28 Oct 2020: Government has no information on who created Aarogya Setu
The Central Information Commission (CIC) on Tuesday issued a show-cause notice to the Centre over providing evasive answers to a Right to Information (RTI) query.
Notably, the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), has said that it has no information about who has created the Aarogya Setu app and how it has been created.
Details: Commission asked NIC why it had no information on app
The CIC has issued show-cause notices to various Chief Public Information Officers (CPIOs), along with MeitY, NIC, and the National e-Governance Division (NeGD) over prima facie obstruction of information pertaining to Aarogya Setu.
The CIC has asked the NIC why it has no information about the creation of the app, when the app's website states that it was designed, developed, and hosted by it.
Quote: 'CPIOs unable to explain anything regarding who created app'
Information Commissioner Vanaja N. Sarna ordered, "The Commission directs the CPIO, NIC to explain this matter in writing as to how the website https://aarogyasetu.gov.in/ was created with the domain name gov.in if they don't have any information about it."
The CIC stated, "None of the CPIOs were able to explain anything regarding who created the app, where are the files, and it's extremely preposterous."
Notice: CPIOs directed to appear before bench on November 24
The CIC issued show-cause notices to SK Tyagi, Deputy Director and CPIO; DK Sagar, Deputy Director Electronics; and RA Dhawan, Senior General Manager (HR & Admn) and CPIO NeGD.
The Commission has directed the CPIOs to appear before the bench on November 24 to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against them under Section 20 of the RTI Act.
Fact: NIC failed to furnish information on app's creation: Complainant
The development comes after one Saurav Das filed a complaint saying that the NIC, NeGD, and MeitY had failed to furnish information about the process of creation of Aarogya Setu and other information related to its creation.
RTI: NIC doesn't hold information on app's creation: RTI response
Das said an RTI was filed with the NIC, which had said that it "does not hold the information" pertaining to the app's creation.
The NIC's response was surprising since it is listed as the app's developer.
Das further submitted that even the NeGD and MeitY had not provided any information relating to the app's creation and other matters.