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The Government of India’s Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has released the backend code of the Aarogya Setu app. The code is now available to everyone at the Open Forge website here. In its press release, the government notes that Open Forge was developed by the Indian government to promote sharing and resume of e-governence application source code. Through this move, the government aims to promote collaborative development between its departments and private organizations, citizens and developers. It hopes that this will spur the creation of “innovative e-governance applications and services.”
The release shared by the government stated, “With regard to Aarogya Setu App, it has been the endeavour of the Government to share all information relating to it. The source code of the Android and iOS versions were released earlier and the backend source code is also being released as per the policy of Government of India to share all code repositories with developer community.”
Backend code of Aarogya Setu released in open domain.@NICMeity @GoI_MeitY @_DigitalIndia @mygovindia @rsprasad @NITIAayog @amitabhk87 @AjaySawhney15https://t.co/miiWD1rJLE#SetuMeraBodyguard #IndiaFightsCorona
— Aarogya Setu (@SetuAarogya) November 20, 2020
This move should ensure a greater degree of transparency with regards to the Aarogya Setu app. The app was launched back in April this year with the aim of tracing COVID-19 cases. However, many have voiced their concerns regarding the privacy offered by the app. A few weeks ago, the Central Information Commission (CIC) issued a show-cause notice to concerned Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) on Tuesday. The notice sent is for “prima facie obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply” on an RTI application related to Aarogya Setu App. As it turned out, none of the CPIOs were able to explain who created the application. In the same press release, the government notes that the Aarogya Setu app was downloaded by over 16.43 Crore users.