The Central Information Commission on Tuesday sought a response from the National Informatic Center (NIC) that when Arogya Setu App has NIC name on its website, then why do not they have details about the development of this app? Why it is so? The Commission has sent show cause notices to several Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs), including the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and NIC in this regard. It has been asked by commission to clarify in the notice that why they have not given a clear reply to an RTI application put on this contact tracing app being used by crores of people?
Actually, the Arogya Setu app has been promoted by the central government for use of contact tracing of the coronavirus infected people . Now since the Arogya Setu App website says that it has been developed by the National Informatics Center and the Ministry of IT, an RTI has been shout on the app. In this situation both have said that they do not have information about who has developed the app.
Now the information body has sent a notice on the government’s ‘evasive reply’. The Commission has said that ‘refusal by the authorities to give information will not be accepted.’ Please be noted that social worker Sourav Das had complained to the Information Commission that many ministries had failed to give clear information regarding the development of this app. The Information Commission has issued a show cause notice to all the concerned units asking why action should not be taken against them for ‘creating obstruction in giving information’ and for ‘giving evasive reply’ on RTI application.
Das had sought information about the initial proposal of the app, details of the approval received, companies, individuals and government departments involved in this work. He also sought copies of information exchange between people involved in app development. However, his application revolved between different government departments for two months.
Allegedly NIC repeatedly said that ‘the entire file related to the creation of the app is not with the center’. The IT Ministry then sent this RTI to the National e-Governance Division, which said that ‘the information sought is not linked to their department’.