Aarogya Setu Yet Another Mismanaged Opportunity

Aarogya Setu and why it was bound to fail

  1. The app will be 130 crore people’s bodyguard
  2. It will help you and your family to be safe by contact tracing
  3. Download the app now cause it is voluntarily mandatory

So what went wrong?

Why the Indian initiative fell short:

  • Mandatory usage: The Modi-led regime with the ‘power of text box’ prior to the pandemic had forced Indians unique identification program dubbed Aadhar (support) to get state benefits*. Aarogya setu was yet another application built on Aadhar + mobile number stack to provide location of Covid-19 positive patients around you. In theory since mobile number is associated to Aadhar and Aadhar to your medical report, knowing who was positive was to be a peach. But, Indians are e-smart. While some used alternate numbers others just used screenshots to fake the system.
  • Implementation of the app: The Government made it compulsory for anyone using public facilities to download the app. If someone refused to use the app then they had to have a negative Covid-19 test with a self-declaration. Others just faked the app’s screenshot. The point being the contact tracing effort was bound to be a failure from day 1. People did it not our of concern but compulsion, did not work for 75-years of Indian independence and won’t work in the future.
  • Contact tracing cannot be automated, it requires humans. Just like every Modi project, this too was left wayside after the marketing blitz was over. I will conclude this piece by linking to this article that encapsulates the effort Singapore undertook with their app.
No seriously, God help India.

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