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‘Digital illiteracy’ creates hurdle to register for Covid-19 vaccine

SRINAGAR: Digital illiteracy has come as a hurdle for people in registering for the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive in the valley.

On April 19 the Union government announced that the third phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin on May 1 and that everyone over the age of 18 will be qualified to receive the vaccine after registering on, Aarogya Setu app, and Umang app. However, the tech-heavy process and digital illiteracy is turning a barrier for people in the valley while registering for a life-saving injection.

Many people, including street vendors, hawkers told KNO that they are using simple mobile phones, and are struggling to register for the COVID-19 vaccine on the government’s CoWIN website.

“Accessing CoWIN is more difficult for those who do not own smartphones, as well for a significant proportion of the valley’s population who is less familiar with technology,” said a student.

Pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court has questioned the Centre on April 30th, asking how it would ensure registration for vaccines for illiterate people given that CoWIN app registration is mandatory.

A senior citizen said because of the digital literacy problem, many people approach the younger boys who are well versed with the technology, to apply on their behalf.

However, the issues do not stop there, the CoWIN platform only allows four people to register from a single phone, making registration difficult for larger families with only one smartphone between them.

The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to respond by May 10 on how it will ensure vaccination registration of people who are illiterate or do not have access to the internet, given that registration on the CoWIN app is required for people aged 18 to 45—(KNO)


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