MEITY issues Clarification regarding orders passed by Central Information Commission on an RTI query with regard to AarogyaSetu App
Attention has been drawn to media reports regarding orders passed by Central Information Commission regarding an RTI query with regard to AarogyaSetu App. As per the orders, of the CIC, CPIOs of MeitY, NeGD and NIC have been directed to appear on 24th November 2020. MeitY is taking necessary steps to comply with the orders of the CIC.
With regard to the above, it is clarified that there should be no doubt with regard to the AarogyaSetu App and its role in helping contain COVID19 Pandemic in India. As was announced through Press Releases and Social Media posts on 2nd April 2020, AarogyaSetu App was launched by Government of India in public private partnership mode to bring people of India together in its fight against COVID19. The AarogyaSetu App was developed in a record time of around 21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the Pandemic with Lockdown restrictions only for the objective of building a Made in India Contact Tracing App with the best of Indian minds from Industry, Academia and Government, working round the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure App. Since 2nd April 2020, regular press releases and updates have been issued on AarogyaSetu App including making the source code available in Open domain on 26th May 2020. The names of all those associated with the development of the App and management of the App ecosystem at various stages wasshared when the code was released in Open/Public Domain and the same was shared widely in media also.
As has been mentioned earlier, the App has been developed in a collaborative effort of Government and Private Sector. The App has been downloaded by more than 16.23 Cr users and has greatly augmented the efforts of front line health workers in the fight against COVID19. It has helped identify Bluetooth contacts of COVID positive users and issued alerts for helping people to stay safe. These Bluetooth contacts have been advised for caution, quarantine or testing depending on the extent of exposure to COVID19 positive user. Amongst those who have been advised testing, almost 25% have tested positive. This is much higher compared to the overall positivity rate of 7-8%. Thus, the efficiency of testing has gone up with AarogyaSetu. In addition, AarogyaSetu ITIHAS interface with location data has helped identify emerging hotspots where proactive steps have been taken by Health authorities and administration in order to contain the spread of the Virus. Thus, AarogyaSetu has proved to be very useful in India’s fight against COVID19. Recently, WHO has also appreciated the role of AarogyaSetu in containing the pandemic in India.