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Two engineering students develop an application that alerts about open slots in CoWin | India News

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A bot developed by two students from the Indian Institute of Information Technology in Delhi, sends alerts to users about open spaces in the CoWin app, thus improving the chances of successfully reserving a space. Launched on May 4, the bot has gained 60,000 users since then.
Developed by Rohan Rajpal and Paras Mehan, ‘CoWin Alerts’ is a Telegram bot, therefore it can only be used with the Telegram app, which alerts you whenever there is an open vaccine slot for your dose and age group . When the government opened vaccination records for the 18-44 age group on the CoWin app, users faced many technical challenges when reserving a space. Because the volume of users was so high, spaces filled within seconds of opening, leaving users frustrated. The trick was to know when a center would open spaces and reserve it at that time.
“I decided to develop an alert bot when I had trouble reserving spaces in the CoWin app once the 18+ vaccination started on May 1. I spent the entire day on the site to reserve a space, but to no avail. That’s when I thought why not have a system that alerts you every time a space opens, ”said Rajpal, who has just finished his fourth year undergraduate degree in computer science and will soon be joining Goldman Sachs.
Rajpal started working on this potential solution, developing the bot in two days, and launching it on May 4. Mehan joined him once the user base started to grow. “This application is a Telegram bot that asks you questions like what district do you want, what is your age, it’s like filling out a Google form. It takes this information and notifies the user when the slots are available, ”Mehan explained. TOI I tested the app and started getting regular alerts about open spaces at different centers on a given PIN code.
Like CoWin alerts, there are more Telegram bots that help users to reserve their slots by sending alerts.
Rajpal and Mehan said that one of the technical challenges they face right now is that the CoWin app is not updating in real time. “In Delhi, the government is shutting down vaccination, but the website is taking time to update. It still shows available spaces. So the bot keeps sending alerts for slots that are not there. Some of our users are booking and receiving a cancellation notice, ”said Rajpal.
The two innovators are now working to make the app run faster and customize notifications. “We have added filters such as dose 1, dose 2, type of vaccine, age. And we are trying to improve his speed, ”they said. They both received their first dose of vaccine. The two batchmates have added another feature that allows users to set a date after which they need alerts. “For example, if your next dose is due between June 1 and June 15, then set June 1 as the date from which you need alerts and the bot will send as one when the slots open,” he said. Rajpal. Right now, the two are keeping the app out of their own pocket, but they plan to start a crowdfunding campaign soon to raise money for it.



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