Raghav Sarin, who is only 19 years old and has always been enthusiastic about entrepreneurship and designing, says that the need to pursue entrepreneurship took root with him while he was in school and this need pushed him to take part in the contest. He said he began designing in class 9 and had already started working freelance and for a few companies and startups by class 10 in addition to working on several of his own. He also stated that his passion for entrepreneurship and design stemmed after working with various people on other projects. Raghav Sarin also participated in the design of the app’s user interface and user experience.
Naman Diwedi, who is an engineering student in his second year at Delhi Technological University and is also 19 years old was influenced to pursue the app by his passion for developed technology and new challenges. He stated that the app was challenging to construct due to the critical nature of its scalability, performance and security and the fact that it was going to have millions of users. The app is the first of its kind to be developed for the government that is crowdsourced. The app’s leading developer, Diwedi said on behalf of the team that they look forward to sustaining the app and making new additions to the app over time to enhance the app’s performance and usefulness even more.
The PMO app authorizes scheduling of appointments with officials of the Office of the Prime Minister, direct submission of suggestions for the Prime Minister’s ”Mann Ki Baat Program”; take a glance at the Prime Minister’s secure calendar and the app also at the touch of a button has the alternative enabling users to share posts on both online and social media platforms whichever they may be. Queries towards the Prime Minister and his replies to them posted on Twitter and audio messages from the PM are additional features of the app. Citizens also have access to important information concerning flagship programs, a synopsis of the Prime Minister’s primary initiatives and it also allows users to contribute donations to the PM’s National Relief Fund. The app has an availability of 10 languages.
Gyan Lakhwani of Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology in Delhi was pushed to take up the challenge due to his love for art and technology as he had a strong adoration for technology ever since he saw his first computer and when he grabbed a crayon for the first time inspiring his high affinity for art. He feels that both of his passions combined gives rise to his design of human-computer interactions and that the app is a wonderful means for the public to keep up with the Prime Minister’s Office as told to the Indian Press by Lakhwani himself.
The Indian Government collaborating with a tech bigwig such as Google to come up with the project at hand was quite an exclusive partnership and they got a lot of assistance in the app development. Not to mention the team of students got a better understanding of the goings on of big corporations and governments as well to quote what Sarin divulged to The Indian Express.
Raghav Sarin also stated during the launch of the PMO app, that he found it remarkable that the people of the country of India were participating so actively in the creation of the app and its idealization as well, adding that it would be an app for the people by the people. The contest was organized to be online on the MyGov platform by the government in March 2015 and unraveled into 3 phases, Idea submission, designing of the wire frame and development of the app. Only 10 teams out of the 50,000 entries made it to the second phase and 5 teams went on to the final stage, with Raghav’s team obviously being one of them. There were mentoring and guidance of the teams with Google in the development process of the app.
The app has groups which discuss topics like Education for the Girl Child, Care for the specially abled, Food Security, a clean Ganga River and more just as the MyGov portal does.