New Delhi: WhatsApp is all set to face a severe hit in India as the central government is all set to create its own instant messaging service for mobile phones.

This messaging platform, which is currently undergoing pilot tests by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY), will be named as Government Instant Messaging Service (GIMS) and is expected to be launched later this year.

According to sources, GIMS can be used by the state governments apart from central government offices and departments if they wish so.

What is GIMS?

Government Instant Messaging Service (GIMS) is a messaging platform that is been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). This platform will also set up e-mail service for government departments.

According to reports, the NIC-created government e-mail service handles more than two crore e-mails daily.

This platform will also provides a multilingual platform with 11 local languages and a go-live in English and Hindi initially that will be followed by other languages.

According to a source, states like Odisha and Gujarat are also participating in beta testing.

"Almost every ministry has its own chat groups on WhatsApp and WeChat. Often officials discuss strategic and sensitive issues on these platforms. With cybercriminals or rogue states targeting such communication, it is time that India has its own government messaging service. Such services are crucial today for effective and efficient administration," he explained.

A former government official, who has handled cybersecurity threats against the government in the past, said that such a service is very important, especially in light of software like Pegasus, which can be used to snoop on conversations on WhatsApp.