In an effort to provide a seamless experience to pensioners, the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) is working on an artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enabled Integrated Pensioners Portal, which will link the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare portal— Bhavishya—with the pension portals of various banks. A chat bot will also be created to ensure seamless interaction between pensioners, bankers and the Government.
The Department will be setting up a technology team to create these digital systems as the first deliverables in collaboration with Punjab National Bank (PNB) as well as with other banks.
Digital Life Certificate is already in place, launched in 2014. It is now available to pensioners through Aadhar-based bio-metric devices, Indian Post Payments bank’s 1,90,000 Gramin Dak Sevaks and Doorstep banking by banks. Face authentication technology was launched in November, 2021 which will transform the way pensioners submit their life certificate. The use of fintech is aimed at enabling quality of life for pensioners.
To enhance ‘ease of living’ of pensioners and family pensioners, the DoPPW, Government of India has taken a number of welfare measures in terms of the pension policy as well as in digitisation of pension-related processes. There have been a number of amendments in the pension rules and several clarificatory orders/ instructions have been issued in the last 50 years. These have been compiled and brought out as the Central Civil Service (Pension) Rules, 2021 in December, 2021.
Since banks across the country are the major pension-disbursing authorities, the DoPPW has started a series of awareness programmes for Central Pension Processing Centres (CPPCs) and field functionaries who handle pension-related work in the banks. These programmes are aimed at spreading awareness about the various rules and procedures pertaining to disbursement of pension to Central government pensioners and offer updates on the amendments made in policies and procedures. The programmes will also help better understanding of issues faced by bank officials in handling these processes and pensioners’ grievances.
The first such awareness programme is being held at Amritsar, for the officers of the Punjab National Bank. V Srinivas, secretary, DoPPW addressed the over 50 officers from the northern zone from CPPCs and pension-dealing branches who are participating on 30 August, 2022.