IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


30th April, 2020



1. Corona virus lockdown | only 30 lakh found MGNREGA work in April


—Although the Centre gave explicit instructions to reopen its flagship rural jobs scheme from April 20, only 30 lakh people were provided work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in April, about 17% of the usual, government data show.

—The figures for this April are the lowest in five years, and show an 82% drop from the previous year’s figure of 1.7 crores workers.

—In the light of government failure to provide sufficient work at a time when the loss of livelihoods due to the lockdown and returning migrant workers have increased the need for work in Indian villages, there is a rising demand for compensation wages to be paid to workers instead.

—On April 4, activists of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan had filed a petition in the Supreme Court, asking for full wages to be paid through the lockdown to the scheme’s 7.6 crores active job cardholders.

—The scheme stipulates that, if workers register for work, but are not provided employment, they are eligible to an unemployment allowance amounting to a quarter of their wages in the first month, half in the second and full wages thereafter.



—The scheme was introduced as a social measure that guarantees “the right to work”. The key tenet of this social measure and labour law is that the local government will have to legally provide at least 100 days of wage employment in rural India to enhance their quality of life.

Key objectives:

—Generation of paid rural employment of not less than 100 days for each worker who volunteers for unskilled labour.

—Proactively ensuring social inclusion by strengthening livelihood base of rural poor.

—Creation of durable assets in rural areas such as wells, ponds, roads and canals.

—Reduce urban migration from rural areas.

—Create rural infrastructure by using untapped rural labour.

The following are the eligibility criteria for receiving the benefits under MGNREGA scheme:

—Must be Citizen of India to seek NREGA benefits.

—Job seeker has completed 18 years of age at the time of application.

—The applicant must be part of a local household (i.e. application must be made with local Gram Panchayats).

—Applicant must volunteer for unskilled labour.


About The Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (Association for the Empowerment of Labourers and Farmers)

It is an Indian social movement and grassroots organisation best known for its successful struggle and demand for the Right to Information Act (RTI) which grew out of the demand for minimum wages for workers.

— It is one of the forefront civil rights movements in India, and can cite legislation of the RTI as its major achievement.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-only-30-lakh-found-mgnrega-work-in-april/article31467548.ece


2. Intellectual Property rights | India remains on U.S. Priority Watch List


—India continues to be on the ‘Priority Watch List’ of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) for lack of adequate intellectual property (IP) rights protection and enforcement, the USTR said in its Annual Special 301 Report.

—Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are also on the Priority Watch List.

—While India made “meaningful progress” to enhance IP protection and enforcement in some areas over the past year, it did not resolve recent and long-standing challenges, and created new ones, the report said. The same assessment was made in the 2019 report.

—These long-standing concerns were about innovators being able to receive, maintain and enforce patents particularly in the pharmaceutical sector; concerns over copyright laws not incentivising the creation and commercialisation of content; and an outdated trade secrets framework.

—The report also mentioned high customs duties on medical devices, Information, and Communications Technology. These goods categories were have been persistent challenges in trade talks between the two countries last year — the language used in the 2020 report in this context is the same as in the 2019 report.

—Online IP enforcement in India has improved, the report said, but progress is undercut by factors including weak enforcement by courts and the police, lack of familiarity with investigative techniques and no centralised IP enforcement agency.

—The USTR also noted that India was ranked among the top five source economies for fake goods by the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in 2019.


Not good for online rights

—The government’s 2019 draft Copyright Amendment Rules, if implemented, would have “severe” consequences for Internet-content rights holders, the report said, as the proposed rules broadened the scope of compulsory licensing from radio and television broadcasting to online broadcasting.

—Trademark counterfeiting levels were “problematic”, the report said and there were “excessive delays” in obtaining trademarks due to a lack of examination quality.

—The U.S., the report noted, continues to urge India to join the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks, a treaty that harmonises trademark registration.


About The Special 301 Report

It is prepared annually by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that identifies trade barriers to United States companies and products due to the intellectual property laws, such as copyright, patents and trademarks, in other countries.


About OECD

— The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries,  founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

—It is a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members.

—Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. India is not a member of OECD.

—As of 2017, the OECD member countries collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP (US$49.6 trillion)[3] and 42.8% of global GDP (Int$54.2 trillion) at purchasing power parity.

—The OECD is an official United Nations observer.


About The Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks

It was adopted in Singapore on 28 March 2006.

—It entered into force on 16 March 2009, following the ratification or accession of ten countries, namely Singapore, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Romania, Denmark, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, United States, Moldova, and Australia.

—The treaty establishes common standards for procedural aspects of trademark registration and licensing.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/intellectual-property-rights-india-remains-on-us-priority-watch-list/article31467719.ece


3. Corona virus | AAI mulls limited flights with 30% capacity post lockdown


—The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is looking at commencing limited domestic/international flight operations with 30% capacity post COVID-19 lockdown.


About AAI

— The Airports Authority of India or AAI is a statutory body (created through the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994) working under the Ministry of Civil Aviation; Government of India is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India.

— It provides Communication Navigation Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) services over Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/single-terminals-to-fewer-number-of-food-outlets-aai-issues-guidelines-to-airports/article31463001.ece


4.‘Urge ratings agencies to push back assessment of MFIs’


—Microfinance industry association Sa-dhan has written to the Reserve Bank as well as to SEBI, requesting that ratings agencies such as Crisil and Care Ratings be directed to push back their assessment of micro lenders by three months due to the impact on operations following the COVID-19 outbreak.

—Ratings agencies usually revise ratings of micro lenders after 12 months.

—These ratings are important as they determine the creditworthiness of MFIs, helping banks in their decision-making process on lending to micro lenders.

—He added that some ratings agencies were seeking to give fresh ratings to MFIs based on incomplete and insufficient information, and an absence of field assessment. He reasoned that any fresh rating would, therefore, be erroneous and incorrect.

—While the repayment rate is normally more than 98%, due to sudden outburst of the virus and the subsequent nationwide lockdown, MFIs had to shut their operations mid-March onwards.


What is Credit Rating?

—A credit rating is an assessment of the creditworthiness of a borrower in general terms or with respect to a particular debt or financial obligation.

—A credit rating can be assigned to any entity that seeks to borrow money — an individual, corporation, state or provincial authority, or sovereign government.


What are Credit Rating Agencies?

—A credit rating agency (CRA) is a company that assigns credit ratings, which rate a debtor's ability to pay back debt by making timely principal and interest payments and the likelihood of default.

—There are six credit rating agencies registered under SEBI namely, CRISIL, ICRA, CARE, SMERA, Fitch India and Brickwork Ratings.

—CRAs were set up to provide independent evidence and research-based opinion on the ability and willingness of the issuer to meet debt service obligations, quintessentially attaching a probability of default to a specific instrument.

—Evaluating the creditworthiness of an instrument comprises of both qualitative and quantitative assessments, making credit rating far from a straightforward mathematical calculation.




For the Money Lenders

Better Investment Decision: With credit rating, lenders get an idea about the credit worthiness of an individual or company (who is borrowing the money) and the risk factor attached with them. By evaluating this, they can make a better investment decision.

Safety Assured: High credit rating means an assurance about the safety of the money and that it will be paid back with interest on time.


For Borrowers

Easy Loan Approval: With high credit rating, banks will approve loan application of borrowers easily.

—Credit ratings will enable independent benchmarks for pricing debt, ushered in a culture of financial discipline, helped allocate capital efficiently by pricing risk appropriately, and supported financial innovation.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/urge-ratings-agencies-to-push-back-assessment-of-mfis/article31466023.ece


5. Banks borrow ₹2,000 crores from RBI for mutual funds


—Commercial banks have borrowed ₹2,000 crores from the liquidity window that was offered by the Reserve Bank of India for mutual funds (MFs), so far, latest data released by the central bank showed.

—RBI had announced a special window of ₹50,000 crores for mutual funds in view of the redemption pressure that the fund houses are facing.


Exclusive for MFs

—Funds availed under this facility will be used by banks exclusively for meeting the liquidity requirements of MFs.

—The scheme was made available from April 27, 2020 until May 11, 2020 or up to utilisation of the allocated amount, whichever is earlier.

—The window was opened by RBI after Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund decided to wind up six debt funds that have combined assets under management of nearly ₹26,000 crores, on account of illiquid, low-rated instruments in their portfolio, last week.

—The fund house had said that it decided to wind up the schemes to preserve the value at least at the current levels, as it was being eroded due to a combination of redemption pressures and mark-to-market losses. These stemmed from the lack of liquidity because of the COVID-19 impact on the markets.


About MFs

— A mutual fund is an open-end professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. These investors may be retail or institutional in nature.

 —Mutual funds have advantages and disadvantages compared to direct investing in individual securities.

—Advantages of mutual funds include economies of scale, diversification, liquidity, and professional management. However, these come with mutual fund fees and expenses.

—Not all investment funds are mutual funds; alternative structures include unit investment trusts, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

—Mutual funds are also classified by their principal investments as money market funds, bond or fixed income funds, stock or equity funds, hybrid funds or other.

—Funds may also be categorized as index funds, which are passively managed funds that match the performance of an index, or actively managed funds.

Hedge funds are not mutual funds, as hedge funds cannot be sold to the public and lack various standard investor protections.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/business/banks-borrow-2000-crore-from-rbi-for-mutual-funds/article31466193.ece





1. NEET applies to minority-run medical colleges: Supreme Court


—The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is mandatory for admission to medical colleges run by religious and linguistic minority communities, the Supreme Court held.

—NEET would apply for both aided and unaided medical colleges administered by minorities.

—The court dismissed arguments made by the managements of several minority-run medical institutions, including the Christian Medical College Vellore Association that bringing them uniformly under the ambit of NEET would be a violation of their fundamental right to “occupation, trade and business”.

—The colleges had argued that imposing NEET would violate their fundamental rights of religious freedom, to manage their religious affairs, to administer their institutions. They said the State was reneging its obligation to act in the best interest of minorities.

—The court held that rights of trade, business and occupation or religious rights “do not come in the way of securing transparency and recognition of merits in the matter of admissions”.

—Regulating academics and imposing reasonable restrictions to ensure educational standards was in national and public interest, Justice Mishra wrote.

—The right to freedom of trade or business is not absolute. It is subject to “reasonable restriction in the interest of the students’ community to promote merit, recognition of excellence, and to curb the malpractices.

—A uniform entrance test qualifies the test of proportionality and is reasonable”.


‘To check several maladies’

—“NEET is intended to check several maladies which crept into medical education, to prevent capitation fee by admitting students which are lower in merit and to prevent exploitation, profiteering, and commercialisation of education. The institution has to be a capable vehicle of education,” Justice Mishra observed.

—The court said minority institutions were equally bound to comply with the conditions imposed under the law. The regulations, including admission through NEET, were neither divisive nor disintegrative. They were necessary.


NEET impersonation: more cases likely

—The judgment was based on a challenge by the colleges to several notifications issued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Dental Council of India (DCI) under Sections 10D of the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 and the Dentists Act of 1948 for uniform entrance examinations.

—“Professional educational institutions constitute a class by themselves. Specific measures to make the administration of such institutions transparent can be imposed. The rights available under Article 30 [right of minorities to administer their institutions] are not violated by provisions carved out in Section 10D of the MCI Act and the Dentists Act and Regulations framed by MCI/DCI,” the court held.

—Uniform entrance exams would ensure improvement in future public health by encouraging merit in furtherance of the Directive Principles enshrined in the Constitution.


About NEET

— The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Under Graduate (NEET (UG)), succeeded from All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) is an entrance examination in India for students who wish to study undergraduate medical courses (MBBS) and dental courses (BDS) in government or private medical colleges and dental colleges in India.

—The undergraduate NEET (UG), for MBBS and BDS courses, is currently conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which provides the results to the Directorate General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

—Prior to 2019, the test was administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in partnership with Prometric Testing Pvt. Ltd headquartered in the USA.

—NEET-UG replaced the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) and all individual MBBS exams conducted by states or colleges themselves in 2013.

—However, many colleges and institutes had taken a stay order and conducted private examinations for admission to their MBBS and BDS courses.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/education/neet-applies-to-minority-run-medical-colleges-supreme-court/article31465082.ece




1. Afghan peace and India’s elbow room


—Earlier this month, the United Nations Secretariat held a meeting of what it calls the “6+2+1” group on regional efforts to support peace in Afghanistan, a group that includes six neighbouring countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; global players the United States and Russia, and Afghanistan itself.

India was conspicuous by its absence from the meeting on April 16, given its historical and strategic ties with Afghanistan, but not for the first time.


Left out, but some recovery

—In December 2001, India was left out of Bonn agreement.

— In January 2010, India was invited to attend the “London Conference” on Afghanistan, but left out of the room during a crucial meeting that decided on opening talks with the Taliban.

—In 2020, the reason given for keeping India out of regional discussions on Afghanistan was ostensibly that it holds no “boundary” with Afghanistan; but in fact, it is because New Delhi has never announced its support for the U.S.-Taliban peace process.

—In both 2001 and 2010, however, India fought back its exclusion successfully.

—At the Bonn agreement, Ambassador was widely credited for ensuring that Northern Alliance leaders came to a consensus to accept Hamid Karzai as the Chairman of the interim arrangement that replaced the Taliban regime.

—After the 2010 conference, New Delhi redoubled its efforts with Kabul, and in 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Afghanistan President Karzai signed the historic Strategic Partnership Agreement, which was Afghanistan’s first such agreement with any country.


New Delhi’s stand

—To begin with, India’s resistance to publicly talking to the Taliban has made it an awkward interlocutor at any table. Its position that only an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled process can be allowed is a principled one, but has no takers.

—New Delhi’s decision to put all its eggs in the Ghani basket has had a two-fold effect: its voice in the reconciliation process has been limited, and it has weakened India’s position with other leaders of the deeply divided democratic setup in Kabul such as the former chief executive Abdullah.

—Meanwhile, India’s presence inside Afghanistan, which has been painstakingly built up since 2001, is being threatened anew by terror groups such as the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), believed to be backed by Pakistan’s establishment. Intercepts showed that the brutal attack, in March, that killed 25 at a gurudwara in Kabul was meant for the embassy in Kabul, and intelligence agencies had warned of suicide car bomb threats to the consulates in Jalalabad and Herat last December.


What dents India’s goodwill?

—The government must also consider the damage done to the vast reservoir of goodwill India enjoys in Afghanistan because of recent events in the country, especially the controversy over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

—The building blocks of that goodwill are India’s assistance in infrastructure projects, health care, education, trade and food security, and also in the liberal access to Afghans to study, train and work in India.

—Above all, it is India’s example as a pluralistic, inclusive democracy that inspires many.

—Afghanistan’s majority-Muslim citizens, many of whom have treated India as a second home, have felt cut out of the move to offer fast track citizenship to only Afghan minorities, as much as they have by reports of anti-Muslim rhetoric and incidents of violence in India.

—While many of these are problems of perception, New Delhi must move swiftly to regain the upper hand in the narrative in Afghanistan.

—India’s assistance of more than $3 billion in projects, trade of about $1 billion, a $20 billion projected development expenditure of an alternate route through Chabahar, as well as its support to the Afghan National Army, bureaucrats, doctors and other professionals for training in India should assure it a leading position in Afghanistan’s regional formulation.

—Three major projects: the Afghan Parliament, the Zaranj-Delaram Highway, and the Afghanistan-India Friendship Dam (Salma dam), along with hundreds of small development projects (of schools, hospitals and water projects) have cemented that position in Afghan hearts nationwide, regardless of Pakistan’s attempts to undermine that position, particularly in the South.

—As a result, it would be a mistake, at this point, to tie all India’s support in only to Kabul or the Ghani government; the government must strive to endure that its aid and assistance is broad-based, particularly during the novel corona virus pandemic to centres outside the capital, even if some lie in areas held by the Taliban.


Making a leap

—India must also pursue opportunities to fulfil its role in the peace efforts in Afghanistan, starting with efforts to bridge the Ghani-Abdullah divide, and bringing together other major leaders with whom India has built ties for decades.

—An understanding between Iran and the U.S. on Afghanistan is necessary for lasting peace as well, and India could play a mediatory part, as it did in order for the Chabahar project.

—Finally, New Delhi should use the United Nations’ call for a pause in conflicts during the novel corona virus pandemic, to ensure a hold on hostilities with Pakistan.

—This will be even more difficult than it sounds, given the abyss that bilateral relations have fallen into in the past year over Kashmir and the rise in firepower exchanged at the Line of Control.

—However, if there is one lesson that the U.S.-Taliban talks have imparted, it is that both have found it necessary to come to the table for talks on Afghanistan’s future.

— For India, given its abiding interest in Afghanistan’s success and traditional warmth for its people, making that leap should be a bit easier.

—Above all, the government must consider the appointment of a special envoy, as it has been done in the past, to deal with its efforts in Afghanistan, which need both diplomatic agility and a firmness of purpose at a watershed moment in that country’s history.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/afghan-peace-and-indias-elbow-room/article31466678.ece



2. By any calculus, India qualifies for UNSC permanent seat: Syed Akbaruddin


About UNSC:

What is it?

—The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.

—Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

—Members: The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.

—The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.


Proposed reforms:

—Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.


India’s demands:

—India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.


Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?

—India was among the founding members of United Nations.

—It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.

—It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/by-any-calculus-india-qualifies-for-unsc-permanent-seat-syed-akbaruddin/article31465932.ece


3. Study on China dams brings the Brahmaputra into focus


—A new study highlighting the impact of China’s dams on the Mekong river has raised fresh questions on whether dams being built on other rivers that originate in China, such as the Brahmaputra, may similarly affect countries downstream.

—While China’s southwestern Yunnan province had above-average rainfall from May to October 2019, there was “severe lack of water in the lower Mekong”, the study found based on satellite data from 1992 to 2019.

—The Mekong flows from China to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

—The Mekong River Commission, which comprises Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, has said more scientific evidence was needed to establish whether dams caused a 2019 drought.

—The study released this month said six dams built since the commissioning of the Nuozhadu dam in 2012 had altered natural flow of the river.

—It was published by the Sustainable Infrastructure Partnership in Bangkok and the Lower Mekong Initiative, which is a U.S. partnership with all the downstream countries besides Myanmar. The study was funded by the U.S. government.


‘Groundless study’

—China has maintained that the dams it is building on the river, known as the Lancang there, are “run of the river” dams that only store water for power generation.

—The Foreign Ministry said the study was “groundless”. Yunnan had also suffered from drought, while the Lancang only accounted for 13.5% of the Mekong’s flows.


Harnessing the power of the ‘mother river’

—India has long expressed concerns over dam building on the Brahmaputra.

—In 2015, China operationalised its first hydropower project at Zangmu, while three other dams at Dagu, Jiexu and Jiacha are being developed.

—Indian officials have said the dams are not likely to affect the quantity of the Brahmaputra’s flows because they are only storing water for power generation.

—Moreover, the Brahmaputra is not entirely dependent on upstream flows and an estimated 35% of its basin is in India.

—India does not have a water-sharing agreement with China, but both sides share hydrological data. —We have got China to cooperate with us for warnings on how floods are moving down the Yarlung Tsangpo and into the Brahmaputra, so that we can warn our population living in low-lying areas and move them safely to higher ground.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/study-on-china-dams-brings-the-brahmaputra-into-focus/article31466673.ece




1. All Central govt. officials to use Aarogya Setu app


—All Central government officials, including the outsourced workforce, have been directed to immediately download the Aarogya Setu App on their mobile phones.

—In case the app shows a message that an official has a ‘moderate’ or ‘high risk’, calculated on the basis of Bluetooth proximity (recent contact with an infected person), he or she should stay away from office and go in for self-isolation for 14 days till the status becomes ‘safe’ or ‘low risk’, the order says.

—The contact-tracking app has so far been downloaded more than 7.5 crores times.

—It uses the phone’s Bluetooth and GPS capabilities to alert a user if any other user with whom he or she came in contact has tested positive for COVID-19.

—Experts have expressed concern about its use, particularly in the absence of any legal backing.


About Aarogya Setu App

—It is a COVID-19 tracking mobile application developed by the National Informatics Centre that comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.


Overview of Aarogya Setu App 

—The stated purpose of this app is to spread the awareness and to connect essential health services to the people of India.

— This app will augment the initiatives of the Department of Health to contain the risks of COVID-19, and sharing the best practices and advisories.

—This is a tracking app, which uses Smartphone’s GPS and Bluetooth features to track the corona virus infection.

— Aarogya Setu app is available for Android and iOS mobile operating systems.

—Using Bluetooth technology, the Aarogya Setu app tries to determine the risk if one has been near a Covid-19 infected person (within six feet of distance) by scanning through a database of known cases across India, and using location information it determines the location one is in belongs to the infected areas based on the data available.

—This app is an updated version of an earlier app called Corona Kavach (now discontinued) which was already released by the Government of India.


Technical details             

—Aarogya Setu has four sections in the new UI, viz. Your Status, Self Assess, COVID-19 Update, and E-pass (which is yet to go active).

—Your Status tells the risk of getting COVID-19 for the user. Self-Assess lets the user know the risk of being infected. COVID-19 Update gives update on the local and national COVID-19 cases.

—Aarogya Setu is currently available in 12 languages (English, Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali, Oriya, Gujarati, and Marathi, Assamese) and expected to be available in more Indian languages soon. One is asked to provide health and other profiling information after signing into the app.

—The app is also built on a platform that can provide Application Programming Interface (API) so that other computer programs, mobile applications and web services can make use of the features and data available of Aarogya setu.


Reference: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-central-govt-officials-to-use-aarogya-setu-app/article31461138.ece