Aarogya Setu is msndatory or not mandatory

Hi everyone,
Can anyone help me about the best effort basis condition of the aarogya setu app?
As one my friends who recently came to India from Europe was forced to download the app. He was refused further document clearance at Delhi airport.
I will be arriving soon in India from Singapore. Is it mandatory for me to download the app.
If No, then how to convince the authorities?

i did also want to understand the “best effort basis” phrase and how does it not look different from “mandatory” on many state’s SOPs for people visiting from outside?

My understanding is that the “best effort” concept applies only to private sector employers vis-a-vis getting their employees to install Aarogya Setu.
For other scenarios, rules are made up and each one may have to be challenged individually.
For example, after some push back, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory for domestic air/train travel. A somewhat complicated self-declaration/doctor’s-certificate, is, I think, adequate. (I haven’t traveled recently, so I can’t say for sure).
Broadly, the situation is similar to how it was with Aadhaar (before the SC judgement), when people were asked for “Aadhaar Card Xerox” for all sorts of reasons, and mostly they just gave it, to get their job done.
I am not a lawyer, but I hope this is of some help.
I am sure the legal eagles of IFF will be able to give a much more precise answer.

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thank you for answering. air/train travel may not require but one can see statewise SOPs on airline website for what a passenger needs to follow on arrival and besides the declaration, it is mandatory to install the app as well. i gave up on traveling knowing this… :slight_smile:
it’s kinda like the Aadhaar situation as yoou described in the end

Thank you visvanatha.
Actually the situation itself is so confusing that everyone is trying to exploit it. Apparantely there is a glitch in there so called system. If you dont have a smartphone, they cannot force you to buy one.:sweat_smile:
Rest if they want to track you, they have n number of ways to do it.


For domestic air travel, Aarogya Setu is not mandatory and passengers can fill a self-certification form. The problem is that the MCA Order provides conflicting guidelines to different stakeholders (passengers, airports, airlines). This has led to confusion and uncertainty which combined with the information and power asymmetry between passengers and officials has made Aarogya Setu practically mandatory.

For international air travel, we will have to wait for similar guidelines to be issued and examine them. I haven’t come across them yet but do share if anyone else has.

Extracting relevant bits of the MCA Order here for everyone’s reference:

Annexure I
General Instructions for Commencement of Domestic Air Travel
f. A self-declaration/ Aarogya Setu App status (for compatible device) would also be obtained that the passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passengers with “Red” status in Aarogya Setu App would not be permitted to travel.

Annexure II
Detailed Guidelines to be Followed by Air Passengers
2. At the airport
a. Entering the terminal building
iii. He should get himself/herself checked for temperature. This will be done by a designated staff of the Airport. The status of “Aarogya Setu" should be displayed to the staff.

iv. In case of non-availability of Aarogya Setu, the passenger should be facilitated to go a counter provided by the airport where Aarogya Setu can be downloaded. Children below fourteen years of age would be exempt from this requirement.

Annexure III
Specific Operating Guidelines for Major Stakeholders (Airlines)
Measures to be taken by the Airlines
2. Pre-Departure Requirements
g. Airlines should devise a system that web-check-in or tele check-in is possible only when the passenger certifies the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu App or a self-declaration form.

Specific Operating Guidelines for Major Stakeholders (Airports)
Measures to be taken at the Airports
2. At Airport Entry
f. Passengers & staff showing any symptoms, Aarogya Setu App not showing ‘green’ are not to be allowed to enter the terminal building. If, Aarogta Setu App is not available then a declaration needs to be taken that the person is not infected with COVID-l9. Vulnerable persons such very elderly with co- morbidities, pregnant ladies, passengers with ailments are advised to avoid air travel.

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Hi @Devdutta ! I think the point that @debapriyo is making is that even if MCA orders allow you to board the plane without AarogyaSetu, the SoP of many state governments won’t allow you to leave the destination airport and enter the city without it!

In the midst of all the other important work you folks are doing, please continue to watch this highly intrusive technology (which doesn’t even work correctly for its intended purpose). CC: @aparatbar

For those that want to know more, here are 2 good newspaper articles on Aarogya Setu:

  1. From a general perspective:

  2. From a Tech perspective (by 3 IIT profs):

thanks for the detailed answer. it informed a lot as much as it confused…for no fault of yours. the way i see it, for someone just having the app installed and answered into, it is as good as a self declaration but as you pointed out, there are multiple stages where in the authorities try to make sure the app is downloaded on your device. it’s not different from them demanding uid until the very last point where they drive you to despair or work with your other id proofs. the SoP’s not being coordinated across states and you can’t blame some states being scared of other high risk states, but to lose sight of logic makes for bad or confused decisions and orders.

Thanks for the detailed info.
It makes most of the things clear, but the power still vests in the hand of state governments.
Hope to overcome this intrusive app.
Adding to the good news, the app now allows you to delete the account.

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