How UN, GAVI And Amazon Created India’s Glitchy COVID-19 App CoWIN

Promoted as India’s official coronavirus vaccination surveillance app, CoWIN is created by the UN, GAVI and Amazon. Earlier, glitches in CoWIN app halted vaccination drive after multiple states reported data lag, erroneous communication and even total system failure.

How UN, GAVI And Amazon Created India's Glitchy COVID-19 App CoWIN

According to a report by The Ken, CoWIN app is created by the UNDP (United Nations Development Program), GAVI (Global Vaccine Alliance) and AWS (Amazon Web Services).

The development was inturn outsourced to Mumbai-based IT firm Trigyn Technologies.

As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, British and Bill Gates led GAVI has managed to infiltrate India’s healthcare policy-making thereby gaining a strategic position to dictate India’s response to coronavirus.

Government officials The Ken spoke with have also questioned why CoWIN relies on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its cloud storage requirements, rather than the MeghRaj platform operated by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Some even view it as a backdoor to create national health IDs for every citizen. With RS Sharma, who was the founding head of the government agency tasked with managing India’s controversial Aadhaar programme, helming vaccination efforts, there was even a move to link Aadhaar to CoWIN.

India’s Vaccine delivery and supply chain called the electronic vaccine intelligence network (eVIN) was jointly funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Since 2017, UNDP and GAVI have spent $31 million on eVIN, according to the publicly available UNDP documents.

The Indian Health Ministry asked the UNDP to manage the entire logistics and software-based monitoring.

“The Ministry also assured [UNDP] of funding support, should the need arise,” said the official, who requested anonymity as he’s not authorised to speak to the media.

UNDP, in turn, tasked the Mumbai-based Trigyn with developing CoWIN.

“Trigyn was a tech auditor employed by UNDP for eVIN. They negotiated rates and cleared their invoices on behalf of UNDP-Gavi,” said an executive who has worked on eVIN in the past. 

According to government sources The Ken spoke with, UNDP may spend close to Rs 25 crore ($ 3.4 million) on this—Rs 2-4 crore ($ 274,000-548,000) to Trigyn, and roughly Rs 20 crore ($2.7 million) to AWS for cloud services. If the application was hosted on NIC’s MeghRaj, the cost could have been halved, claims the health ministry official quoted earlier. 

“In a meeting in August 2020, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan had expressed reservations about involving AWS in the project. He batted for NIC’s MeghRaj instead”

One reason for this is that the CoWIN app might be a conduit to create a digital health ID, a 14-digit identification number announced by the prime minister last August. Just like Aarogya Setu, the government’s largely-forgotten contact tracing effort, authorities could be piggybacking on CoWIN to meet other ends.

One such program is Trust Stamp – a vaccination based digital identity program funded by Bill Gates and implemented by Mastercard and GAVI.

The program said to “evolve as you evolve” seeks to link your biometric digital identity to your vaccination records

It has the potential dual use for the purposes of surveillance and “predictive policing” based on your vaccination history

Those who may not wish to be vaccinated may be locked out of the system based on their trust score.

The Indian government is planning to launch a mandatory digital health card modeled on Bill Gates’ concept.

Under the ‘One Nation One Health Card’ scheme, a person’s medical history records, including all the treatments and tests that the person has undergone, will be digitally saved in this card.

Hospitals, clinics, and doctors will all be linked to a central server. The move is aimed at mapping the health records of every citizen of the country in a digital format.

Simultaneously, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated a COVID-19 Surveillance Project in India in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The data gathered through full-scale surveillance will be used to make future Indian strategies for containment in India.

Although, what “future strategies for containment” will be implemented by WHO’s pointman in India were not revealed, similar projects by the agency and related organisations implemented elsewhere give us a clear idea of where India is heading.

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