The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on April 14, extended the countrywide lockdown till May 3 in order to keep the Covid-19 spread under control. Meanwhile, there have also been reports that the Prime Minister’s Office has set up a high-powered committee to find tech solutions for its contact tracing Aarogya Setu app.
The committee is said to work on the functionality and development of the Indian’s government’s Aarogya Setu app, launched on April 2. As per a TOI report, the committee will cover all the aspects of the app, including reachability and traceability.
Meanwhile, it will also focus on integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and GPS technologies to enhance the apps ability to restrict the movements of the patients and those, who have been advised to stay under quarantine.
The high-powered committee will consist of officials and tech leaders — IT Secretary Ajay Sawhney, TRAI chairperson RS Sharma, telecom secretary Anshu Prakash, Tata Group chairperson N Chandrasekaran, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra, Tech Mahindra Group CEO CP Gurnani, IIT Madras professor V Kamakoti and Google Maps India’s Lalitesh Katragadda. The committee will be under Principal Scientific advisor Professor Vijay Raghavan.
In an attempt to create a one-stop solution, the app may also incorporate healthcare facilities, remote healthcare and medical staff support. The government believes that this would reduce the burden on the Indian healthcare system by providing remote healthcare support.
The TOI report also states that Tech Mahindra and the Mahindra Group is already working with the committee on the next version of the Aarogya Setu app to allow citizens to identify lockdown hotspots. The update would leverage on AI, machine learning and data science. The new updates would also allow users from economically weak sections to find distribution centres near them.
Meanwhile, Tata Consultancy Service is working on testing and other aspects of the Aarogya Setu app. The company is also working on making the app compatible with all types of phones, going beyond smartphones.
The Indian government has also set up another committee, chaired by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, to bring more private companies and startups on board to produce health equipment and personal protection equipment (PPE).
So far, the committee is working with 8 startups like AgVa, Biodesign Innovation Lab, Qure.ai, DronaMaps, mFine, MicroGo, Staqu and Kaaenaat. The committee also comprises 12 industry leaders from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), six CEOs from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) industry partners, 14 CEOs of top tech-based companies from NASSCOM.