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Govt set to make Aarogya Setu app mandatory for air travel

As the government gets ready to bring the country and its economy out of the lockdown imposed since late March, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed to make it mandatory for flyers to have the Aarogya Setu installed on their mobile phones.

“People whose Aarogya Setu app is not ‘green’ are not to be allowed inside the terminal building. Persons above 80 years will also be restricted in the first phase of resumption,” a Business Standard report said

The Central Industrial Security Force, which guards India’s airports, has also urged to make the download of the Aarogya Setu app compulsory for flyers. 

Besides, the Rail Ministry, which is going to resume train operations in 15 states from tomorrow, has advised all passengers to download the Aarogya Setu app. 

If the government makes an app mandatory for air and railway travel, India would become the second nation after China to make a mobile app compulsory for travel. 

Entrackr queries sent to the civil aviation ministry didn’t garner an immediate response. We will update the story as when it responds.

India’s COVID-19 contact tracing app Aarogya Setu, which began as a voluntary app, is increasingly being made mandatory for many purposes. The app has got a major push from the government and citizens are being pushed to install on their phones. 

Recently, Aarogya Setu was made mandatory for government and private sector employees. The new guidelines have clearly emphasized that it would be the responsibility of the head of the respective organizations to ensure 100% coverage of the app among its employees.

While the app has been made compulsory for all ground staff working with e-commerce companies, MHA has also ordered the local authorities to ensure 100% coverage of the app in red or containment zones. 

However, the government’s policy of making the app mandatory has raised multiple questions over data privacy. Many privacy crusaders had expressed serious concerns over the kind of surveillance the app could lead to. 

The government denied the privacy issues around the app and said that Aarogya Setu will not be used for surveillance. Amidst controversy, the app has clocked over 90 million downloads and it will see a spurt in downloads once it gets compatible with feature phones.

According to the latest report released by Sensor Tower, Aarogya Setu has been ranked 7th in the category of most downloaded app globally in April in the non-gaming category.

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