India to make contact tracing app ‘Aarogya Setu’ mandatory for air and rail travel

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India To Make Contact Tracing App Aarogya Setu Mandatory For Air And Rail Travel - We The World Magazine
Image by Unsplash and Ministry of Railways/ Twitter

As the world’s largest lockdown gradually recedes, India is pushing the state-backed contact tracing app ‘Aarogya Setu‘ or ‘Health Bridge’ to make it mandatory for air and rail travel, media reports confirm.

If your question is if the Aarogya setu app mandatory for train travel, the answer is yes, it is.

If this step is made mandatory, India would become the only democratic country in the world to make a contact tracing app mandatory for all, according to software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) Reuters reports. China has already installed technology-backed social control methods earlier.

Travelers might have to install Aarogya setu app for future traveling in India
Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The Aarogya Setu, like other similar contact tracing apps used worldwide, uses the smartphone’s Bluetooth and location to determine the movement of the user and alert whenever a high-risk individual nears.

Skeptical over Aarogya Setu?

Users who install the app initially must provide important health metrics along with the travel history of air travel. The app recommends to input data as genuinely and closely as possible.


 

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However, the Indian app uses GPS to augment sensitive data, which is giving rise to some skepticism among users. Most countries bypass this method for security reasons. However, speaking to broadcaster Aaj Tak, CEO of Niti Ayog told the app sustains a healthy person data or 30 days, while data of high-risk individuals will be stored for 60 days, Indian Express reports.

India is gradually easing lockdown, with domestic flights and special trains being resumed to ferry people stuck in different parts of the country.

Last night, the Ministry of Railways tweeted that downloading the Arogya Setu app will be mandatory for traveling in trans, Deccan Herald reports. Trains are ferrying from 15 destinations connecting New Delhi from Tuesday onwards.

Asymptomatic and confirmed ticket holders will be able to travel during the lockdown, The Home Ministry has said. Tickets will be only available online through IRCTC.

Reports suggest the government is also in the talks to make the app mandatory for people taking flights post-lockdown. “Preliminary discussions regarding making this app mandatory for air passengers have been done with the airlines,” the government told The Press Trust of India (PTI).

If the Aviation Ministry gives the app a green signal, passengers must reportedly install the app and have it fully functional before being allowed to travel.