Aarogya Setu App has been made mandatory as identity proof by the Central Government to move around anywhere within or outside the city.
Over time, the government has made changes in the rules and guidelines with the commencement of each phase of lockdown. However, 4.0 lockdown informatory draft included a significant development regarding the Aarogya Setu app designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on 17th May scaled-down the earlier instructions which involved making Aarogya Setu app compulsory for employees of all sectors of (both public and private). Moreover, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has also issued guidelines for post-lockdown travel on 15th May stating a compulsion for all passengers to install and activate the Aarogya Setu app to be eligible to fly. The Union Government in its earlier announcement had made Aarogya Setu app strictly compulsory for everyone. Hence, all public and private sector working employees were to install the app in their smartphones. To register in the Aarogya Setu app, the user has to fill a form stating gender, name, travel history, location and telephone number. In Sanskrit, the word Aarogya Setu means ‘bridge to health'. Nikhil Pahwa, the editor of internet watchdog Medianama said, “People can fill the form incorrectly and the government cannot verify it, so the efficacy of the data is questionable.” The government has also tweeted on the concerns arising from the app. One such tweet read, “We are continuously testing and upgrading our systems. Team Aarogya Setu assures everyone that no data or security breach has been identified.” Following the government orders, food delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato have made the app compulsory for their employees. UrbanClap, a home-based services company has also made the application mandatory for all its staff to monitor and track information related to the virus. Various phases of making app compulsory In the month of April, Aarogya Setu App was made compulsory for all government officials working from their offices including people holding the office of health, family welfare, defence, police, Food Corporation India (FCI) and so forth. Later when phase-3 of the lockdown became effective in early May, the application was declared as compulsory for all private sectors. Now the question that should be asked, what about the people who don’t have a smartphone? Nokia reported that in 2018 there were 530 million 3G users while only 335 million 4G smartphone users. Recently, one of the Aarogya Setu App developers in The Sunday Express mentions that the application should be working on 2G phones as well but no test has been done yet. The guidelines that have surfaced recently also state that the head of the companies would be held accountable if any employee is caught violating the orders. Former Supreme Court judge Justice B N Srikrishna expressed his concerns and told The Indian Express, “Under what law do you mandate it on anyone? So far it is not backed by any law”. He further added, “It is highly objectionable that such an order is issued at an executive level. Such orders should be backed by parliamentary legislation which will authorize the government to issue such an order.” Tags: Covid-19, India, Aarogya Setu
Sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC of the PRC, JHU CSSE, DXY, QQ, and various international media
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|Jammu and Kashmir||9,501||5,695||154|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu||456||205||1|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||156||83||0|
* Cases identified on a cruise ship currently in Japanese territorial waters.