In an exclusive interview with Republic TV's Editor Niranjan Narayanaswamy, CEO of the NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant on Thursday emphasised the importance of the Ayogya Setu mobile application amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Aarogya Setu app has become the world's fastest to garner over 50 million downloads.
Speaking to Republic TV Kant said, "You know it's like a bodyguard on your mobile. it shields me, my family and community against coronavirus. This app empowers me for better information on the potential risk of infection. It was built by the best of India's both the Public and Private sectors, it has a whole of India approach. It was built within two weeks. It is a world-class product with respect to quality, privacy, security, and scalability. Now it has reached almost 6 crore users within 15 days... The underline architecture is built to support entire India's user base."
"We are now working on integrating feature phones with an IVR as a facility that is an interactive voice system and we are available in 11 languages from day 1 and we will be adding more languages. This will be a one-stop app for the nation for contact tracing," he added.
Further talking about the new features he said, "This app will do all your contact tracing and give you information and dissemination and all this will be done in just one click of the button. Several new features are going to be introduced including E-pass, Suraksha stores, All the facility for telemedicine, video consultation will be worked out."
"The contact tracing is all done blue trot only this app detects other devices that have Aarogya Setu App in the close proximity of your phone n captures information. In any unfortunate event of any of you, recent contact testing positive the app will calculate your risk of being infected based on proximity and interaction. It will be displayed on your home screen and therefore it is our bodyguard against the virus."
Lastly speaking about privacy factor he said, "It has been designed by privacy first by design. A special Id enables data transmission only after you download the app. All your data is stored only for 30 days in your mobile, 45 days in the server and 60 days for an at-risk person. The app has the highest level of privacy. The app never reveals the personal identity of COVID-19 patients with the public at large."
"The app requires you to register your number and all personal information during registration. All the personal data you have submitted is securely encrypted and stored on the server. On registration, the app assigns a unique Id that is an anonymous randomly generated device Id. The linking of mobile number to the Id is only one time and it is securely encrypted and stored in a server," he added.
The mobile application has been developed by the Government of India to connect essential health services with the people of India in the amid the raging COVID-19 crisis. The App is aimed at augmenting the initiatives of the Government of India, particularly the Department of Health, in proactively reaching out to and informing the users of the app regarding risks, best practices and relevant advisories pertaining to the containment of COVID-19.