By Karishma Mehrotra
WITH 2.1 crore downloads, the Aarogya Setu mobile app — to track and alert those who physically come close to COVID-19 cases — is being aggressively promoted by the government at the highest level because its effectiveness depends on at least half the population registering as users, according to its developers and experts.
On Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers, including Amit Shah, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Piyush Goyal, were part of a high-level group that attended a presentation by the app’s developers. Since then, the Prime Minister and Union Ministers have tweeted about the app. The HRD and Rail Ministries have sent out advisories urging students, teachers and employees, and their family members, to download it. And banks are sending alerts to account-holders.
The app, which is owned by the government and supported by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), was developed by a joint team of official entities such as NITI Aayog and tech industry volunteers, who also help manage it. The first line of code was written by March 19, and the app launched on April 2 after a security audit conducted by IIT-Madras and a tech consulting firm.