Asani Markaz App: Umbrella Solution for Citizens’ Problems

To improve m-governance in the province, the Punjab government, with the help of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), has launched the Punjab Facilitation Centre. The facilitation center is aimed at providing integrated governmental services and is launched under the Asani Markaz app. This app is available on Google Play Store and is slated for an App Store version shortly.

Asani Markaz is meant to integrate several governmental services including, issuance of birth certificate, marriage certificate, death certificate, divorce certificate, character certificate, vehicle registration, token tax collection, vehicle transfer of ownership, fard, learning driving license, traffic fine collection, domicile, issuance of CNIC, NADRA e-sahulat and route permit for the ease of the citizens under one platform.

An SMS service is also integrated into the app which sends SMS to the user about real-time status of their application. Recently, the government launched the National App Competition and Minister of State for Information and Technology, Anusha Rehman stated that the government was spending on IT, including mobile applications, to facilitate the citizens.

The government is also aiming to lessen corruption by decreasing dependency on agents and clerks. With 5 million 3G users in the country, this app is expected to benefit the general public and boost good governance.

Update

Just to alert our readers, Asani app asks for a lot of permissions. These permissions will allow the app developer to store a lot of information about you that can be (mis)used if reached in wrong hands.

It also concerns us that if database that houses all the data about citizens is hacked, it could have disastrous consequences. So we would like to urge the technical team behind the app to ensure they are using the most up-to-date security practices.


  • Muhammad Ashraf

    Well done Punjab government, I wish this kind of app must be available to other provinces

  • IrfanAmir

    a good effort, but.. why they need so much permissions for simple app? I am going to uninstall it.

    • asad

      the coder of the app will sell the data :)

      • adil

        Or the nsa will directly access the data

    • JahanZaib Yousaf

      too much permissions
      i am not going to install it

    • Parvez Iftikhar

      What kind of permissions Irfan? Please tell us more.

      • IrfanAmir

        Identity
        Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data
        Contacts
        Uses contact information
        Location
        Uses the device’s location
        Phone
        Uses one or more of: phone, call log. Charges may apply.
        Photos/Media/Files
        Uses one or more of: files on the device such as images, videos, or audio, the device’s external storage
        Camera
        Uses the device’s camera(s)
        Microphone
        Uses the device’s microphone(s)
        Device ID & call information
        Allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call

    • Muhammad Ather

      It might access without permission, be thankful if it asks.

  • Saqib

    uninstalled it, why do this basic app requires so many permissions?!

  • Ahmad Shahzad

    fake app because

    1. pitb page says about such program (http://www.pitb.gov.pk/cdgl) but no app.
    2. so many permissions required

    propakistani should be careful about such posts because we trust whatever comes from propakistani.

  • Ahmed Habib

    Some guys out here and there not happy with permissions… well they will install por* app with almost all permissions required, but because they are likely part of poti leage thats why …

    • adil

      i wished i had power to slap you over internet

  • Usman Ahmed

    this is a problem with google’s architecture – even basic operations show a lot of permission requirements. it is because of how they have grouped permissions.

  • aamir

    what about iphone and blackberry users?

  • Fayyaz Malik

    Crap. Spying :P
    This app can access following things of the user.
    Version 1.0.0 can access:
    Identity
    find accounts on the device
    Contacts
    read your contacts
    modify your contacts
    Location
    approximate location (network-based)
    precise location (GPS and network-based)
    Phone
    read call log
    write call log
    Photos/Media/Files
    modify or delete the contents of your USB storage
    test access to protected storage
    Camera

    Microphone
    record audio
    Device ID & call information
    read phone status and identityOther
    full network access
    view network connections
    control vibration
    change your audio settings

  • Anzak Aleem

    Utterly useless app. It doesn’t tell any more than people already know. For example, “go to relevant department” -> I am damn sure, I have to do that, who is the relevant department and where are their offices? That’s the question I am looking the answer for. “Pay the fee according to schedule” -> I know I have to pay according to schedule, what is the damn schedule, I want to know.

    Besides, It doesn’t go by the name of PITB, but by “Muhammad Waseem Bhatti” I don’t know who is he and why is he imposing as PITB? Why does is app require so many permissions, for that matter any permission at all? It is just a text app. Displays predefined text on the screen. Network permission… okay, it “supposedly” tells us the application status with ID, but which ID… CNIC? write CNIC there then!!! and Which applicaiton? Application in all of the 12 or so departments? Does punjab govt have a system to check application status in all departments, I refuse to believe that!

    It is a big question on authenticity of propakistani.pk well when they are promoting such a stupid product!

  • Suhail Awan

    Permissions are not only asked for this app, these are asked for all apps on Google play store and in apple app store similar permissions are part of terms and conditions we agree before any download.

  • Guy Chauhan

    i will definitely install the app after too-many-permissions “bugs” are fixed. btw appreciate the initiative of punjab gov.

  • IrfanAmir

    C’mon that is least possible thing. It is just a possibility and not every app does this.
    Also malware will get access to contacts only if you will allow it during installation. This is simple illustration to explain my point.