Two students from IIIT-Delhi – Paras Mehan (CSE 3rd year) and Rohan Rajpal (CSE 4th year) – have recently developed a Telegram bot that sends a notification to people regarding the available vaccine slots on the CoWIN portal. The bot was launched on 4th May 2021 and has amassed more than 40,000 users since.
The bot, titled ‘CoWIN Alerts’ has a user-friendly interface and is quite simple to operate. The person who wants to book a slot has to provide their district name or Pincode (the bot currently provides information for 5002 Pincodes and 594 districts) and their age range (18-44 or 44+). The bot then updates the person via notification once the slot is made available on the CoWIN portal. The message has information on which center has the available slots, the number of slots available, and the date of availability.
Several ‘CoWIN Alerts’ users have already gotten vaccinated with the help of the bot and have left positive reviews on Twitter and Telegram.
“I just wanted to say a big thank you for creating your bot. I got my vaccine scheduled today just because of its updates. It means a lot. Thank you,” said Armaan Arora, a Telegram user.
Replying to Rohan Rajpal’s tweet regarding the bot, Rahul, a Twitter user said, “I have tried many bots but this one is the fastest and best bot. I finally scheduled my vaccine, will recommend this bot to everyone. Be safe. Thank you.”
India opened its vaccination program for adults between 18 to 44 years of age on 28th April 2021. Unlike it was for the 44+ age group though, walk-in vaccination was not allowed. The people who wanted to get vaccinated needed to book their slot on the CoWIN portal in advance. However, the portal ran into several technical difficulties. The slots often opened without intimation and people had to keep refreshing the website for updates, which was quite bothersome.
As soon as the registrations for all adults opened up, Indian authorities also opened up the CoWIN Application Programming Interface (API) to all developers. Since then, the technical minds in our country have been busy trying to make the vaccination process as smooth as possible. Paras and Rohan from IIIT-Delhi have made a significant contribution to this struggle.
Since then, several Indian techies have created solutions that are making the vaccine process smoother. Thanks to the efforts of young geniuses like Rohan Rajpal and Paras Mehan, thousands of people have earned the opportunity to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 without any unnecessary hassle.
Talking about the significance of the bot, Rohan Rajpal, one of the developers, said, “Getting vaccinated is extremely important to safeguard oneself against Covid-19, and we’re trying to do our best to make the process as easy and convenient as possible. It would encourage more people to get vaccinated and hopefully help us tighten the leash on the spread of Covid-19.”
“This is by far the most impactful project we have ever worked on. We are taking user feedback into consideration and improving it every single day. It feels overwhelming to see people feel safe and happy because of our work,” Paras Mehan, co-developer of the ‘CoWIN Alerts’ bot chimed in.