According to a PIB press release issued on April 12, 2022, “The Portal will not only enable constant contact with pensioners and their associations across the country but will also regularly receive their inputs, suggestions as well as grievances for prompt response.”
The goal of the Common Pension Portal, according to Singh, is to develop a one window digital method for retirees to express their issues and have them resolved without having to go to different agencies in person.
The release said, “SCOVA (Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies) is a useful platform for holding consultation with the stakeholders i.e. the pensioners through their Associations and concerned Ministries/Departments. It provides the Associations an opportunity for raising their issues concerning pensioners’ welfare etc. directly before the concerned Ministries/Departments. Pensioner Associations from Jammu, Jaipur, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Chandigarh and other parts of the country participated in the meeting.”
Initiatives taken to benefit pensioners
Doorstep Service for submission of Digital Life Certificate
Dr. Jitendra Singh stated that since the start of the Doorstep Service for submitting Digital Life Certificates (DLC) through Postman in November 2020, more than 3,08,625 Life Certificates had been processed through India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). He also stated that Public Sector Banks have implemented door-to-door banking for the collecting of Life Certificates in 100 cities, with 4253 Life Certificates collected through Banking Agents.
Face Authentication Technique
According to PIB release, “Dr Jitendra Singh said that Face Authentication Technique through Android phone for submission of life certificate digitally has been launched on 29.11.2021 and till date, more than 20,500 Life Certificates through face authentication have been done. Similarly, he informed that as on date total number of DLCs submitted by the Central Government Pensioners is around 1,07,75,980 /- since 2014. In 2021 total DLCs submitted till date is 19,80,977.”
The ‘Bhavishya’ platform, an integrated online pension processing system, is now being successfully deployed in the main Secretariat of 96 Ministries/Departments, including 813 Attached Offices, according to Dr Jitendra Singh.
Bhavishya is the first app to leverage Digilocker’s PUSH Technology, which is based on the Digilocker Id.
According to the Minister, more than 1,50,000 cases have been completed to date, resulting in the issuance of PPOs, including more than 80,000 e-PPOs. Bhavishya 8.0 with a new feature to PUSH the ePPO in Digilocker will be available in August 2020.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, “the earlier Pension Rules were notified 50 years ago in 1972. Since then, a large number of amendments to the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 have taken place. He said, in the light of such changes and several office memoranda clarifying different provisions of these Rules, the Department has brought out a revised and updated version of the Rules i.e. Civil Services (CCS) (Pension) Rules, 2021.
Dr Jitendra Singh clarified that the revised Rules do not make any changes in regard to entitlement of amount of pension, family pension or gratuity. However, the new Rules bring about several new policy and procedural improvements over the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972. Also, some provisions in the old rules, which have become redundant over a period of time, have been omitted from the new Rules, the Minister added.”