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Sahyog App: Survey of India

  • 15 Apr 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Survey of India (SoI) has developed an e-platform that will collect geotagged information on the nation’s critical infrastructure in order to help the Government and public health agencies take critical decisions in response to the current Covid-19 pandemic situation.

  • To support this platform, a mobile application called Sahyog has also been created. This app will help collect location specific data with the help of community workers.

Survey of India

  • It is the National Survey and Mapping Organization of the country under the Department of Science & Technology.
  • It was established in 1767 and is the oldest scientific department of the Government of India.
  • It is headquartered at Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • The Survey of India acts as adviser to the Government of India on all survey matters, viz Geodesy, Photogrammetry, Mapping and Map Reproduction.
    • Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring and understanding the Earth's geometric shape, orientation in space and gravity field.
    • Photogrammetry is the science of making measurements from photographs.

Key Points

  • Swift Solution: Data collection by formal land survey is a lengthy and time taking process but the mobile app can help crowdsource data quickly.
  • Complement Arogya Setu App: This will complement the recently launched Aarogya Setu App that helps trace the contacts of those who may have been infected by Covid-19.
  • Relevant Information: Information regarding biomedical waste disposals, containment areas, available hospitals for Covid-19 cases, ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) testing laboratories and quarantine camps will be integrated on this platform with their latitudinal and longitudinal parameters. This could be customised to a variety of ‘Covid-related applications’ such as healthcare facilities, infection clusters and disaster management
  • Data Localisation: Data collected using Sahyog application will be used for creating various applications for everyone’s usage and would facilitate building a dataset that remains inside India.
  • Support System: The data fed by the volunteers working on the ground such as the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and Anganwadi workers will lead to a good support system for the government and doctors on ground.
  • Health Delivery System: This will strengthen the public health delivery system of the central and state governments by providing necessary information support to workers dealing with the challenges of health, socio-economic distress and livelihood changes.
  • Integration on Single Platform: A lot of geospatial data about locations of fire services, banquet halls etc. is already present with the Government which was not integrated in a single platform. This is a step in that direction.

Concerns

  • Privacy: Arogya Setu and applications like Sahyog that link to it, could infringe privacy as there wasn’t clarity on how the data would be shared between the two applications.
  • Lack of Clarity: Arogya Setu’s terms of use were unclear on several aspects including how long data would be stored and what would happen to it after the pandemic has ceased.
  • Effectiveness: Additionally, there is also a question of proportionality, i.e. in India, compared to its population, smartphone users are very less which means very few people will be able to download the app.

Source: TH

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