The techies from Telugu States found a novel mode to get register for vaccine as the CoWin portal is frequently getting overloaded. The alternative arrangements or jugaad is the key to getting done the vaccine jab.
Altetnative arrangement or Jugaad is intrinsic to Indian way of life. It is OK if one thinks of an innovative fix, something to harmlessly bend or work around rules in a rural setting. In the urban milieu, we know why touts get jobs done for a price, though the Road Transport Authority tom-toms ad nauseum that it has a fully automated system that is designed to eliminate middlemen.
Slot booking on CoWIN or Arogya Setu is now the latest irritant for vaccine aspirants. Here again, thanks to hi-tech jugaad, techies are going to get the vaccines first. While the Telangana government sits on options for prioritising vaccine groups, techies in the city have created or modified scripts that help them auto-book a slot for them. They have made the whole thing extremely simple. Once the registration opens, the script books the slot and sends an OTP to the mobile number. The user will then simply enter OTP and bingo! That’s how the appointment is going to be done — in just a few seconds! So, expect the slots to get booked quickly in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medchal districts.
A techie based in Hyderabad, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed: “There are lot of scripts out there and in Bangalore slots got booked within a minute. I modified a python script and it seems to be working, tested a week back for other state. It will work for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as well”.
Despite the claims of CoWIN chief RS Sharma that scripts cannot be run on the app, because of captcha and OTP, techies are still confident of booking the slots using python scripts. This correspondent has accessed the scripts.
Earlier, there were scripts that had worked on the process of searching for slot availability, booking, and downloading the appointment slip. However, since May 1 captcha has been at work ostensibly to ensure that such things do not happen. So, once the slot is available, the user has to log in to CoWIN website and enter the captcha to book the slot. Techies have now found a way to work around it too.
A techie explains, “Even this process of captcha can be partially automated, slot availability will be checked every few seconds for selected districts and if the slot is available, a notification will be sent to mobile. Then user needs to enter OTP and captcha manually in the application to book the slot. Here, user doesn’t need to login to CoWIN again, which saves time”.
“These scripts have been customised in a way that the user can give particular criteria for search mechanism, like searching only for particular vaccine availability, dose (1 or 2), date, and vaccination center. As per CoWIN website, appointment data is cached and it might be 30 minutes old”, the techie adds.
However, there are some bots which have automated the process of slot booking by bypassing the captcha as well. The user just needs to make sure to log in every 15 minutes so that once the slots are opened, it will be booked automatically.
When this correspondent checked the slot booking using the bot, it was working as expected. Now, all a person needs to do is wait for the government to announce the date of starting vaccination and inform the bot to auto-book the vaccine once the slot opens.
For almost everything, there is a way around. The techie pointed that despite captcha in Arogya Setu and Umang apps, user can book slots without entering any captcha. The techie said, “Also there is restriction of access times to 100 for 5 minutes per IP, this can also be avoided… There are some bots which check slot availability multiple times every second”.
There is hardly anything the authorities can do here, but to change the way vaccination is done as CoWIN is handled completely by the Center.
And for those who are not tech-savvy, they are enabling social media alerts. For example, a group has been formed on Telegram mobile app named “U45 Hyderabad” in which alerts of slot openings are given. Also the link to book the schedule is provided for beneficiaries to click and book slot.
The Telegram channel U45 Hyderabad, which gives online alerts for vaccine availability for 18-44 years, already has 10,000 subscribers. Another A45Hyderabad Telegram channel has 5,500 subscribers. Likewise, channels are there for Ranga Reddy, Medchal, Medak, Sangareddy and Nalgonda districts
In Andhra Pradesh as well alerts are there for Vishakapatnam, Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari and Anantapur districts. The Vishakapatnam channel has about 1,800 subscribers. #KhabarLive #hydnews