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#StartupsVsCovid19: Aarogya Setu Fails MIT Test, Ather Resumes Ops & More On Lockdown Day 59

#StartupsVsCovid19: Aarogya Setu Fails MIT Test, Ather Resumes Ops & More On Lockdown Day 59

MIT Technology Review downgraded its previous rating for Aarogya Setu

The app lost more points on the parameter of “data minimisation”

In other news, RBI has further extended the moratorium on loan repayment

On day 59 of the nationwide lockdown, the Indian government’s contact tracing app Aarogya Setu has found itself in more controversy. MIT Technology Review, published by the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has downgraded the rating for the Aarogya Setu app in comparison to its global peers.

In an in-house review, it downgraded the application’s rating to one star out of five. Researchers had earlier given it a score of 2 out of 5. The app lost more points on the parameters of “data minimisation” in the latest test, which means Aarogya Setu is collecting more data than is needed for the app to work.

Aarogya Setu’s privacy policy states that only contact information, location and self-assessment data will be collected by National Informatics Centre (NIC), who will also be responsible for deleting the data after a reasonable period of time.

As the economy starts to recover in lockdown 4.0. the Reserve Bank of India has announced the next set of measures. RBI also extended the three-month moratorium on loan repayments till August. Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the GDP growth in 2020-21 is expected to be negative. He also stated that India is seeing a collapse of demand and investments are thinning out and both electricity and petroleum consumption have fallen.

Ather Resumes Operations

Beyond this, under the fourth phase of lockdown, the electric two-wheeler maker, Ather has restarted on-ground operations in Bengaluru and Chennai. The Bengaluru-based startup says the delivery will start as early as October this year. 

It will also work on looking for retail partners and site locations for each cit and will also add four options for insurance of the vehicles. Ather said that space will be sanitised and the vehicles will be maintained in good condition. 

Further, it also mentioned that a small number of Ather 450 are being delivered in Bengaluru, while the pending deliveries will be completed when the lockdown is completely lifted.  

Online Grocery Boom

With supermarkets shut and kirana stores struggling to deliver, the online grocery segment is set for a phenomenal surge. US-based market research company Forrester Research noted that India’s online grocery market could make $3 Bn in sales this year, representing a whopping 76% hike compared to $1.7 Bn last year. The research firm has attributed this growth to the demand for fresh produce and staples during the nationwide lockdown.

Forrester Research has also elaborated that the additional $1.3 Bn in online grocery sales could also be the biggest driver of the overall ecommerce sales. It also added that the ecommerce segment is expected to grow by 6%, amounting to $35.5 Bn this year. However, compared to last year, the firm would also seek a hike of $2 Bn.