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13 November, 2014

No need for physical presence for pension continuity :: The Jeevan Pramaan scheme, an Aadhaar- based digital life certificate for pensioners, launched by PM Narendra Modi

In a big relief to over 10 million retired employees of government and public sector undertakings (PSUs), a pensioner can now digitally provide proof of his existence to authorities for continuity of pension every year instead of requiring to present himself physically or through a life certificate issued by specified authorities.

The Jeevan Pramaan scheme, an Aadhaar- based digital life certificate for pensioners, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, is one more enabling mechanism for the benefit of the common man after the push towards self-certification. "The proposed digital certification will do away with the requirement of a pensioner having to submit a physical life certificate in November each year, in order to ensure continuity of pension being credited into his account," a PMO statement said. The department of electronics and, information technology has developed a software application which will enable the recording of the pensioner's Aadhar number and biometric details from his mobile device or computer, by plugging in a biometric reading device. Key details of the pensioner, including date time, and biometric information, will be uploaded to a central database on real-time basis, ultimately enabling the pension disbursing agency to access a digital life certificate.

This will conclusively establish that the pensioner was alive at the time of authentication, the statement said. The earlier requirement entailed that a pensioner either personally present himself before the pension disbursing agency, or submit a life certificate issued by the authorities specified by the Central Pension Accounting Office. At present, 5 million individuals draw pension from the central government alone. A similar number draw pension from state and Union territory governments. Several PSUs also provide pension benefits besides which over 2.5 million retired personnel draw pension from the Armed Forces.

The Aadhar-based digital life certificate will go a long way in reducing hardship which so many senior citizens have to go through to produce a Life Certificate every year, the PMO statement said. The software application system will be made available to pensioners and other stakeholders on a large scale at no extra cost, it said. It can be operated on a personal computer or a smartphone, along with an inexpensive biometric reading device. This facility will also be made available at Common Service Centres being operated under the National e-Governance Plan, for the benefit of pensioners residing in remote and inaccessible areas. Earlier, Modi had issued directive that would do away with the requirement of attestation by government officials of documents for entrance examinations etc. Under the directive, self certification by the person concerned would be sufficient.

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