The National Informatics Centre has revealed that it has no information about who created the Aarogya Setu app, which has been downloaded by millions of Indians.
National Informatics Centre, which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, is responsible for designing government websites.
Aarogya Setu is a contact tracing app that the government pushed as an essential tool in the fight against Covid19.
According to the Aarogya Setu website, the app was developed by the NIC and the Information Technology ministry.
But both the NIC and the ministry have denied any knowledge about who created the app in response to a Right to Information (RTI) query.
The Central Information Commission has issued a notice to the government for “evasive answers” about the creator of the Aarogya Setu app.
The RTI body in its notice said: “Denial of information by authorities cannot be accepted”.
It also said: “None of the Chief Public Information Officers were able to explain anything regarding who created the app, where are the files and this is extremely preposterous.”
The CIC has issued a show-cause notice to various chief public information officers asking them to provide a reply to an RTI application that questioned about the Covid19 contact tracing up.
According to a media report, the RTI application was filed by one Saurav Das, who claimed that he approached the NIC, National E-Governance Division (NeGD) and the Ministry of Electronics and IT seeking to know about the creation of the application.
Das said neither the NIC nor the ministry had any data regarding the creations of the app.
Information Commissioner Vanaja N Sarna in its order said: “The Commission directs the CPIO, NIC to explain this matter in writing as to how the website https://aarogyasetu.gov.in/ was created with the domain name gov.in, if they do not have any information about it.”
In a tweet on May 2, 2020, Union Electronics & IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “Aarogya Setu is now being appreciated globally. The App is NOT outsourced to any private operator.”