.

  51. @ Von Runstedt

    True, Merkava (Israel), Bradley APC (US), MIG-21 became formidable machines because of positive feedback through usage.

    Is there a reason why the three wings of our Defence dept, doesnt work as closely with DRDO?

    Why do we have to still import AK-47 assault rifles when INSAS (developed 40 years after AK-47), should be replacing it?

  52. @ Rishi Khujur,

    As I said the Navy works very closely with DRDO and we are seeing the results. Navy has world class ship wright schools and it posts its officers from the Naval Architecture Branch there.

    So the problem is with only Army and the Air Force, not all the 3 services per se.

    I would believe this is due to the fact that modern Naval forces are commanded by people (and modern combat vessels require this) that are trained engineers (even the general duty officers in Navy are from physical sciences). This provides the Navy with a sufficiently capable manpower pool to work with ship designers.
    In case of Indian Navy they have gone a step further. They recruit 10+2 PCM boys and put them in Naval Architecture courses and they also recruit engg. graduates in similar disciplines.

    From the horses mouth…my father was in the Technical/Engg. branch of the Air Force. He had a posting in the HAL. The surprising thing that I learnt is that they indeed had officers with aeronautical enginnering degrees. But these people were only tasked with airframe maintenance.

    I think the difference here is that the Navy has a Ship Wright School and the Air Force does not have an equivalent institution despite having aeronautical engineers in its commisioned ranks.

    Off course the situation for the Army is completely gone case.

    The INSAS example is good one. There has been defects, but Icchapur gun factory has rectified those in reasonable timeframe while maintaining production numbers.

    There are voices in Army that still prefers imported small arms (you can include the tank lobby)…but they don’t realise that if we are forced into a prolonged war, we are screwed. You don’t fight long wars with imported toys, you gotta have a cottage industry for that.

  53. @ GB

    “Normally a RTOS is not “exposed to cyber attacks”. Which is the reason why this OS is being built. Supposedly.”

    Well Arnab, while I do not agree to your across the board generalization of DRDO…but I am in agreement with your take on their OS development idea.

    Why do they need to develop even a RTOS? Why not take one of the BSD OS’s, strip it down, harden it and keep the modified sources? BSD license permits that.

    Bad idea, waste of money and time.

    This is off topic…CDAC is the organization that should have delivered an Indian OS for desi masses.

  54. @von runstedt
    agree(pls see my earlier post)
    except delivering an OS is more than just boot and load on an intel processor.
    It is all application driven. CDAC is not equipped to deliver apps that need to be bug compatible with office and flashplyers.
    Do you think microsofts or adobes or oracles would agree to compile their apps for a desi OS unless they smelt sufficient money?
    the reason linux has survived is because of mozilla and openoffice, not on its own. even then, it is clear to those who use those apps, that they can not replace office or explorer, they can only imitate them.
    No OS is good enough against attacks unless closely controlled at app level. BSD can be made tighter than a virgin, the apps will spread their legs like Shona-Gaachhi.
    the best example being itunes/apple plateform.
    imagine submitting your app to DRDO or CDAC to be blessed to run on desi OS.
    They are not the orgs structured to bless your tic-tac-toe app.

  55. @ Rishi
    “….the apps will spread their legs like Shona-Gaachhi…”
    Thats not fair :)

    @ Von runstedt
    Yes, I also heard that the Navy has probably gotten the best out of indegenization process and thats commendable, given its strategic role.

    But, there is no doubt that INSAS was not even as good as Kalashikov -47 (which is 40 yrs older), when it should have been as good or better than the M4, or ak 74 or bullpup Styr ACR

    Also shed some light on the Arjun situation.

  56. If I am not mistaken, there are some Bonds sitting on Indian IT Security which most of you guys have not met till date… I think the idea is very clear – “Why should we rely on some one else’s products when we can be OEM of our own Operating System?” We needed this from a long time.

    Is any one knowing any tale of “Center and Development of Advanced Computing, India”

    Anyways enjoy trash guys. “Proud to Be Indian”

    CHEERS!!!

  57. @ Rishi Khujur

    Arjun MBT is an interesting case. It is deemed failure (for the time being).

    Less to do with technology and more to do with defective planning and lack of project management.

    They tried to master too many sub-systems in one go – Tracked Undercarriage, Armoured Chassis, Heavy Guns (pinned to a recoilless assembly), fire control system etc. etc.

  58. GReaT specs for the new GAND-OS..
    I’d really appreciate a pirated copy of this OS..
    The best thing…… It will come in floppies… “State of the Art”

  59. Pingback: Get real, DRDO! | My Blog

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