New Delhi: In the first ever Town Hall held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched an app that can be used by citizens for taking appointments and direct submission of their suggestions to the prime minister’s office (PMO).

Team Sanskriti—a team of six budding engineers, bagged the opportunity to develop the app, which is available on Android and has got more than 4,000 users since its launch.

The team is headed by Raghav Sarin, an economics student of Sri Venkateshwara College in Delhi who was also involved in designing the app’s user interface and experience.

“I began designing in 9th standard and by 10th had started freelancing and working for several start-ups and companies, while also working on a few of my own," said Raghav. For him, working with different individuals and projects inculcated a liking towards designing and entrepreneurship.

“It is great to see such a high level of participation by the people of the country in the ideation and building of the app. It’ll truly be an app for the people by the people," expressed the ecstatic 19-year old, standing with the PM during the launch of the app.

It all started when an online contest had been organized by the government on the MyGov platform in March last year. The contest unfolded in three stages—submission of ideas, wireframe designing and app development.

Also read: Narendra Modi launches PMO app at townhall meet

A total of 50,000 entries were received in the first round, out of which 10 teams made it to the wireframe designing round and eventually five teams proceeded to the final round. These teams were mentored by Google in the development of the app.

The other members of the team included Naman Dwivedi, a 19-year-old Android developer, currently pursuing Environmental sciences from Delhi Technical University.

“It took us almost one year to develop the app. The session with the chief Android developer of Google helped me to understand some new technologies, which is consequently implemented during the development phase. It was a big challenge for us to build an app where performance, security and scalability are critical and which is going to be used by millions of people,“ said Dwivedi in an interview with Mint. Dwivedi has been into Andriod and mobiles for the past two years and loves new and challenging tasks in software development .

The motivation to participate in such a contest was to develop an app, which would enhance transparency of the government policy implementation.

“There was no definite platform for the citizens to avail all the government portals simultaneously, at the same time. This app will eradicate this issue as well as provide latest new updates and quotes by PM, which will be accessible to all," said the back-end developer of the team, Pranav Sethi, a computer science student from Stony Brook University. Pranav has been involved in development of web CMS and binding all the APIs and services, which are necessary for the apps functioning.

The other members of the team included a designer, Gyan Lakhwani, from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, Prajwal Seth, a computer science student from BITS Pilani and Preet Khalsa, an electrical engineer,also from BITS Pilani.

Gyan is a designer and Information Technology student who designs user-friendly interfaces . “Designing human-computer interactions is the intersection of both of my passions. I feel the app is a great tool for the public to stay updated with the Prime Minister’s Office," he said.

The app offers a variety of options to the citizens to connect with the PM through sharing of ideas on a forum, direct e-mails and messages, regular updates on ‘Mann ki Baat’, chance to suggest changes to the existing government schemes such as ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ and empowering them to contribute effectively in the policy decisions of the government.

The app is available in 10 different languages.