Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that after the push towards self-certification, this digital life certificate was another enabling mechanism which would benefit the common man.
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.
The Department of Electronics and IT 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 earlier requirement entailed that a pensioner either personally presents himself before the Pension Disbursing Agency, or submits a Life Certificate issued by authorities specified by the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO).
At present, 50 lakh 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.
Over 25 lakh 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 software application system will be made available to pensioners and other stakeholders on a large scale at no extra cost.
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.