India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps apps has caused a huge furore and created a sizeable dent in the Chinese digital space.
While India could have imposed a ban on foreign apps a long time ago in the pursuit of being self-dependent, or ‘atmanirbhar’, the move even though late is welcome.
This now brings back into focus a variety of advanced apps within India that can replace foreign apps. Take, for instance, the apps listed below that can make your life much easier!
Note: Arogya Setu has not been included in this list yet.
BHIM: For financial transactions
BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) is an Indian mobile payment App developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Launched on 30 December 2016, it is intended to facilitate e-payments directly through banks as part of the 2016 Indian banknote demonetisation and drive towards cashless transactions.
The app supports all Indian banks which use UPI, which is built over the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) infrastructure and allows the user to instantly transfer money between bank accounts of any two parties. It can be used on all mobile devices. BHIM allow users to send or receive money to or from UPI payment addresses, or to non-UPI based accounts (by scanning a QR code with account number and IFSC code or MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) Code).
DigiLocker: For safely keeping digital copies of important documents
DigiLocker is an online service provided by Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), Government of India, under its Digital India initiative. DigiLocker provides an account in cloud to every Aadhaar holder to access authentic documents/certificates such as driving license, vehicle registration, academic mark sheet in digital format from the original issuers of these certificates. It also provides 1GB storage space to each account to upload scanned copies of legacy documents. Users need to possess an Aadhaar number to use DigiLocker. For sign-up, the Aadhaar number and the one-time password sent to the Aadhaar-registered mobile number, need to be entered.
IRCTC: Indian Railways app (Confirmtkt.com)
Confirmtkt.com is one of the best IRCTC train booking sites online. Increase your chance of train ticket availability. IRCTC train enquiry and booking which is backed by a unique and efficient algorithm which predicts your IRCTC PNR in seconds based on historical trends. It also assists you in deciding whether to book train tickets or not if the train is on the waitlist.
112 App: For women’s safety
Primarily meant for women safety, under the Nirbhaya initiative, the project is the joint effort of Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry for Home Affairs. Anyone can download this application and just by pressing a button or just pressing power button thrice, one can initiate call to the state emergency responses. Without making any voice call, the police will automatically reach the victim. It has a unique feature which is called ‘Shout’. Since the police is limited and there is a huge population to cover, any citizen can register with the system as a volunteer. After proper scrutiny and verification, these volunteers will be incorporated in the system.
Startup India app
Startup India is essentially an initiative taken by the Indian government that aims at promoting and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit amongst its citizens. Startup India app is designed for entrepreneurs to understand and gain information about the startup ecosystem. Through the app, users can learn about government initiatives about startups and also learn about incubators.
Bharat ke Veer: For contributing to families of Central Armed Police Forces’ soldiers
Bharat Ke Veer mobile app is an initiative for the citizens to pay homage to the bravehearts in Central Armed Police Forces who laid down their lives in the line of duty. Using this app, individuals can contribute directly into the bank accounts of the braveheart’s kin, or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
To ensure maximum coverage, a cap of 15 lakhs is envisaged per braveheart and the donor would be alerted if the amount exceeds Rs 15 lakhs, so that they can choose to either decrease their contribution or divert part of the donation to another braveheart's account, or to the “Bharat Ke Veer” corpus.
Payments through this app is powered by State Bank of IndiaDigiSevak: For citizen volunteer
National Scholarships Portal: For students looking for scholarship
National Scholarships Portal is one-stop solution through which various services starting from student application, application receipt, processing, sanction and disbursal of various scholarships to Students are enabled. National Scholarships Portal is taken as Mission Mode Project under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). It is a common app for various scholarships schemes of Central Ministries and State Governments
Voter Helpline: App by the Election Commission of India
Voter Helpline App is the comprehensive app for Indian Voters to search their name in the electoral roll, submit forms for voter registration & modification, download their digital photo voter slips, make complaints, find details about the contesting candidates and most importantly see the real-time results of the elections. 19 Million (1.9 Crore) users used the Voter Helpline Mobile Application to search their names in the Electoral Roll till date.
With 2,16,81,289 (2.16 Crore or 21 Million) downloads and 1,53,604 (1.53 lac or 153K) user feedback, this national award-winning application has taken roots as a major tool for citizen empowerment. The seed for the Voter Helpline was sown in the year 2016, when a new website for Election Commission was envisaged. In the process of designing the new website, the concept of Voter Helpline took its humble beginnings. At that stage, the Project was codenamed as ‘ECI Citizen App’ and the initial objective was to display on the mobile app, the main ECI Website content.
MyGov: Feedback, suggestions and ideas to the government
MyGov is Government of India’s innovative citizen engagement platform for direct citizen participation in governance by providing an avenue for channelizing their ideas, comments and creative suggestions to Central Ministries and associated organisations. Citizens can participate in policy formulation and program implementation to usher in an era of direct participatory democracy.The MyGov app acts as a platform for citizen participation in governance. Users can provide ideas ,comments, suggestions to ministries and associated organisations. One can also apparently participate in policy formulation and programme implementation.
Khelo India: For sports and fitness enthusiasts
The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation. Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years. Khelo India (school version) mobile app is exclusively developed for schools to assess the fitness level of their students. If individuals/parents want to assess the fitness level of their children. The Khelo India (school version) app requires user name and password to login. The same can be obtained by registering the schools in Khelo India fitness assessment portal (link http://schoolfitness.kheloindia.gov.in).
ePathshala: For students and teachers
This app has been developed by the HRD ministry and NCERT. eBooks can be accessed by students and teachers on mobile phones, tablets and desktops. One can carry as many book according to their device’s storage. The app has features like pinch, select, highlight and even listening to text using text-to-speech.
mPassport: For passport related information
mPassport Seva is a light weight, easy to use app that provides all the functions as available over the Passport Seva Portal such as New User Registration, existing User Login, Apply for Passport Services, Pay online, Schedule appointment, Know Location of Passport Centers, Fee Details, Application Status, Contact Information and other General Information. The app provides facility to Register, Apply, Pay and Schedule appointment for Passport related services. The app provides information on various steps involved to obtain a passport related service and where to call in case of queries or concerns. The users are able to search for a Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or District Passport Cell (DPC). Citizens living overseas can find out relevant information about the Missions/Posts abroad. For certain states and districts, the users can search for Police Stations as well. Fee Calculator feature of the application enables users to find out the required fee based on the service and mode of submission. Document Advisor helps users to find out the required documents they need to carry while visiting Passport Office for application submission. The users can track status of their passport applications using file number and date of birth. For dispatched passports, the delivery status can also be tracked.
mParivahan: For driving license and vehicle related information
Provides Transport Service access to citizens through a mobile-based application. This app empowers citizen with instant access to various information, services and utilities related to the Transport Sector. Aimed to bring convenience to citizen and transparency in the system. It is a genuine government app for all India RTO vehicle registration number search.
Incredible India: For tourism information
Incredible India App is an innovative project of Ministry of Tourism to assist the international and domestic tourist to showcase India as a holistic destination, revolving around major experiences such as spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga , wellness and more.
The mobile app has been designed keeping in mind the preferences of the modern traveller. The app follows the trends and technologies of international standards and has been equipped with features to assist the traveller in each phase of their journey to India.
Kisan Suvidha: For agriculture related information
Kisan Suvidha is an omnibus mobile app developed by Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to help farmers by providing relevant information to them quickly. The app is available in multiple Indian languages.
Yoga locator: For fitness and yoga enthusiasts
Ministry of Ayush launched Yoga Locator to help you find yoga trainers, yoga centres and yoga events around your area. The app enables yoga instructors to register themselves and reach out to people who want to pursue a yoga course. Yoga Locator uses your location to find yoga trainers, yoga centres and yoga events near you. All you need to do is to open the app and grant location access. The app will list all the registered yoga trainers and events in your city. Alternatively, you can manually enter the name of your city in the app.
UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance)
UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) is envisaged to make e-governance . It is developed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and National e-Governance Division (NeGD) to drive Mobile Governance in India. UMANG provides a single platform for all Indian Citizens to access pan India e-Gov services ranging from Central to Local Government bodies and other citizen centric services.
MADAD: For Indian citizens abroad
Consular Services Management System (MADAD) has been setup for Indian Citizens to log and track Grievances pertaining to the Consular Services offered by the Indian Embassies (Missions/Posts) abroad.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) with a view to provide mobile enablement of MADAD, has launched MADAD Mobile Application on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. Grievances regarding Compensation, Court Case, Domestic Help, Imprisoned Abroad, Transportation of Mortal Remains, Repatriation, Salary Dues, Tracing the Whereabouts, Marital Disputes, Birth Certificate, No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) Certificate, Asylum-Cases, Worker Abuse, Recruiting Agent, Contract Problems, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Sponsor Problems will be lodged. Grievances/queries related to Visa and Passport, Emergency Travel Documents, and Attestation of Documents are not entertained through the MADAD system.
Indian Police on Call
The Indian Police at Your Call App is a GIS Map based interface for the citizens to locate police stations near to their current location so that they can easily “reach” the police station in case of emergency.
Sangam: For devotional and Indian classical music
The government’s music app Sangam treats Hinduism as the “core of Indian culture”. the app has a collection of “over 2500 devotional tracks in 24 Indian languages,” as per the ministry’s website. Under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) has created, a mobile and web music application ‘SANGAM’, as the name of the application suggests, has been conceived as an aural confluence of several streams of devotion and divinity, as also a confluence of the various art forms that are part of our musical traditions. The application has been envisioned as a one-stop virtual destination for the connoisseurs of music of classical, folk, devotional and popular styles alike. ‘SANGAM’ is a first of its kind initiative taken by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.