An Open-Source Solution to Get E-Passes During Lockdown Online

Volunteers from a software think tank, iSPIRT, have developed an app that can be adapted to issuing curfew passes.

Tech News
2 min read
The sample application to get an e-Pass.

With a 21-day lockdown being imposed across India and the police using excessive force in certain cases to implement a curfew, there is a need to get valid passes as easily as possible to ensure essential services keep functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been instances where delivery agents from companies such as Medlife as well as vegetable vendors have been beaten up while they were trying to go about their duties. The government has therefore asked those connected with essential services to get "curfew" passes issued.

The problem is getting the passes. In some instances, in some states one has to physically go to a police station to get the pass. Now, a software think tank, Indian Software Products Industry Round Table (iSPIRT), seems to have a solution, which it is pitching to various state governments.

The solution, according to a memo sent out by Sharad Sharma, co-founder iSPIRT, is a software app its volunteers developed in just 72 hours - Anumati. Here's what the app proposes by way of simplifying how to get passes.

Recently, you may have seen videos or news about the police using their lathis even on innocent essential service providers like doctors. This is undeniably tragic, but at its heart is an information and social trust issue inherent in India. When you distill the problem, it comes down to how do police identify those traveling for essential-services vs. those who are not.
Sharad Sharma, co-founder iSPIRT via email.

iSPIRT will be open-sourcing the code to the Anumati app, so that it can be taken up and developed for various state governments to implement. The group has already pitched it to the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) in Bengaluru.

How Does The App Work?

Using the app on can either apply for an individual pass or a vehicle pass. To get an individual pass one has to enter the name, a government ID number and a phone number. The app will be accessible only to registered essential service providers.

A sample format of an e-Pass application.
A sample format of an e-Pass application.
Photo: iSPIRT/Altered by The Quint

The companies can also apply for vehicle passes through the app need to enter the vehicle number and model of the vehicle. This works only for vehicles that are registered with a delivery company.

A sample individual pass and vehicle pass. 
A sample individual pass and vehicle pass. 
Photo: iSPIRT/Altered by The Quint

Since the source-code for the app is open-source, it can be picked up and adapted for different governments' needs during the 21-day lockdown.

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