Government employees mandated to download Arogya Setu app in Srinagar

Government employees mandated to download Arogya Setu app in Srinagar

Government employees mandated to download Arogya Setu app in Srinagar

The railway ministry, which is now running special trains to take migrant workers and others to their home towns, has ordered all passengers to download Aarogya Setu "before commencing their journey".

A paramilitary force guarding India's airports and the metro train stations in capital New Delhi has proposed a similar plan for all passengers.

It said that providing a link to an external website on a government-developed mobile application amounts to giving a largesse and added that the respondents can not act in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner and allow their offices to be used for selected entities.The plea also sought directions to the respondent to take all steps to ensure that the name "Aarogya Setu" or any identical or deceptively similar name is not mis-used to sponsor the commercial interests of arbitrarily hand picked entities, and to direct immediate closure of the said website. This comes just after the Indian Railways made it mandatory for all passengers on trains to have the government's Aarogya Setu app installed on their phones.

The Aarogya Setu app is now not available for all JioPhone users. But later the app developers addressed some of the major security concerns that were pointed out. Strict legal provisions might come into picture, in case one is found to feed incorrect declarations on the app, which can even land the individual in jail, said government sources. The Bangalore-based hacker claimed that he created his own version of Aarogya Setu and shared it with 15 of his friends and suggested that it performed poorly compared to the ones being developed by Apple and Google as these do not store personal data. The tech giants will not permit apps such as Aarogya Setu, that use Global Positioning System and are made mandatory, to use their tools.

According to Reuters, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has made an optimized KaiOS-specific version of Aarogya Setu available for 5 million (50 lakh) JioPhones in India.

So far almost 100 million Indian smartphone users have downloaded the app since its launch in early April.

But another 400 million Indians use basic feature phones and do not have access to Aarogya Setu.

The app, which is available in 11 languages was launched on April 2, offers a self-assessment test, and captures the user's vulnerability to Covid-19 infection and gives contextual advice.

But the mandatory use of the app could marginalise these people if the rules mean they can't get on a train to go to work.

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