After controversy erupted over the unavailability of information on who made the contact-tracing app Aarogya Setu, the Union government has clarified that the application was developed by the government in collaboration with private enterprises.
The controversy erupted after the Chief Information Commission sought an explanation from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for claiming that it did not have any data regarding who made the contact-tracing app.
Centre issues clarification on Aarogya Setu
The Ministry of Electronics and IT issued a two-page release to clarify on the issue. The ministry claimed that the app has been downloaded by over 16.23 crore users and it has strengthened India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has helped identify Bluetooth contacts of COVID-19 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 the exposure to COVID-19 positive user,” the release said.
About 25 per cent of those who have been alerted tested positive, the clarification said. “This is much higher compared to the overall positivity rate of 7 to 8 per cent. Thus, the efficiency of testing has gone up with Aarogya Setu,” the release added.
App developed in record 21 days
Dousing the controversy that was fuelled after the National Informatics Centre denied having any knowledge about the app, the Centre said there should be no doubt over this app.
Giving details of how the app was developed, the Centre said the app was developed in a record time of around 21 days. It was a ‘Make in India’ effort for which the best of Indian minds from industry, academia and government worked round the clock.
It also mentioned that NIC has developed the app in collaboration with volunteers from industry and academia.
Notably, several experts had earlier questioned the safety of the data that a user has to enter on Aarogya Setu. However, the government has repeatedly clarified that user data of the application is absolutely safe.
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