What is the emergency alert that Indian government is testing? What we know so far

The Indian government is testing an emergency alert system that will provide real-time emergency alerts to the general public

Published on Sep 15, 2023   |  08:07 PM IST  |  21.4K
(Image Courtesy: Wikimedia commons)
Image Courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Key Highlight

  • Indian government is testing an emergency alert system that will provide real-time information
  • The alert system will be tested through the IVRS system and the Arogya Setu app

The government issued an intense emergency alert to many mobile subscribers in India on Friday morning as per India Today. The Indian government is testing an emergency warning system that will give the general population real-time emergency alerts. The alert system will be used to promptly notify citizens about natural catastrophes, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies. 

Development of the alert system 

The alert system is being developed in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. On Friday, the alert system was tested for the first time in four states: Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. 

As per India Today, The alert system will be put to the test using the Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS), which will deliver automated voice calls to mobile phone subscribers. The IVRS system will dial a specific number in the designated locations, and residents will receive the message in their native language. 

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The emergency alert system message 

The message will include specific details about the emergency scenario. If the scenario is due to a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, the message will advise individuals to seek shelter in a safe location and provide contact information for the local rescue center. The message will be repeated indefinitely until the citizen answers the phone and hears the complete message. 

The scope of the alert system is not restricted to natural calamities. The government can also use it to notify individuals across the country about terrorist attacks, accidents, and other crises. 

Alert system through Arogya Setu 

In addition to the IVRS system, the government is piloting an emergency alert system via the Arogya Setu mobile application as per India Today. In April 2020, the Arogya Setu app was launched to assist citizens in tracking the spread of COVID-19. The app checks the user's location and informs them about COVID-19 cases in their vicinity. 

In the case of an emergency, the app will be coupled with the alert system to send out real-time alerts to citizens. The alerts will be distributed in different languages, allowing them to reach a larger audience. 

Urgency of the emergency alert system 

As per India Today, the Indian government has been laboring to build an emergency alert system for numerous years. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, which highlighted the need for real-time information distribution, the system's urgency has intensified. 


In a country like India, which is prone to natural calamities like earthquakes, floods, and cyclones, as well as terrorism threats, an emergency alert system is important. During an emergency, the alert system will assist citizens in responding swiftly and effectively, reducing the loss of life and property. 

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Know more about the emergency alert system

What is the emergency alert message?
The emergency message read as 'This message is part of the National Disaster Management Authority's Pan-India Emergency Alert System testing.'

What are the citizens supposed to do when they receive the message?
The emergency alert messages are just for information on real-time crises.

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