Did MEA passport app really get 1 million downloads in a day?

On 29th June, 2018, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted two links which claimed that ‘Passport Seva mobile App’ which has been ‘recently’ launched by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), has already registered 1 million downloads.

In fact, one link by Indian Express also claimed that the app had 1 million downloads in ‘two days’ of its launch.

Two days prior, on 26th June, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had tweeted a picture of ‘launch’ of Mobile Passport Application on Passport Seva Divas.

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Many people on Twitter also raised doubts about the number of downloads of the app.

As pointed out by Twitter user @attomybharti above, the app in question, mPassport Seva was launched in March, 2013 and available on Android platform in July, 2013.

mPassport Seva app launch

The status in June 2014 shows app download range between 1,00,000 – 5,00,000.

First 1 lakh downloads in June 2014

The status in February 2015 shows app download range between 5,00,000 – 10,00,000.

5 lakh app downloads

And currently, the total downloads stand at 1 million. Which means, the total downloads of the app since its launch in 2013 (not last week as claimed by MEA in her tweet and publications like Tribune and Indian Express) stands at 1 million+.

1 million downloads of mPassport Seva app.

That means, the download figure of the app could be anything between 1 million to 5 million, the exact figure can only be known by the developers, in turn, the ministry.

While we are not refuting the claim that the app has been downloaded 1 million times on the Google PlayStore, it was not ‘launched’ on 26th June, and it certainly did not reach the milestone in 2 days. Perhaps what the minister launched that day was an update of the app. Which also means, unless the Tribune and Indian Express filed their reports based on the developer data provided by the developer, the ministry, and not the publicly available data on the PlayStore, the story is most likely false.

Only the MEA could provide the exact details about the recent downloads.


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