After severe criticism over the National Informatics Centre's (NIC) reply to an RTI query on Aarogya Setu's creation, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has directed action against the responsible officials for the "lapses" in providing information, sources said.
The development comes after the Central Information Commission issued show-cause notices to the CPIOs (Central Public Information Officer), Ministry of Electronics and IT, NIC and National E-Governance Division (NeGD), seeking to know as to why penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act should not be imposed on them for prima facie obstruction of information and providing an evasive reply on an RTI application related to the Aarogya Setu App.
In a reply to a query under the Right to Information Act, the NIC replied that it "does not hold the information" relating to the App's creation
Sources in the IT Ministry said that it has taken the lapses made in providing information on Aarogya Setu app very strictly.
After the RTI reply made headlines on Wednesday, the Ministry in a statement said that the Aarogya Setu app has been developed in the most transparent manner.
The Ministry claimed that the app has been developed in a collaborative effort by the government and the private sector and has been downloaded by more than 16.23 crore users and has greatly augmented the efforts of frontline health workers in the fight against COVID-19.
"It has been clearly mentioned that the Aarogya Setu App has been developed by NIC in collaboration with volunteers from Industry and Academia. Aarogya Setu app has been developed in the most transparent manner," the Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.