Government Open Sources Aarogya Setu With Bug Bounty Program

Aarogya Setu

Aarogya Setu mobile app was launched by the Government of India on April 2, 2020. The launch comes within a few days after the announcement of lockdown by PM Narendra Modi. Within two months of the official launch, the Government has thrown open the source code of the Aarogya Setu on the GitHub platform. The repository uploaded by the team is that of the actual production environment. The Government also revealed that all subsequent product updates will also be made available via this repository. The iOS version of the code will be available within two days.

According to the Government release available on the official Twitter handle, opening the source code to the developer community signifies their continuing commitment to the principles of transparency and collaboration. The development of the app has been a remarkable example of the partnership between Government, Industry, Academia, and citizens. The app is a result of the hard work of the talented young technological experts of our country who have worked day and night to design and develop the product.

Bug Bounty Program

To encourage developers, the Government also announced Aarogya Setu Bug Bounty Program for those who identify vulnerabilities or bugs. The feedback for the improvement of the code will also be considered effectively.

The aim of the Bug Bounty program is to establish partnerships with security researchers and the Indian developer community to test the security effectiveness of the app. The Government is also keen to enhance the user’s trust when few people raised questions regarding the privacy of the app.

Top technical professionals

The document signifies that the Government is on a lookout to expand collaboration and also to leverage the expertise of top technical brains including talented youth and citizens of our nation. The main purpose is to build a robust and secure technology solution to support the work of frontline health workers in fighting this pandemic together.

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High market share

The Aarogya Setu mobile app provides a comprehensive suite of interventions against COVID-19. The app has the most reach and impact when compared with the contact tracing apps developed by other countries. The Government aims to deploy data-driven epidemiological flattening of the curve via syndromic mapping.

As per the analytics, two-thirds of more than 114 million registered users have completed the self-assessment test to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The app has helped to identify over 500,000 Bluetooth contacts. The National Health Authority will establish contact with those people who have been identified as high-risk patients.
The unique combination of Bluetooth-based contact tracing and identification of hotspots could hold the key to effectively break the chain of infection including flattening the curve and saving lives.

The Aarogya Setu team has reached out to more than 900,000 users and provided advise including Quarantine information. The reports suggest that nearly 24 percent of the people who used Aarogya Setu mobile app have been found to be COVID-19 positive. The Government is of the opinion that the contact tracing helps to focus efforts on those people who require testing, which will arrest the spread of the pandemic.

Precise identification of hotspots

The analysis of Bluetooth contacts and location data helps to identify potential hotspots with an increased probability of COVID cases. The initial spread of the COVID-19 should be curbed and the app does the same work, which is critical to control the spread of the pandemic. As of this writing, the Aarogya Setu app has identified more than 3500 hotspots across India. The data provided by the app has shown enormous potential in predicting emerging hotspots at the sub-post office level. The hotspots figured out by the app are identified as normal hotspots in the next 17 to 25 days.

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The Aarogya Setu team disclosed that releasing the source code of a next-generation product is challenging. This is because more than 114 million people and health care professionals have been working with the app. The development and maintenance of the source code is a huge responsibility not only for the team but also for the developer community.

The code suggestions will be processed via pull review requests. The Aarogya Setu source code has been licensed under Apache License Version 2.0 and is available on “As-Is” basis.

With the public availability of the Aarogya Setu source code on GitHub, developers will be able to work on their own solution. The Bug Bounty program will motivate developers to find bugs. Moreover, the feedback will help the team to refresh the code accordingly.

Anand Narayanaswamy is the editor-in-chief of Netans. He was recognized as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 9 years (2002 to 2011) and again as a Microsoft MVP in Surface under Windows and Devices in January 2024. He worked as a Chief Technical Editor with ASPAlliance and was part of ASPInsider program. Anand has published several articles and reviews related to various software and hardware products for various software and technology related websites. He is also active on social media and also participates as an Influencer for various brands. Anand can be reached at admin@netans.com