The Aarogya Setu app is never far from a controversy or two or even three.
Even if the Covid-19 cases in India are far from over, the contact tracking app is in another row, this time about who developed it.
Interestingly, the apps’ website claims that it was developed by the National Computer Science Center and the Ministry of Information Technology. However, both denied knowing who created it in response to a Right to Information (RTI) request.
The Central Information Commission, the apex appellate body under the 2005 RTI Act, has indicted the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the National E-Governance Department (NEGD), and the National Computer Science Center for their evasions on the RTI request for information about Obtain the proper process of creating the app.
Denial of information by authorities cannot be accepted, the CIC said, adding that it was “extremely absurd”.
The RTI query also looked for information on the development and communication of the app, which was received from all contributors / consultants for the app.
Finally, an answer from the government
Explanation of the Aarogya Setu app. The Aarogya Setu App is a product of the Indian government that was developed in collaboration with the best minds in industry and science. The world’s largest app for contact tracking, which is also valued by the WHO. #SetuMeraBodyguard #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/mbhQ4pTuZwOctober 28, 2020
The government, blurred in its reaction and shedding no light on who was developing the app, naturally exploded into great controversy, especially on the social media platforms.
As the problem threatened to become a great embarrassment for the government, it was made clear on two sides that the Aarogya Setu app was developed by it in cooperation with private companies.
“The Aarogya Setu app was developed in a record time of around 21 days to respond to the demands of the pandemic with lock restrictions just to create a Made in India contact tracking app with the best of Indian industry and science and the Government are working around the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure app, “the government said.
In press releases and social media posts on April 2nd, it was announced that the Aarogya Setu app was launched in public-private partnership mode “to bring the people of India together to fight the virus”. The names of everyone associated with the app were shared when the source code was made public, the government added.
The Aarogya Setu has been downloaded by more than 16.23 million users and has stepped up India’s fight against Covid-19, it said.
The government clarification said that the World Health Organization praised the app for helping state health departments identify Covid-19 clusters.
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