The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India this year has launched a nation-wide campaign for promotion of Digital Life Certificate for Central Government pensioners. The objective of this Nation-wide campaign is to promote the use of Face Authentication technology and DLC thereby ensuring transparency and Ease of Usage. All the registered Pensioners’ Associations, Pension Disbursing Banks, Ministries of Government of India and CGHS Centers had been directed to promote the Digital Life Certificate/Face Authentication Technique for giving Life Certificate by organizing special camps for ‘Ease of Living’ of pensioners.
Due to increasing awareness, the popularity of Face authentication is gaining popularity and has been able to provide a huge relief especially to the aged and infirm elderly population. Till 30th November, 2022, a total of 30.34 lakh central government pensioners has been used DLC successfully, in which 2.82 lakh DLC has been created through Face authentication.
To promote the campaign, State Bank of India and in certain cities the Punjab National Bank joined hands with the Department and provided the Camp venues in different cities. Different officials of DoPPW have been nominated at different cities to oversee the progress of the Campaign. During 1-30 November, 2022, special awareness camps have been organized in different cities all over India from Srinagar in the North to Nagercoil (Kanyakumari District) in the South and from Guwahati in the East to Ahmedabad in the West. Specific cities covered in this Campaign are Delhi (Hauzkhas, Pankha Road, Chanakyapuri, Jangpura) , Noida, Chandigarh, Mohali, Srinagar (J&K), Nagpur, Pune (Maharashtra), Allahabad, Jammu, Jalandhar, Gwalior (MP), Thrissur (Kerala), Madurai, Nagercoil, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Guwahati (Assam), Hyderabad, Ambernath , Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar , Balasore, Cuttack (Orissa), Thiruvanthapuram, Jaipur, Chennai, Karaikal , Puducherry , Dehradun, Jagadari (Haryana), Hoogly, Howrah, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bangalore, Gulbarga, Mysuru. The nation-wide campaign was conducted by the officials of DoPPW with the help of State Bank of India (SBI) & Punjab National Bank (PNB), who sponsored the campaign sites. The campaign saw the active participation of registered Central Government Pensioner Associations, the representatives of IPPB, UIDAI, NIC as well as CGDA in every city.
In order to overcome the challenge of certain pensioners not being able to give DLC due to fading bio-metrics the Department of Pension engaged with MeiTY to develop a face-recognition technology system based on Aadhaar database whereby it is possible to give LC from any Android based smart phone. As per this facility, the identity of a person is established through face recognition techniqueand DLC gets generated. This breakthrough technology, launched in November 2021, reduced the dependence of pensioners on external bio-metric devices and made the process more accessible and affordable to masses by leveraging smartphone-based technology. This was a milestone achievement in ensuring ‘Ease of Living’ of the elderly. The Face Authentication Technology was launched in November 2021 after extensive pilot runs by by Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (PP) of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Based on the feedback received of the Face Authentication App developed for this purpose, NIC was quick to respond and incorporate the same. For example, the life certificate could be opened in the App after receiving an OTP and downloading the same. But because of feedback received from pensioners, the Life Certificate can be accessed immediately after entering the OTP. The State Bank of India officials at all locations came out in full strength to promote the campaign and their officials were seen enthusiastically participated even on holidays. Similarly, the participation by the Registered Pensioners’ Associations was exemplary and their representatives helped in spreading awareness about the Face Authentication technique of LC.
The campaign was widely appreciated by the pensioners residing in different parts of country. The campaign was widely covered by the newspapers and Doordarshan all over the country. During 1-30 November, 2022, Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has disseminated 532 tweets from its Twitter account during the period. Beside this other stakeholder of this campaign have re-tweeted 605 tweets during the period. Five videos were uploaded by the Department on its YouTube page. Two videos in Hindi and English have been uploaded on the official youtube channel of the department – DOPPW_INDIA OFFICIAL explaining the process of submitting the Life Certificate through Face Authentication Technique in simple language.
Submission of Life Certificates is an important activity to be carried out by pensioners every year in the month of November (with special provision for pensioners aged 80 years and above to submit their Life Certificates in the month of October) to ensure continuity of their pension. In the traditional mode, pensioners had to present themselves before the Pension Disbursing Authority for physical submission of their Life Certificate which entailed waiting at the bank branches in queues for this purpose. This was found inconvenient for the old, ailing and infirm pensioners. Further, there was no mechanism for the pensioners to get a status regarding updation of their Life Certificates in the records of the Pension Disbursing Authority.
To enhance ‘Ease of Living’ of Central Government pensioners, Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has been promoting Digital Life Certificate i.e. Jeevan Pramaan extensively. Initially submission of DLCs using biometrics was commenced. The Department roped in the 50 registered Pensioners’ Associations in different cities to promote DLCs. The Department further associated the Indian Post & Payment Bank (IPPB) to include DLC among one of the door-step services provided through the agency of its Gramin Dak Sevaks, numbering more than 1,90,000. Pension disbursing Banks were also asked to adopt the methodology of video based KYV method of Life Certification and a consortium of 12 Banks asked to provide door-step service for DLC. In order to prevent super senior pensioners aged 80 years and above, DoPPW issued orders permitting this age group to give their LC from October 1 itself in order to provide them an exclusive window and avoid rush at various pension disbursing bank branches. Indian Embassies/Consulates were advised to assist Pensioners living overseas who can now also give a DLC by receiving an OTP on their email.