The Centre on Wednesday issued a clarification as to who created the Aarogya Setu application, promoted by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19. It said that the app was developed by the government in collaboration with “the best of the minds of Industry & Academia”, in a statement posted on the Aarogya Setu App’s Twitter handle.

Earlier in the day, the National Informatics Centre and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that they did not have any information about who ‘created’ the application, prompting the Central Information Commission to issue a show cause notice to the Centre regarding the same.

In a post accompanied with a two-page clarification, the Aarogya Setu App’s Twitter handle says, “Clarification issued on Aarogya Setu App. Aarogya Setu App is a product of Government of India built in collaboration with the best of the minds of Industry & Academia. Worlds largest contact tracing App, appreciated by WHO also.”

“It (Aarogya Setu) has helped identify bluetooth contacts of Covid-19 positive users and issued alerts for helping people to stay safe. These bluetooth contacts have been advised for caution, quarantine or testing depending on the ectent of the exposure to Covid-19 positive user,” the statement reads.

Information Commissioner Vanaja N Sarna, in a terse order, pointed out that the website of the application mentions that the content on it is “owned, updated and maintained” by MyGov and MeitY and directed the CPIO of the ministry to explain why they didnt have the requisite information.

“The CPIO NIC also should explain that when in the website it is mentioned that Aarogya Setu Platform is designed, developed and hosted by National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, then how is it that they do not have any information about creation of the App,” she said.

The Information Commissioner was hearing the plea of one Saurav Das who had sought to know from the government details about the creation of Aarogya Setu application, the law under which it is functioning and whether the government was planning to bring a separate law about the handling of data collected by the application.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) did not provide any information, prompting Das to file a complaint under the RTI Act.